Traveling is best enjoyed in an optimal state of health, and taking health supplements can help you stay in peak physical condition. But can you take supplements on a plane? Read along to find out how to take supplements onboard and store them with you.
Are Supplements Allowed On A Plane?
Thankfully, flying with dietary supplements will not be an issue as the TSA allows passengers to store them in either their checked luggage or carry-on bags, whichever form of luggage would be a more convenient carrier of your choice.
Hard capsules are ideal for bringing since they are the easiest to carry along. If you’re heading out, you can place those supplements into a small plastic bag, which will likely remain intact. Even if the hard caps break into smaller pieces, you can still take them — breaking them down won’t reduce their efficacy.
Since there are no restrictions set on the number of supplements you can take on a plane, you can pack your bag full of supplements and get cleared, although, in some cases, the TSA agent may have to ask you some questions.
According to the TSA, only solid supplements (capsules, gummies, tablets, or gelcaps) are allowed to be stored in carry-on bags in large amounts. If the supplements you’ve brought along are in liquid form, they might be subjected to further screening or even restrictions.
Any liquid supplement must go in your quart bag with your other toiletries and should be under 3.4 oz (100ml). You must show your liquid vitamins and prescription to the TSA officer if they exceed that amount. While these are the general rules, the TSA officer at the checkpoint always has the final say.
Soft Liquid Gels
The TSA still classifies soft gel capsules as solids, so they aren’t subjected to liquid restrictions. However, the problem with supplements that come in soft gel capsules is that they can potentially melt.
If you’re traveling to a tropical tourist destination, your soft gel capsules may start to melt before you reach your lodgings. Sometimes, the capsules tend to congeal into one big, sticky blob. So these capsules should be stored at room temperature in a cool, dry place and away from direct sunlight. Try putting an ice pack inside your bag or luggage, wherever you choose to store your liquid gels.
Like liquid vitamins, homeopathic sprays also fall under the 3-1-1 rule and must be packed in a clear plastic quart-sized bag.
While planning your trip, you should consider how you want to store the supplements inside your carry-on bag. The best option is to invest in containers like pill cases (for solid medications), a popular and convenient option for people on the go. But it’s equally valid to just throw some vitamin pills in a resealable plastic bag.
Another way of storing supplements is simply using their original containers. These containers protect the medicine from heat, air, light, or moisture. Exposure to these elements may affect the stability of the formulation and the active ingredient, which can alter the safety and effectiveness of the supplement.
As most medications require a cool and dry environment to be stored in, consider bringing an ice pack wherever you choose to store your supplements.
Can you bring supplements on a plane? Yes, you can. The TSA recommends a few storage practices, such as packing vitamins in carry-on luggage and labeling to avoid confusion, but there are few regulations. The rules are usually the same whether you are flying domestically or internationally.
You should only consider the legality of your supplements at your target destination. If you have any doubts, check the local laws of your destination country.