You’re free to pack protein powder in your hand and checked luggage. TSA doesn’t consider protein powder to be a potentially-dangerous substance, so it’s allowed without any restrictions.
The only thing to remember is that larger protein powder packages over 12 oz (350 ml) need to be screened. When going through security, you’ll have to take it out of your bag and place it in a separate screening bin. The TSA agents might also ask a few questions about it.
TSA allows bringing large protein powder containers in carry-on luggage and personal items. But they recommend packing them in checked bags whenever possible.
Once protein powder is mixed with water or milk, it isn’t allowed through security anymore. At least, not in large enough quantities – only in containers below 3.4 oz (100 ml). So if you want to drink protein during the flight, you can pre-mix the dry ingredients in your protein shaker. Once you go through security, you can buy a bottle of water and mix it on the spot.
Traveling With Protein Powder Internationally
The rules for traveling with protein powder are generally the same across the world, with some minor exceptions. In general, you should avoid packing protein powder in hand luggage on international flights. If you do, don’t go over the 12 oz (350 g) limit.
The United Kingdom hasn’t banned protein powder from hand luggage but they recommend packing it in checked bags to avoid delays.
Indian flight authorities have banned protein powder from hand luggage on flights heading to the US.
A single scoop of protein powder is 30-45g on average. So if you want to stay below the 350 g limit, don’t pack more than 7-10 scoops of protein.
You should also try to arrive at the airport early if you’re flying internationally with protein powder. That’s because airport security might want to ask you some questions about its origin. This happens rarely though, but it’s good to be prepared to not miss your flight.
How to Pack Protein Powder in Luggage
If you want to, you can transfer your protein powder over to Ziploc bags, as this will allow for easier and more-organized packing. You also don’t need to bring the whole pack for your vacation. You can only bring a little amount.
But take this with a word of caution because a few airlines don’t allow unlabeled powders. For example, KLM doesn’t allow opened or unlabeled powders on flights to or from the US. But this happens very rarely and most airlines don’t care about this. If you do transfer your protein over to Ziploc bags, write “protein powder” on them to speed up the screening process.
If you’re transporting protein powder in a plastic jar or an opened bag, re-seal it with duct tape. This will keep it from opening in your luggage and causing a mess. Also, try to place it somewhere in the middle of your suitcase if the container can be punctured.
The Perfect Option for Travel – Individually-Packaged Protein Powder
Some brands sell individually-sealed protein powders, already packaged in scoop-size packages. This is ideal for traveling because you can carry the exact amount of protein that you’ll need. You also don’t have to worry about the 350 g (12 oz) limit in hand baggage.
Another option is to use protein bars instead of protein powder. These don’t have any restrictions and you’re free to pack them in hand and checked bags.
Supplements Are Also Allowed
Powdered supplements, like Creatine, pills, capsules, and most other supplements are also allowed on planes. Only liquid supplements and protein gels have to follow the 3-1-1 rule in hand luggage. Everything else is considered a solid item, so they’re allowed freely.
Although on paper, you don’t need to keep them in their original packaging, this will speed up the screening process. So it’s advised to transport your supplements in their original containers.
Summing Up – Traveling With Protein Powder
Even though there are some risks involved with powders, like explosives or drugs, generally, airport security is open to people traveling with them. Nowadays, a lot of people travel with protein powder, and most don’t experience any issues. If you’ll do it regularly, you can expect extra screening and a few questions every now and then. But overall, you shouldn’t experience any problems when traveling with protein powder.