Can You Take Pre-workout on a Plane? (TSA's Rules)

Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Published by Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: February 15, 2024
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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 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 pre-workout supplements and travel; let’s unpack what I found.

Quick Summary

  • You can take pre-workout supplements on a plane, with TSA guidelines allowing both powdered and mixed forms in carry-on and checked luggage.
  • For carry-on luggage, pre-workout powders over 12 oz require separate X-ray screening, while there are virtually no limits for powders in checked bags.
  • As per TSA regulations effective June 30, 2018, powders in carry-on that cannot be resolved by security officials will be prohibited from the aircraft cabin.
  • Personally, I find using resealable plastic bags for packing pre-workout supplements not only convenient but also a cost-effective way to manage fitness routines during travel.

Can You Bring Pre-workout on a Plane?

man holding a pre workout supplement

You can take a pre workout drinks 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 airport 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.”



3-1-1 Rule Applies to Powders?

Woman waiting for her flight in the airport

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

According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), 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 pre-workout 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.


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.


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About The Author

Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC is an ex-National Soccer player turned MMA and Kickboxing champion, with ACE CPT and PN1-NC certifications. His advice is rooted in education and experience, ensuring that readers receive scientific and battle-tested insights. His mission is to empower his clients and readers to realize their potential and become the best versions of themselves.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD is a published peer-reviewed author and renowned physician from India with over a decade of experience. With her MBBS from Bharati Vidyapeeth and an MD from Rajiv Gandhi University, she actively ensures the accuracy of online dietary supplement and medical information by reviewing and fact-checking health publications.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Kristy June Dayanan, BS, MD is an author with a BS degree from University of the Philippines and an MD from University of Perpetual Help System. Her ability to simplify medical science complexities and dietary supplement jargon for the average reader makes her a valued medical fact checker and reviewer.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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