As a fitness junkie, I know traveling with supplements is a niche topic only a few may care about. My obsession with supplements on the road is a rarity, but for the few people that will find the topic interesting, I’ll break down exactly how to hit the road with your favorite supplements intact. I’ve been traveling with way too many supplements for awhile now.
First thing you need to know: they won’t confiscate your supplements if they’re in carry on. There’s no TSA issue when traveling with supplements. Any and all pills and powders will be fine. Even liquids under three ounces should be fine.
I know people who carry on vials of testosterone around the world and never have had an issue. Your multi-vitamins and pre-workout won’t be a problem.
So you’re traveling with supplements? Here are a few tips:
Do: Pack Pre-Workout
Pre-workout is the most important supplement for travelers. See, there’s a good shot you’ll be boozing while on the road. Whether you’re hitting the road for vacation or on a business trip, boozing is expected. And with booze comes lower energy in the gym.
The easiest way to combat this is a little pre-workout. Pre-workout gives you the stimulants you need to kill the gym while hungover. Plus, a good pre-workout will have ingredients that ensure a solid pump and lead to muscle growth – even when you’re abusing alcohol.
I’ve always believed what you do before hitting the gym is more important than what you do after. Even if you’re feeling like ass, a solid pre-workout will ensure you get a good workout whenever you want. If you’re cutting, I like this one. It’s great for guys and girls. If you want to add some size, this is the best pre-workout I’ve ever tried (out of 15 or so).
Don’t: Pack Protein Powder
Honestly, f*ck protein powder. Protein powder has to be the most overrated supplement of all time. I’ll take it when I have a home base or I’m at home. But if I’m traveling around at a brisk pace, I’ll ax protein powder before any other supplement. It’s just not that important.
Plus, protein powder takes up an insane amount of space in your luggage. If you’re on a week or two trip, you may want to fill a few baggies with protein powder. For long-term travel, you’d be an idiot to try and pack a big tub of protein. I’d know – I tried to back in the day. Not a great decision.
If you have a pre-workout full of active ingredients and stimulants, then you’ll be able to keep your size or gain more with the pre-workout and a solid diet. After all, there’s protein in food. Just up your meat consumption on the road and don’t fret about bringing protein powder.
Do: Pack Your Pills
While axing the protein powder is an awesome idea, you’ll definitely want to pack your pills. Pills are tiny and it’s easy to bring a month(s) supply of pills in a tiny space. I’d start with pills that give you the most bang for your buck and then work backward. Multivitamins and fish oil come to mind right off the bat.
On short trips, I’ve seen many travelers pack their daily pills in little bags. This works well, but can be tedious when packing for a two or three-week trip. Personally, I’ve found a pill organizer to be a great investment. You can fit 2-4 weeks of seven different pills in this one case. While it’s not tiny, it gives you a lot more bang for you buck that packing bottles.
Don’t: Pack Bottles
Which leads me to my next point, don’t pack bottles! Bottles take up way to much space in your luggage and rarely use said space efficiently. If you’re packing for a long trip, then you may want to buy a few months worth of one supplement and then put everything into one bottle. Your goal being to fill it to the absolute brim.
For short trips, bottles are an absolute no-go. Never bring bottles when you can easily put the pills in an organizer or a few plastic baggies. I’ve packed bottles on bottles before and ended up lugging around more luggage than anyone ever should.
I had so much luggage backpackers poked fun at me. I looked dumb, but not that dumb. My friend would chime in, “I’d make fun of you even more for your packing style, but you haul it around easily. I’ve seen tiny girls with just as much luggage as you and they always had to get help.”
Do: Expect to Buy Things For Longer Trips
You can’t pack everything if you’re traveling for 3-12 months. It simply impossible to pack light and pack all the supplements you need to live overseas. Don’t even try. If you’ll be on the road, then expect to buy things on the road. You won’t have access to an Amazon.com type of selection, but you’ll find most places have health shops with the basics.
Here’s what I do: bring as much of the specialty items you like to take. Then get basics while you’re there. For instance, my multivitamin and fish oil are from specific brands you can only get on Amazon. So I bring a bunch of them when I travel on longer trips. However, I know I’ll be able to find vitamin d and zinc in most countries I’ll travel to. So I don’t pack those and buy them when I arrive. Same goes for protein powder.
Don’t: Think You’ll Have Access to Everything
Let me reiterate: Amazon gives us access to nearly every legal supplement in the world. It’s incredibly useful and makes things simple. You won’t have access to an Amazon type selection anywhere else in the world. Not even close! So understand that long-term travel will require you to change your supplement routine or pay hefty courier fees to ship exactly what you want into your current county.
Do: Pack Your Smart Drugs
If you take Modafinil or another smart drug, you’ll definitely want to pack it. It’s rare you’ll have access to any type of smart drug in foreign countries. They’re just not that popular outside of western countries. Plus, you can pack a few months supply of Modafinil in a tiny space. I traveled with a year-long supply and it took up nothing in my luggage.
My first trip, I tried to pack ever part of my supplement routine into my suitcase. Pre-workouts, pills, protein powders, apple cider vinegar, and more. I legit had a giant suitcase completely filled with supplements. It was asinine. Looking back, I’m baffled I traveled around with so many supplements. It was crazy.
Pack your most important supplements, but don’t get carried away. Don’t use a larger suitcase to bring more supplements. Fit what you can and make do with what doesn’t fit. Then don’t worry about it. You’ll live without that special brand of shark cartilage you’ve been taking three times daily. I promise.
Do: Pack Sleeping Aids
Lastly, you’ll ALWAYS want to bring your sleep aids. Traveling is full of unknowns. From random noises in the middle of the night to noisy neighbors to the stressors of sleeping in a different bed every night – it can be difficult to find the ideal sleep routine on the road.
So you must do everything you can to ensure you stay in a sleeping rhythm. This means bringing sleeping pills, earplugs and some way to generate white noise. Whether you prefer melatonin, 5-HTP, or ZMA – using a mild sleeping pill will help regulate your sleep on the road.
The combination of a white noise app on your phone and earplugs will ensure you’ll block out most of the random noises coming that can be found while on the road.
Traveling With Supplements – Overall
Traveling with supplements can be complex, and these are some of my best tips to help you do just that. By following the guidelines above, you’ll stay in a supplement routine while still packing light. Do you have any tips when traveling with supplements is the topic? Sound off in the comments.
Travel junkie turned blogger. Location independent. From the Midwest, but often based in Latin America. Big on beaches, rumba, and rum. Addicted to the gym. Committed to showing a different style of travel - one that involves actually interacting with locals and exploring different cultures.