Can You Bring Protein Powder on a Plane?

Can You Bring Protein Powder on a Plane? Airport security heightened its stipulations. The TSA tightened their reigns in June 2018 on their already strenuous screening process.

This shift with the TSA powder rule will directly impact you–if you’re traveling with more than 12 ounces of powder in a carry-on. It’s not just protein powder you need to watch out for.

But, before we dive into this, it’s important to understand why the TSA decided to change its rules with powdered items.

What Is Protein Powder?

What Is Protein Powder
Can You Bring Protein Powder on a Plane

Protein powder is a powdered, water-soluble supplement containing a high level of protein. It is a mix of whey and casein proteins, as well as various carbohydrates.

Protein is important for muscle growth and recovery from exercise. When you are traveling, protein powder can be a convenient, easy-to-mix supplement to add to your diet. It is also much easier to pack than hard-boiled eggs or meat.

Can You Bring Protein Powder on a Plane?

Protein powder can be a great supplement to have in your diet. This is the question I have to answer in this blog post. Some protein powders are allowed on planes, while others are not.

Since it’s not regulated, some airlines will allow you to take protein powder on board while others won’t. The list below shows the airlines that allow the usage of protein powder.

  • United Airlines allows the usage of protein powder.
  • American Airlines does not allow the usage of protein powder.
  • Delta Air Lines allows the usage of protein powder on select flights.
  • Alitalia allows the usage of protein powder on all flights.
  • LAN Airlines doesn’t allow the usage of protein powder.
  • Virgin Atlantic allows the usage of protein powder on all flights.

So if you are flying with one of these airlines, feel free to bring protein powder on board. (This list is subject to change. If you notice an airline not listed here, please leave a comment below and I will update the post.)

Is It Legal to Bring Protein Powder on a Plane?

Can You Bring Protein Powder on a Plane
Can You Bring Protein Powder on a Plane

It’s illegal to carry your laptop on the plane, but is it legal to bring your protein powder? Many people may wonder if it is legal to bring protein powder on a plane.

The answer is yes, however there are certain rules that one must follow. For example, one cannot bring more than three ounces of the product on the plane.

One also must put the powder in a zip-lock bag, and it must be placed in a separate bin while going through the airport security. Other items that you may or may not be able to bring on a plane with you include:

food (except for airline meal vouchers), medications, liquids, etc. The only things that you cannot bring on a plane with you are weapons, alcohol, and cigarettes.

Tsa Protein Powder Regulations

The TSA provides you with all the information you need to fly with your protein or energy drink powders.

Tsa Protein Powder Regulations
Can You Bring Protein Powder on a Plane

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.

If you want to make your airport experience as enjoyable as possible, you can simply place your larger containers of protein powder in your checked baggage and avoid the hassle of airport security.

Avoid sacrificing your nutrition with your laptop, place your protein powder in a separate tray when going through the x-ray scanner. Just like you do with a laptop.

TSA officers are often inspecting the containers of people who are traveling with protein powder. One way to make sure that they are not removing you from the line is to avoid packing it in your carry-on.

Protein powders are allowed to be carried-on, but this can potentially take up space and slow down the line.

It’s important to think ahead when packing your bags and make sure you have all of the necessary products and travel-sized containers in your bag to stay healthy on the go.

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Make it more persuasive:

You’ll get so much more out of your protein powder by transferring it into a travel size container because you’ll get 12 oz to work with instead of 1 or 2. You can use whatever packaging you choose.

So if you want to pack your protein powder in individual packets then you can do that. Try one of these creative packaging ideas next time you have the opportunity to seal your food in something new!

Packaging Ideas

  • Plastic Ziplock Bags
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Shoe Boxes
  • Tissue Paper
  • Cardboard
  • Coffee Filters
  • Phonebook
  • Mason Jars
  • Pair of Socks

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. Opt for packing protein powders in hold luggage for a less stressful way to enjoy your flight.

Bringing Protein Powder in Checked Luggage

No restrictions are put on packing protein in your checked baggage. The bag I checked before my trip has an expiration date, so please don’t let it get delayed or worse, lost.

Don’t risk your protein powder or supplements disappearing like cold air out of a blown out balloon! Pack them in your carry-on bag instead.

If you purchase a large container of protein powder, they’re not 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 carry on everything, you might be able to save yourself some money.

Packing Protein Powder for International Flights

Please be prepared for travel outside of the United States by reading the TSA regulations. First, understand that there are usually no restrictions on bringing protein powder in your carry-on bag.

Secondly, certain airports have additional restrictions that you should be aware of.

Unless you are returning to your homeland, when you leave the international airport, you are subject to the individual country’s transportation security guidelines.

If you are headed to another country, or flying into another country, then airport security may be stricter for your carry-on bag.

The TSA allows the use of powdered formula in the carry-on bag for children, but not for adults. Many airports do not allow you to use powdered formula in your carry-on bag at all.


Don’t be afraid to pack some delicious powdered protein in your luggage! You can bring it both in 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.

But you have nothing to worry about if it is coffee grounds. I’m not sure why this rule, but it’s no way it always says you can bring on this item. Sometimes they tell you can’t bring this item on board and you’re not allowed to.

It’s kind of like Russian roulette with your stuff. However, 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 worry about whether you need to remove your protein from your hand luggage.

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