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Can You Take Pre-workout on a Plane? (According to TSA)

Anthony Diaz
Published by Anthony Diaz
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: June 23, 2022

As a fitness trainer, I have traveled the world for various conferences and private trips, and, in doing so, I needed to learn what I can and cannot bring on a plane.

I keep a rigid workout routine even when traveling and need to know if I can bring a pre-workout on the plane and if I need to stow it in checked luggage or drop it in my carry-on bag.

To prepare for a recent trip overseas, I spent some time verifying the rules for supplements and travel; let’s unpack what I found.

Quick Summary

  • Knowing your origin location and destination rules is crucial when you bring workout supplements on your travels.
  • If your checked luggage gets delayed, stocking some powdered supplements in your carry-on is good.
  • When you bring a pre-workout supplement through security, the final say is at the discretion of the TSA agent.

Can You Bring Pre-workout on a Plane?

A pre workout supplement container with no brand

You can take a pre-workout on a plane, and the TSA website confirms it.

There are, however, some specifics to remember, so let’s take a look at them now.

As you read on, it is essential to remember this statement from the TSA website: “The final decision rests with the TSA officer on whether an item is allowed through the checkpoint.”

Things You Should Know Before You Take It Onboard

If you have ever traveled, you know the chance of you landing at your destination without your checked luggage is a real possibility, so it is essential to look at the requirements for both carry-on bags and checked bags.

Carry On Bags

If you want to ensure you have your pre-workout for your first travel workout, you may consider bringing some of your workout supplements with you via your carry-on luggage.

If you choose to do this, you must remember that powder-like substances greater than 12 oz require placement in a separate bin for X-ray screening, they still may open containers, and the final decision is at the discretion of the TSA officer.

The TSA does encourage you to place any non-essential powders more than 12 oz in checked bags.

Checked Bags

I have learned in my travels there are virtually unlimited amounts of powder you can bring, particularly in checked luggage. Of course, you pay for convenience here, as with checked bags, you pay the price, but I have found the ease of security worth it.

“For your convenience, we encourage you to place powder-like substances over 12 oz. / 350 mL in your checked bags. Powders in carry-on baggage may require secondary screening, and powders that cannot be resolved by security officials will be prohibited from the cabin of the aircraft effective June 30, 2018.” -tsa.gov.

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3-1-1 Rule Applies to Powders?

Woman waiting for her flight in the airport

The 3-1-1 rule does not apply to powders as they are different from liquids, so quart-sized bags are unnecessary.

Powders under 12 oz are inconsequential, but over 12 oz are prone to additional TSA inspection, potentially slowing down your travel [1].

Packing Your Supplements

A person packing her workout supplements inside her bag

I have traveled enough to learn some things by trial and error.

If you, like me, use pre-workout as part of your fitness routine, you buy the big cost-effective container, which is bulky and inconvenient to bring on a plane.

What do you do?

As the TSA does not require any powder in its original container, I have found plastic bags a great way to pack my pre-workout and protein powder.

I have packed the amount of powder I will need on my trip in a resealable plastic bag and labeled it accordingly.  Don’t forget the scoop.

Some manufacturers offer pre-workout in pre-portioned packets that are very convenient but remember you pay a price of convenience. I find the resealable plastic bag method easy, convenient, and wallet-friendly.

FAQs

Can I Take Creatine Pills on a Plane?

You can take creatine pills on a plane, assuming they are legal from where you are departing and at your destination.

Do Powders Have to Be in a Clear Bag on a Plane?

You can bring a pre-workout supplement, protein powder, and other supplements on a plane in a clear bag, original container, or other containers.

There is no limit on the quantity of powder you can bring in your carry-on luggage, but you must place any container with over 12 oz of powder in a separate X-ray bin for screening.

For containers with more than 12 oz, it is best to stow them in checked baggage.

So Should You Take Your Pre-workout on a Plane?

Whether you prefer pre-workout or post-workout drink mixes, they are all “ok” for a carry-on bag or checked luggage.

As long as your supplements don’t contain any banned substances in your departure location or destination and as long as you follow the guidelines I’ve outlined here (including TSA rules), you will enjoy your same workout routine and supplements with a change of scenery.

Make sure to check our guide on top pre-workout supplements that we tried and tested for side effects and efficacy ourselves.


Reference:

  1. https://www.tsa.gov/travel/frequently-asked-questions/what-3-1-1-liquids-rule

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