Can You Bring Supplements On A Plane?

Can You Bring Supplements On A Plane?

Today, it isn’t uncommon for people to use supplements in their everyday lives. These supplements can either be vitamin supplements or any other health supplement that you need. 

But if you rely on taking vitamins or supplements and are flying out somewhere then, you must be wondering whether you can take supplements and vitamins on a plane. 

To help you find the answer to this very question and to clarify all the laws around traveling with supplements, we bring you today’s article. 

Keep reading to know if you can bring supplements on a plane. And if you can, how to travel with supplements and vitamins on a plane.

Can You Bring Supplements On A Plane?

Yes, you are allowed to bring vitamins and supplements on the plane with you. There are no legal restrictions that stop you from taking your vitamins and supplements on the plane. You can carry most forms of supplements in both checked-in and carry-on luggage.

Hard vitamins such as pills and soft-gel vitamins are comparatively easier to carry. Liquid vitamins on the other hand may lead to some trouble. This is because of the TSA rules surrounding liquids in your luggage. 

You can only carry liquids in a 3.4-ounce container in your hand baggage. Thus, if you are planning to take your liquid supplements with you, you might have to reconsider or consider potential alternatives. 

The most ideal way to carry liquid supplements on a plane is to buy travel-friendly bottles. You can then transfer the content into these travel-friendly bottles that comply with the TSA rules on liquids.

We will be discussing alternative ways you can carry vitamins on a plane, later on. Let us now take a look at what the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has to say about carrying vitamins on a plane.  

Below is a tabular view of the most popular supplements and whether you can bring them on a plane or not.

Category Of Supplements Allowance On U.S. Planes
Ashwagandha Supplements Allowed
CBD Supplements May not be allowed based on different state laws.
Collagen Supplements Certain types of collagen supplements may not be allowed in kosher-friendly destinations.
Creatine Supplements Allowed
BCAA Supplements Allowed
Whey Protein Supplements Allowed
Citrulline Malate Supplements Allowed
Fish Oil Supplements Allowed
Testosterone Boosters Allowed (if the supplement contains no illegal steroids)
Phentermine Supplements Not allowed without prescription
Steroids Not allowed if banned and unnatural
Vitamin C Supplements Allowed
Vitamin D Supplements Allowed
Zinc Supplements Allowed
Curcumin Supplements Allowed
Creatine Supplements Allowed

What Does TSA Say About Taking Supplements On Planes?

Well, as stated on the TSA’s official website, you are allowed to carry supplements with you freely anywhere you go. There are no restrictions or laws implemented by the TSA when it comes to carrying supplements with you during your air travel.

The TSA – Transportation Security Administration has a reputation for being strict. They are the ones in charge of security at airports and they make the rules. 

However, when it comes to supplements, they may not be strict, unless your security check falls in hands of an officer who has had a bad day (or is just grumpy).

As stated here, you can bring vitamins along with you when you travel on a plane. These TSA rules are valid for all types of supplements. Please make sure you co-operate when the TSA officers search you as it is a part of their routine.

Can You Bring Prescription Pills On A Plane?

Yes, you can bring prescription pills and medications on a plane both as carry-on and checked luggage.  However, you may be required to disclose these medications at the TSA’s counter or security checkpoint, along with the said prescription. This is, however, not always applicable.

Vitamin pills and supplements on the other hand are considered to be OTC or over-the-counter drugs and hence they do not require any prescriptions. This is why you can easily bring your vitamins along with you the next time you are traveling on an airplane.

There is however one caveat to all of this. While it is true that you can carry pills, powders, gummies, and soft gels on the plane with you, you might however have to re-think your liquid supplements and vitamins. 

Can You Bring Liquid Supplements On A Plane?

Yes, you can bring liquid supplements on a plane including liquid vitamins. If you need to carry liquids in your carry-on baggage, they need to be in containers of 3.4 ounces or 100ml in size or less. For content over 100ml, you should transfer it into checked baggage.

The TSA officer might ask you to remove your liquid vitamins from your carry-on bag if they are more than 3.4 ounces. 

You might be wondering why soft gels and gummy vitamins are allowed on the flight when liquids are restricted because they too often contain gel-like substances. 

To answer your question, the TSA considered soft gels and gummy vitamins to be solids, and hence they are treated just like pills.

What Are The Different Types Of Supplements You Can Bring On A Plane?

You can bring almost all kinds of supplements on a plane including soft gels, capsules, tablets, gummies, liquids, snacks, bars, powders, etc. TSA allows these supplements on the plane as long as they comply with the rules. Liquid supplements must be within 100 ml to be considered as carry-on.

Supplements such as protein powders and vitamin pills are widely used by many people these days. These supplements can help provide the consumer with various health benefits. One of the most important parts of consuming supplements is consistency. 

To avail of the complete benefits of any form of supplementation, it is important that you take it every day as per the recommended dosage. When you fail to do so, or there is an interruption in your general cycle of consumption, it can reduce the effects of the supplements.

The same is true for vitamins. People take vitamins to make up for the lack of the same in their diets. This is why it is important that you get a regular and steady intake of these essential vitamins every day.

When you are traveling for business purposes or for a vacation, it can be difficult to find the supplements and vitamins that you need locally as not every place you go to would contain the vitamins you need.

This is why traveling with your own supplements is always a good idea. When you travel with your own vitamins on a plane, you can ensure that you stay on track and don’t miss out on any of those essential vitamins that your body needs.

You can take the following forms of supplements with you on a plane:

  • Pills: The most widely used vitamins generally come in the form of pills. These look similar to medication often and it comes in pill bottles. They are solid in nature, and hence the easiest way to bring vitamins on a plane.
  • Softgels: Softgels are essentially liquid capsules. Softgelts look like your traditional capsules, but they contain gel-like substances on the inside. When you consume the soft-gel tablet, it naturally brakes down in your body releasing the gel, which contains all the important components.
  • Powder: Food supplements also come in the form of powders that you can mix with water or milk. This is most commonly seen with protein and body-building supplements. For people who like to work out consistently, no matter where they are, traveling with powdered supplements is very important. 
  • Liquids: Many vitamins also come in the form of liquids. These can be easy-to-use sprays or concentrations that you can add a few drops of to your food. Traveling with liquid vitamins on a plane can be a little tricky, especially when you are keeping it in your carry-alls, considering all the rules regarding liquids on a plane.
  • Gummies: Recently vitamin gummies have also become very popular and many people use gummies as a primary source of essential vitamins. Gummies are just like candy gummies, but they contain the added benefits of being rich in vitamin content.

A person might consume one or more of these vitamins and supplements on a regular basis. We will be taking a look at the rules and laws surrounding each of these different types of vitamins and supplements. Carry on to learn how to pack supplements for travel.

Why You Should Travel With Supplements? 

Your vitamin and mineral supplements are very important for your body as they help your body meet certain fitness and health goals. When you travel with supplements you make sure that you don’t miss out on giving your body what it needs. 

This can help you stay healthy and focused on your important business trips. On the other hand, this can also be great for your vacations. 

When you are on a vacation, you get a chance to rest and recharge your body by getting more rest, sleep, and being in a peaceful environment. During this time, giving your body the essential nutrients can be a good idea as it can help you feel even better. 

Many times when you are on an international trip, the plane rides can last for several hours. This while inconvenient can also provide you with the chance of catching up on some sleep and during this time your supplements, especially the sleep supplements or gummies that you take before you sleep can be useful.

This is why you can and should pack supplements for your flight. In addition to this, many people like to work out even when on vacation or business trips. Thus traveling with your pre and post-workout supplements, as well as things like protein powders, becomes an essential necessity as, without them, you can’t maintain your physique or routine. 

Because of these reasons, traveling with vitamins and other dietary supplements is just as important as traveling with any other medications that you need.

Checked Luggage vs Carry-On Luggage – Where Should You Keep Your Supplements While Traveling? 

You are allowed to take your vitamins in your checked luggage as well as your carry-on luggage. TSA prohibits taking more than 100ml of most liquids (including supplements) in a single container as carry-on. In general, is recommended that you take your important vitamins in your carry-on luggage. 

Read on to know why. 

When taking a flight, there are two types of luggage that you can take with you. One is the checked luggage and the other is your carry-on bag. The checked luggage is usually bigger in size and you generally would leave it at the airport.

The carry-on baggage on the other hand is comparatively smaller and you are allowed to take it with you on the flight, where you can store it in the overhead cabins or under the seat in front of you. 

You can freely carry supplements and vitamins in both of these items of luggage. They both have their own advantages and disadvantages. You can pack more vitamins in your checked luggage, but it is easier to get through security when you have the vitamins in your carry-on luggage. 

What many people don’t know, or rather are unaware of is the fact that your checked luggage is also x-rayed. Hence if you are traveling with a lot of supplements in your checked luggage then the x-ray machine can easily pick it up. 

If you know that you will be needing to take certain supplements while on the flight, such as when on a long-distance flight, or if you are only carrying small amounts of supplements then it is better to store them in your carry-on bag.

If you will be gone for more than a few days, and you are indeed traveling with a larger quantity of supplements it is a good idea to pack it in your checked luggage, and depending on the number of supplements you need, and their weight, you might need to purchase extra luggage space. 

For smaller amounts or more vital vitamins that you need to consume frequently, carrying them in your carry-on bag is a good idea. The main thing to consider here is that you pack everything in compliance with the TSA rules so that there is no hassle at the airport security checkpoint. 

The ‘3-1-1 rule’ can be a good way of remembering the rules while packing vitamins for your flight. 

Another thing to note is that if you are traveling with soft gels or gummy vitamins, then you might want to consider carrying them in your carry-on luggage only.

This is because if you are taking your gummies and soft-gels vitamin capsules in your checked baggage, there is a chance that they might melt given the heath in the luggage storage.

Let us now take a look at how to pack vitamins and supplements for air travel. The tips below will help you have a smooth traveling with vitamins experience. 

How To Pack Supplements For Travel? How To Pack Vitamins For Flight?

Now that we know the TSA is okay with you traveling with vitamins on a plane, let us take a look at how to pack vitamins for a flight so that it’s easier for you to carry them around without having to worry about the TSA officer. 

How To Pack Supplements In Checked Luggage?

 

Check-in counters at an airport

Credit: Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash 

When packing vitamins for your checked luggage, you can leave them in their original packaging. This works the best if your supplements come in pouches or plastic containers as they are more sturdy and durable.

If you have a large amount of vitamins that you need to carry for personal use, then it is a good idea to carry it in your checked luggage. This is generally a very hassle-free process. You also don’t have to worry about the TSA officer at the security checkpoints. 

However, if you have a vitamin or a supplement that is in a glass bottle, then you might want to be extra careful with it. The luggage that you check in usually is handled with a lot less care than you may imagine. 

Even with fragile stickers on, it isn’t possible for the ground staff at airports to individually handle every luggage. This is why it is important that you package any glass bottle with extra padding. For this, you can wrap the bottle or container in a towel. 

Alternatively, you can also use bubble wrap to secure your glass container. Additionally, make sure that no amount of tossing around would harm the bottle or its contents. Another important precaution that you need to take is when it comes to traveling with liquid vitamins.

If you are carrying liquid vitamins in your checked luggage, make sure to seal the cap as tightly as possible to prevent it from leaking onto your clothes. You can use some scotch tape to help you keep the lid shut. Additionally, you can wrap the liquid vitamin bottle in a plastic bag.

With a plastic bag, you can make sure that even in the adverse case where the liquid vitamin does spill out, it still would be in the plastic bag and not on your clothes. 

Some supplements can go bad if they aren’t stored at a cool enough temperature. This is also usually the case with soft-gel supplements and vitamin gummies. With too much heat, they can either go bad or melt down leaving them completely useless. 

To avoid this and to make sure that your vitamin gummies reach the destination with you, you can pack them in a freeze pack. Freeze packs or cooling packs are readily available online on places like Amazon. You can use these to keep your essential gummies safe.

Carry-on Luggage

The carry-on bag is the one that stays with the travelers for the entire duration of the flight. Even if they are changing flights before their final destination, the carry-ons stay with them. This is why, if you are traveling with vitamins that are needed frequently, you should have those vitamins on a plane with you. 

The easiest thing to carry in your carry-on baggage is solid vitamin pills.  You can easily take these types of vitamins on a plane with you, without having to worry about security screening. When you pack your vitamins that are solid in the form of a pill, it can be a good idea to get a pill case.

A pill case is a container that is generally see-through and comes with various compartments. You can separate your pills based on what day you would need to consume them. This can be good in helping you pack just the right amount of vitamins so that you don’t have to lug around a very heavy bag. This is especially true when you have to change flights during short layovers. 

The same rule works for vitamin gummies and soft-gel capsules. As per the TSA rules, both gummy vitamins and soft-gel capsules are treated just like solid vitamin pills. This makes packing vitamins that are in the form of soft gels and gummies a lot easier. 

Coming to powdered supplements. Powdered food supplements generally come in big bulky packages which makes them a bit difficult to carry around. This is even more inconvenient when you are only traveling for a few days or you only need these supplements for a few days. 

There are a couple of ways in which you can take these powdered vitamins on a plane. The first is to buy smaller packages. While it is a bit more expensive than getting a bulk supply, there are brands that offer smaller portions or small sachets of supplements and vitamins. They even have travel packs which you can easily take around with you. 

But, in case you cannot find small sachets in time, you can then simply make them yourself with the help of zip lock bags. Just simply measure out the exact amount of the particular vitamins you would be needing based on the number of days or number of doses you consume.

You can then fill this in a see-through or transparent zip lock bag. Once you have measured out and taken the right amount of portions for your need, make sure to label the bags. By labeling, you ensure that you don’t mix up your vitamins. 

Labeling is also helpful in explaining the same to the TSA officers during security screening. Remember to be upfront about it and don’t be scared as carrying supplements is completely legal.

How To Pack Liquid Supplements For Travel?

Liquid Supplements

Credit: Photo by Magic Mind on Unsplash 

The real challenge comes in when traveling with liquid vitamins. The TSA and all the airlines have a strict policy when it comes to traveling with liquids in your carry-on bags. You can only carry liquids that are less than 3.4 ounces or 100ml. 

Additionally, you need to store these in a see-through packet. This rule applies to all liquids such as oils, shampoos, moisturizers, etc. 

This is also where the 3-1-1 rule comes into play. According to the 3-1-1 rule, all your liquids, gels, and aerosols need to be less than 3.4 ounces or 100 ml. They should also fit in a 1-quart-sized bag that is see-through and resealable. 

There is one exception to this rule, however. As Gateway states, if you have a medical prescription for a liquid supplement then you can carry more than just what’s allowed by the TSA, granted you will have to carry the prescription with you.

When you bring vitamins on a plane that is stored in your carry-on, you will have to take them out during the security screening. When you arrive at the security area, just like everything else, you will have to remove your supplements and your vitamins and place them in a tray. 

This tray will then proceed through the x-ray machine. If you are carrying powdered supplements then the TSA officer might also take a sample of it for random or swab tests as a standard procedure. 

It is important that you co-operate during this time to make this process as easy and quick as possible. If you aren’t comfortable with getting your supplements X-rayed or if you have to pack vitamins that should not be exposed to x-ray radiations, then you can simply mention it to the TSA officer.

They can then manually check the supplements or vitamins and let you go easily. This is how you can pack vitamins in your carry-on to bring vitamins on a plane.

Bonus Tips:

Here are some additional tips for travelers who are looking to pack vitamins. These are points to take into consideration when packing vitamins. 

  • Pack vitamins that you need regularly or are very important in your carry-on baggage only. While packing vitamins in your checked bags is easier, faster, and more convenient, it isn’t always the right option.

Often times your checked bags can get delayed or mishandled by the airlines. Moreover, the airlines can also lose your bags. This is why it is important that all your necessary vitamins and medication are packed with you. 

  • Another important point is to always pack a little extra. Whenever you are packing vitamins, you should consider taking a couple of days’ worth of supplies extra. This helps in case of any unforeseen emergencies or to make up for any spillage during the flight.
  • Reach the airport at least an hour before you normally would. This would give you an ample amount of time to go through all the TSA’s checks. It also helps you sure that you are done before your flight. 
  • If you need to take your vitamins while on the plane, make sure you are traveling with the right vitamins. You should also carry a small water bottle with you. This is to ensure that in case the in-flight service is delayed, you still can take your vitamins. Lastly, make sure to pack vitamins so that they can be accessed easily. 

Keep these tips in mind when you travel with vitamins next time. Make sure your packaging skills are on point to avoid wastage and always corporate with the TSA’s search policy. 

Let us now look at some of the laws about taking vitamins when you are on an international trip. 

Can You Bring Vitamins On A Plane For International Travel?

Vitamin C Tablets

Credit: Photo by Diana Polekhina on Unsplash 

Yes, there are no rules that stop you from bringing vitamins or flying with vitamins on international flights. If you are worried about flying with vitamins to Canada or bringing supplements to Mexico then worry no more. 

As Mexadventure suggests, packing vitamins for Mexico is completely legal and it won’t cause you any trouble when you travel to Mexico with your vitamins. It is advised that you keep them in their original packaging or have proper labels to void suspicion.

The same is true when flying to Canada. As pointed out by TripSavvy, you can bring your supplements, vitamins, and other OTC drugs to Canada easily without any trouble. 

FAQs

Can You Bring Supplements To Europe?

You can bring supplements to Europe since supplements do not really come off as a threat to the majority of countries. However, certain supplements, such as those containing cannabinoid components may not be allowed in Europe due to restrictions on such elements.

However, each country has its own set of rules and regulations which you can read on their official websites. 

Can You Take Food Supplements On A Plane? 

Yes, you can take food supplements on a plane. Food supplements can be carried on a plane. You can pack them in your travel bags without any issues, as long as they do not contain prohibited substances. They can be brought on the plane both as carry-on and checked-in luggage.

Can You Bring Gummy Vitamins On Plane? 

Gummy vitamins are safe and legal. You can carry vitamin gummies in your carry-on or checked baggage. However, if the gummies contain other ingredients that are not allowed at the place you are traveling to (such as CBD), you may not be allowed to carry them on the plane.

Can I Take Vitamins In Hand Luggage? 

Yes, you can pack vitamins in your hand luggage as well as carry-on. In fact, it is recommended to take your vitamins in hand luggage since you can use them whenever you need them during the flight. Taking them as carry-on makes them more accessible.

Conclusion 

To conclude, you can carry your important vitamins and any other OTC supplements that you may need on planes during air travels. You can also carry prescription pills and medications with you on a plane. However, you may be required to present a valid medical prescription for the same.

Swati Jaiswal

Swati Jaiswal is a dedicated traveler and an even dedicated individual who specializes in travel, digital marketing, & health and fitness niches. Passport stamps and coffee stains are her badges of honor.

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