Travel

Don’t be surprised when this fitness food staple is confiscated by TSA’s explosives specialist

It makes air travel whey too complicated.

Add protein powder to the mile-long list of items that make flying a huge hassle. Social media users are venting about getting flagged by the Transportation Security Administration while trying to this granulated muscle builder onboard.

“Keeping America safe by getting an explosive expert to test my wife’s protein powder,” snarked one social media user in an X post addressed to the TSA. “Current wait time >20 minutes.”

“I just got yanked aside by TSA,” said another. “The shaker cup packed with protein powder was the red flag.”

“TSA found my protein powder and called in the explosives specialist,” said comic Danny Polishchuk. “Shows in Dallas all weekend!

Woman with protein.
“Powder-like substances greater than 12 oz. / 350 mL must be placed in a separate bin for X-ray screening,” the TSA advises. Pixel-Shot – stock.adobe.com

What makes protein powders such a hot ticket item for the TSA? The myriad specific protocols one must undergo before bringing it on board.

Despite being allowed in both carry-on and checked luggage, protein and energy powders are treated like quasi-liquids in that any “greater than 12 oz. / 350 mL must be placed in a separate bin for X-ray screening,” per the Transportation Security Administration website.

Even still, these performance-enhancing substances might be subject to additional screening, the TSA notes.

Airport security checkpoint.
“Keeping America safe by getting an explosive expert to test my wife’s protein powder,” snarked one social media user in an X post addressed to the TSA. “Current wait time >20 minutes.” Mihail – stock.adobe.com

In light of the myriad hurdles, the TSA advises travelers to place non-essential powders greater than 12 oz. in checked bags.

Also be sure to refrain from adding water to protein powders before traveling.

This makes them a liquid and therefore subject to the TSA’s beverage regulations, which stipulate that any “liquid or gel food items larger than 3.4 oz are not allowed in carry-on bags.”

To maximize chances of getting their powdered muscle milk off the no-fly list, travelers can put the aforementioned amount in labeled bags to make them easy for airport screeners to identify.

In other words, the juice shouldn’t be loose.

Passengers can also switch to protein bars, which don’t take up much space and aren’t subject to the same stringent security regulations.

Of course, size restrictions for protein powders may vary depending on the country of departure.