T Nation

Supplements on the Plane!


So I'm traveling to Europe in a week, and I'm wondering what can I take with me. I'm leaving for 3 weeks.
And just like, I don't know what to do, because I cant take whole tubs of supps with me, and I don't really want to have ziploc bags filled with white powders in my suitcases.

How did you guys handle this? Should I just get the supps over there?
What is legal to take with you? (I've heard they confiscate tubs of protein upon coming back to USA. However don't know how true this is)

Thankies <3


I've never gone out of the country with supps, but I've gone to Vegas twice with some Grow with me. I got those "lulz we serached ur bagz u isn't terorist kthxbai" notices on the way back the 2nd time, with a whole damn tub of Grow! Whey, so I guess they didn't mind.

Maybe you could ship some over and avoid the searches? Like, measure out how much you'll need, ship it there, and use it up so that you don't bring any back. Obviously, you won't need to mess with that with like your Flameout or something, but that might be the way to go with Surge or your whey.


I have not flown out of the country yet either but I fly frequently going back to school. Long as the supplements are not liquid, I believe you wonâ??t have any trouble.

However, being a dark South East Asian guy, growing out my beard makes me look like a terrorist. I have tons of trouble!

So I think you will be fine. :stuck_out_tongue:


I've flown between Canada and the US with Fish oil, BCAA's and whey in a ziplock bag and wasn't bothered (stored in checked in luggage).


I've been to canada with protein and fish oils...no issues.


I wouldn't try to take supps with me. Some protein bars may not cause any problems, but pills and powders very often will. It differs from country to county, though. Germany, e.g., confiscates tons of pills and powders each year.

Where will you travel to?

You'll find bodybuilding/health food stores in all western european countries. Maybe you're better off buying the supps you need directly in the country you travel to.
If you're coming to Switzerland, I can help you with that, of course.



as suggested by Shugart, empty containers for Superfood, creatine, leucine, etc. work dandy for a couple servings of protein. you'll still have tubs of white powder, but this way will reduce the amount of space they take up in your bag if that's part of the concern.


Never out of the country, but I've had protein bars in my carry on, and powders/pills in the checked baggage.

word of caution, don't think that a top on a tub of Metabolic Drive won't come loose. LOL, lesson learned, had chocolate powder all over my clothes. Next time I went I duct taped the lids


I'm actually gonna stop by Geneva and Zurich on my way back. Final flying destination is Vienna, then driving around middle Europe. I'm thinking I'll just buy the stuff there, not worth taking my stuff with me, having it confiscated, and buying the stuff there after all.
And the fact that I'm planning on bringing a few bottles of Absinth back here, makes me not wanna have my bags checked due to having a white powder in a ziploc bag lol


We have loads of supps in europe, i suggest just buying some. If you wanna travel with them and cant fit a whole tub, just put it in a clear container of some kind, also take the label off the tub and keep it with the powder. But the easiest thing would be taking the tub. not too sure about legislation and customs in certain countries though.


I'd bet there's a GNC-like store in EU. Probably a ton less hastle. When I travel I just buy the stuff where ever I'm going.


I've flown a few times with various powders and pills, including a recent trip to Portugal. Just make sure you leave all that stuff in your check-in bags and label it clearly if you put into ziploc bags and you will be fine. It's not like some protein or fish oil is going to get the drug dogs worked up or anything.


Buy stuff there, or just enjoy Europe supplement free, you'll live


I took a new 10lb bag of prot. and a container of creatine to India not to long ago, no issues. I did tape a piece of paper to each clearly labeling incase that would help.


I travel internationally 5x or more per year for my work...tablets are fine, but powders aren't worth taking with you. Even a sealed container with a powder is liable to be opened up and searched. As a most recent case, I was going to west Africa for 3 months and I brought a tub of Surge (the pre-workout kind) with me...it was opened and searched on the US side because it looked weird in the x-ray (when I picked up my luggage, the seal was open and there was a little note from the FAA informing me that my luggage had been opened and searched).

Then, when I arrived in Ghana, the customs guy opened the tub and poked a pen in it a few times (with ungloved hands). After contemplating how many people may have been less than sanitary with something I planned on consuming, I sadly disposed of it. Too bad, because I wanted to check how a high-grade rehydration agent like Surge would do in terms of coping with diseases like malaria or dysentery that debilitate you by massive rapid dehydration.

I've seen good quality nutrition/supplement stores in Europe from Portugal to Russia. Some countries might have bans on a few things...and others will have things that have been pulled from the shelves stateside...but you'll be able to get all your basics and most of your more exotics. Maybe not the exact brand you usually want, but certainly enough to tide you over for 3 weeks.


Thanks guys. This helps. Any other tips for traveling by planes?
Meaning, I'm gonna leave my house at around 3pm and gonna finally arrive at my final destination about 16 hours later. And ever since I got used to eating every 2-3 hours, I can't go w/o food for that long. What snacks do you guys bring on board?


Depends on your standard diet...Biotest's bars are pretty damn good. Other than that, a high-quality trail mix is good (that is, a trail mix that isn't overdosed with too many chocolate bits, extra oils, and extra salt). Nuts in general are a good choice, you don't need too many to fill you up for the next 3 hours. Also, in some grocery stores you can get sealed foil-like packs of tuna and smoked salmon, they lie flat, they're small enough to generally be acceptable for carry-on luggages, and most of the brands don't mess it up with extra oils or multi-syllable mystery additives.

The main argument against that is, after you open the little metal envelope container, it might stink a bit and make you unpopular with whomever's sitting next to you. Add a couple of those mini condiment packs of mustard, relish, or (if your standard diet allows) mayonnaise and you're pretty much set. If it's not too late, also check if your flight offers a specialized dinner -- I've seen an airline offer Zone, low-fat, and low-carb meals if you request them in advance. If you can get that for one meal, the combination of maybe two high-quality MRP type bars and one or two medium (4 oz) sealed fish packets and you're set.


Ive been to over 30 countries in and around Europe during the last 4 years and the only one that gives me a hassle is the USA. I dont take much with me - only salmon oil, multis and protein powder.

The powder I put in a large ziplock (I would guess it is 2-3 pounds) and have it near the top of my bag. Remove it, along with your liquids, belt, shoes, etc. when you pass through security. I always thought it looks bad, but by placing it out in the open for inspection AND telling them it is milk protein powder if they ask (dont say whey...they probably wont know what it is), you are being upfront and security is less likely to think you are trying to get something by then. I have had to go through a secondary search, but I have always been able to take it with me.

As far as snacks on the plane/layovers, I like some mixed nuts, some turkey jerky and a few protein bars.


I'm going to be going to Africa in September and I have the same concerns, I wanna take some HOT-ROX and protein powders with me... maybe some fish oil and multi-v as well.


Where in Africa you heading too?