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Travel is something most people aim to do, whether for personal or professional reasons. From taking vacations to showing up for office conferences in different cities, there are multiple reasons why people need to board flights in today’s era.
However, rules and regulations for air travel vary significantly compared to road travel. And rightfully so! After all, even a tiny mistake can potentially end up endangering the lives of hundreds of passengers and flight staff.
One such question that bothers most people is whether taking vitamins on a plane is allowed or not. There seems to be plenty of confusion around the topic, and we aim to answer all your questions in this guide. Keep on reading to know more about it further!
Can You Take Supplements on a Plane?
Did you know that over 77% of Americans claim to consume supplements on a daily basis? Today, people of all ages and cultural groups are aware of the massive health benefits of regular consumption of vitamins and are following the trend accordingly.
However, this also raises the question – Can supplements be carried via air travel? Simply put, you are allowed to have supplements on a flight. No guidelines restrict you from taking supplements after packing them in your carry-on or checked-in luggage.
In most cases, clearing the checkpoints with hard vitamins like pills or soft vitamins like gels will be like a walk in the park. However, trouble arises when you need to carry liquid vitamins. TSA (Transportation Security Administration) often monitors the amount of liquid an individual holds on their flight.
Per the rules, you can only carry liquids in a 3.4-ounce container stored in your hand luggage. As such, it is always better to consider potential alternatives so that you can easily carry water or other essential medicines. Or you can also store the liquid vitamins in travel-friendly bottles.
What are the TSA Guidelines for Taking Supplements on a Plane?
TSA has a reputation for being extra strict regarding travel luggage. As such, it is always better to recheck the guidelines repeatedly before packing for your flight. Let’s have a look at different supplements and whether TSA allows them for air travel or not.
The Category of Supplements Allowed on U.S. Plane
|Type of supplements||Is it allowed on the plane?|
|Creatine Supplements||Yes, these are allowed in your carry-on and checked luggage. Moreover, it will not need screening when you have less than 12 ounces.|
|Ashwagandha Supplements||You can bring it in unlimited quantities in pill or vitamin format. But, ensure to set declare them during the screening process.|
|Collagen Supplements||While you can bring prescription products, some specific collagen supplements might be banned from kosher-friendly locations.|
|CBD Supplements||Even though the permission depends on state laws, you can bring CBD products that have less than 0.3% THC content.|
|Citrulline Malate Supplements||Yes, you can bring these supplements, but in a controlled quantity.|
|BCAA Supplements||Airlines will allow these supplements only if they are in approved 3.4-ounce containers.|
|Whey Protein Supplements||You can bring this power in your carry-on bag if it is less than 12 ounces. However, if it exceeds that, you must place it in your luggage and put it through screening.|
|Testosterone Boosters||You can carry syringes accompanied with medication in your carry-on along with your prescription for the security process.|
|Omega-3 Supplements||These soft gel capsules are categorized as pills, so you can have them in your carry-on luggage.|
|Steroids||Make sure that the product is natural and legal in the state. Moreover, keep the prescription for that handy if you have it on your carry-on.|
|Vitamin C, D, and Zinc Supplements||Try to avoid bringing massive quantities of these pills or power with your carry-on. Moreover, you can only bring 3.4 ounces or less of vitamins in liquid form.|
Depending on which category your supplements fall into, you might not be allowed to carry them. It is up to the TSA officer assigned for your security check to some extent. Some officials might let you go easy, while some might be overly stringent about such guidelines.
How to Carry Vitamins on a Plane?
There are no limitations when it comes to vitamin pills and soft gel capsules. You can easily pack them in your handbag or checked-in luggage. However, trouble might arise if you are planning to transport liquid vitamins.
As mentioned before, TSA only allows 3.4 ounces of liquid per passenger. As such, it is crucial to follow the 3-1-1 rule while packing your vitamins or supplements. It implies you can carry 3.4 ounces (100ml) of liquid in one resealable bag per hand luggage. As long as you follow it, there should be no problems in carrying vitamins on a plane.
What Screening Options are Available for Taking Vitamins on a Plane?
You will have two screening options when you reach the airport security checkpoint with vitamins. Firstly, you can separate the bag containing vitamin pills or containers and place them for x-ray checking. However, you can talk to the TSA officer if you don’t want the vitamins to be x-ray checked.
They will then continue visually inspecting all the contents inside the bag. Once it has been confirmed that the vitamins don’t pose any risk to the security or are not contraband in disguise, you will be allowed to carry them.
However, you must remember that if the TSA officer suspects something is off, they will subject you to more questioning or even explosive trace detection screening. But for most cases, the screening process is usually seamless.
What are Different Forms of Vitamin Supplements Allowed on a Plane?
There are multiple forms of vitamins available considering the fast paced lifestyle and lack of proper nutrition in an average person’s life. Doctors and dietitians often recommend these supplements to help you adapt to healthier lifestyles.
As such, consuming vitamins daily is mandatory. You cannot skip such supplements regularly, as the interruption might result in lesser impact. Therefore, carrying vitamins on a travel excursion should be a top-shelf priority.
Today, vitamins are available in multiple forms and can be consumed at your convenience. Some common vitamin types include:
- Powder: Certain products are available in powder form like protein shakes or body-building supplements. Here, the powdered mixture is mixed with milk and water to produce a nutritional solution.
- Pills: Most vitamins are packed as hard pills and often resemble other standard medications. Based on the type of vitamin, pills can either be in a bottle or on a strip. Carrying solid pills via air travel is the simplest form of transforming vitamins from one place to another.
- Softgels: Softgels are capsules in disguise. Unlike regular capsules, the inner contents of such vitamins are present in liquid form. Once consumed, the outer shell breaks down, thus releasing the nutritional substances in the body.
- Liquids: These days, vitamins are also available in liquid form for better convenience and consumption. It can be a concentrated solution or easy-to-use sprays that you can sprinkle over your food. Per the guidelines, carrying liquid vitamins on a plane can be tricky.
- Gummies: Vitamin gummies are also available for kids and people not very eager to consume pills. These look or taste just like candy gummies, only with the additional nutritional content.
Based on your dietary requirements, you might even consume multiple forms of vitamins at once. As such, staying updated about the rules and regulations associated with each vitamin type is crucial.
Does TSA Allow Gummy Vitamins on a Plane?
As clarified above, the TSA clearly defines rules for pills, capsules, and liquid vitamins. But, what about the gray area, i.e., gummy vitamins? Do you consider them to be liquid or solid?
As per the TSA guidelines, gummy vitamins are classified as solids and won’t result in storage restrictions. Simply keep them inside the carry-on bag during the screening process. As such, no special packing instructions are provided for gummy vitamins.
You can separate the contents for any liquid vitamins or medications and inform the officers by showing a prescription.
Why Should You Carry Vitamins Along on a Plane?
Imagine going on a vacation only to feel weak because you are not consuming enough nutrition. Needless to say, it is a situation no one wants to encounter. You must consume vitamins or additional supplements daily to maintain maximum energy and stay fit.
Most vitamins and supplements benefit your body in the long run when you consume them regularly. For regular travelers, missing them every once in a while will result in lower impact.
Also, during international travel, there are plenty of chances to catch up on sleep. Eating your before-sleep supplements or vitamin gummies can help you rest more peacefully. Doing so will help you wake up rejuvenated and quickly get through the jet lag phase.
For people working out regularly, there is a requirement to consume pre and post-workout supplements. So, if you are not looking to skip exercise during your daily routine on vacation, contemplate carrying supplements or vitamins along.
For such reasons, you should always pack vitamins in your checked-in or carry-on bag. Remember, focusing on health will benefit you in multiple ways during the vacation.
Tips for Carrying Vitamins on a Plane
Now that you’re ready for the trip, here are a few tips and tricks to help you carry vitamins along without any hassle. Remember, this process is highly convenient and does not have to cause undue stress whatsoever. Keep reading to know more.
1. Don’t Fear the TSA
It is pretty obvious that TSA can be challenging at times. The thought of being pulled off the security check line and questioned might distress you, but remember to be calm at all times. According to the official guidelines, vitamins are allowed in carry-on and checked-in luggage.
Ensure you meet all the official requirements, and you won’t have to face any trouble. Technically speaking, you can also carry suitcases full of vitamins. However, that might warrant an interrogation session with the TSA officers.
2. Look for Liquid Vitamin Alter
As explained previously, carrying liquid vitamins can be a troublesome process. Firstly, you must ensure that the contents are placed in a sealable bag of 3.4 ounces. Even if you put the vitamins inside the checked-in luggage, TSA is likely to stop you.
Now, you don’t need to worry if you have pills or vitamin gummies as alternatives. You can easily cross the security checkpoints without any unnecessary hindrance. So, always ask your medical practitioner to recommend something travel-friendly.
3. Place Vitamins in Your Carry-on Bag
A day before air travel usually looks like quite a mess. You must pack and weigh the luggage, cook extra food, look into accommodation options, and whatnot! With all this hassle, you might want to remain on the safe side and pack vitamins into your suitcases. Even if it is an excellent move to remember to carry your supplements, you might face issues later.
For example, if you forget to eat your vitamins on the travel day, you might want to do it while on the flight. However, that’s impossible if you don’t have the pills in your carry-on luggage. Additionally, you can end up losing your luggage at the airport. Considering such factors, it is always better to travel with vitamins close by.
4. Carry Vitamins in a Special Container
Once you know whether you can carry vitamins on a plane or not, it is time to focus on how you will store them. Most people keep tablet strips or pill bottles in their handbags. However, it is not the most efficient way to carry supplements or vitamins. Instead, think about investing in a specialized pill container.
These containers contain separate compartments where you can store and mark pills for your day or night dosage. There are leather compact cases also available for the same. Doing so will help you stay more organized, keep all vitamins in one place, and remind you to take them on time. This option is more suitable than storing multiple pill bottles for a short trip.
5. Prioritize Hard Vitamins
If you carry vitamins along, try and look for hard vitamins. These are pills that you can either chew or consume with water. They are usually passed by the TSA officials without extra interrogation and are considered safe. You don’t have to worry about getting questioned with hard vitamins.
Also, they can be easily stored in sealed plastic bags even if no containers are available. You don’t have to worry about the pills breaking. Even if the vitamin fractures into two or more pieces, you can easily consume them. Unlike powdered supplements, you don’t need a tumbler, milk, or water to make a solution in this case.
6. Only Buy Vitamins Available in Good Quality Containers
Are you looking to save some money and not buy an additional container? After all, getting a special case only for a couple of days seems irrelevant with all the travel expenses. In that case, you can entirely skip this additional purchase.
That works well if you have already invested in vitamins available in high-quality containers. These packages are designed to ensure optimal temperature at all times, thus preventing vitamins from being melted. These bottles mention there’s no need to constantly place the vitamins in a refrigerator. Also, the pills don’t easily break when the luggage is knocked around in the carry-on bag or checked-in baggage.
7. Pick the Soft Gel Vitamins Meticulously
The supplements or vitamins you need may only be available in the form of soft gels. Now, it might raise suspicion about whether you are allowed to carry them on a flight or not.
According to the TSA, there are no strict rules against carrying soft gel vitamins on a plane. However, there is always a risk of soft gel capsules melting and turning into a sticky, messy substance. To avoid such conditions, you should ensure high-quality capsules are purchased.
8. Think of Buying Water-Soluble Vitamins
You might have noticed some people face trouble swallowing pills or medications. Now, when you are on vacation, it is not recommended to risk choking under any circumstances. To avoid any such situations, you can look into purchasing water-soluble vitamins or supplements.
Available in a powdered form, these vitamins can be added to a glass of water and consumed easily. Remember, some supplements only mix with milk, and it is better to avoid them for travel purposes. You can easily source water anywhere, but getting milk can be a bit of a hassle.
9. Look for Vitamins That Help You Stay Physically Fit
The whole purpose of consuming vitamins is to boost your immunity and positively impact your health. As such, always opt for natural supplements packed with magnesium, vitamin D, or elderberry.
These supplements will keep you fit and give you extra energy to climb steep mountains or live in the wilderness. Magnesium-infused vitamins will ensure you’re properly rested after a good night’s sleep and prevent jet lag symptoms.
International and Local Laws for Carrying Vitamins
If you travel strictly inside the US, you will fall under the TSA regulations. As such, you are most likely permitted to carry vitamins along. However, along with some prescription medicines, certain states might also restrict the usage of supplements or vitamins. Therefore, it is always better to check individual state regulations.
Similarly, always confirm the rules and regulations if you are traveling out of the country. You can do that by checking their official airport security portals online or contacting an official working there.
More and more people have started consuming vitamins or health supplements regularly. However, trouble arises when you want to travel via flight. With strict regulations about what you can or cannot carry, you might feel skeptical before carrying vitamins.
As per the official TSA guidelines, there is no reason why you can’t carry vitamins along. The only restriction you might face is due to liquid vitamins. Liquids are only allowed in a 3.4-ounce container packed in a resealable bag. Additionally, you can only carry one container per hand luggage.
Apart from that, there is no need to worry about safely carrying supplements or vitamins along.
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