The TSA has lots of rules about what you can and can’t bring on to airplanes. It’s hard to keep up!
You don’t want to mess up your protein powder routine just because you are traveling.
So can you bring protein powder on a plane and if so where should you pack it?
Let’s take a look at the regulations.
TSA Protein Powder Regulations
The Transportation Security Administration provides the following information about flying with protein or energy drink powders.
Bringing Protein Powder In Carry-On Luggage
You can bring protein powder in carry-on bags, but the TSA powders rule applies. If you have protein powder in containers greater than 12 oz remove them from your bag at security for additional screening.
Place your protein powder in a separate tray when going through the x-ray scanner. Just like you do with a laptop.
TSA officers may need to open your container to inspect your protein powder. Protein powders are allowed in hand luggage, the TSA just wants you to remove it from your bag so not to slow down the line.
It might make sense to transfer your protein powder into a travel size container. If you have less than 12 oz of powder then you don’t need to remove it from your carry-on.
You can use whatever packaging you choose. So if you want to pack your protein powder in individual packets then you can do that. Ziplock baggies are a popular choice.
Just to be clear. There is no limit on how much protein powder you can pack in your hand luggage. If any container is greater than 12 ounces then take it out of your carry-on when going through the security checkpoint. You can bring multiple containers.
If you are concerned about delays when going through the security checkpoint or if you just don’t want the hassle you can opt to pack protein powders in hold luggage.
Bringing Protein Powder In Checked Luggage
There are no restrictions on packing whey protein in your checked baggage.
Keep in mind that there is a risk that your checked bag might get delayed or worse it could be lost.
There is also a possibility that your protein powder or supplements could be stolen from hold luggage.
A large container of protein powder isn’t cheap and a dishonest security agent or baggage handler could help themselves.
Also, there is usually a fee to bring checked baggage. If you can fly carry-on only you might be able to save yourself some money.
Packing Protein Powder For International Flights
If you are departing the United States then the TSA rules apply.
If you are departing a foreign country then airport security rules for that country will apply.
Still Unsure? Ask The TSA
You can use the @AskTSA service on Twitter to get an answer about any protein supplement you were thinking of flying with.
Teena asked about packing her whey protein
Ashton planned to just bring enough protein shake powder for 2 days in a ziplock bag.
And if you were thinking of bringing a blender to mix up those protein shakes then be aware you can only pack blenders in checked bags because of the blades.
Some passengers choose to bring protein bars instead of powder for short trips.
Interestingly, while peanut butter is treated as a liquid by the TSA, peanut butter protein bars are not.
This passenger asked about hemp powder. It doesn’t matter if your container is already opened. In fact, the TSA might want to open your containers to check what is inside them.
The Bottom Line
You can bring powdered protein in both carry-on luggage and checked luggage. If you pack it in your carry-on and the container is over 12 oz then remove it and place it in a separate tray for x-ray screening.
It is possible that powder substances that can’t be identified might not be permitted through the security checkpoint.
The TSA agent that inspects your luggage always decides which items can and can’t be brought on board the airplane.
However, the TSA passengers should be very familiar with passengers traveling with protein powders even if they are in clear ziplock baggies.
To save yourself time and hassle it might be a good idea to transfer your powder from a larger container into a smaller travel size case less than 12 ounces so you don’t need to remove your protein from your hand luggage.