Is Protein Powder FSA Eligible if It’s for Weight Loss?

Whether you’re focused on getting your body ready for the beach or you’re working on your health goals, losing weight may be on your to-do list. If you've been working out at a gym, you may have overheard other gym-goers talking about having a protein shake after their workouts. Which may have left you wondering: is protein powder FSA eligible? Protein shakes are considered nutritional supplements, and unfortunately you cannot use your flexible spending account (FSA) towards these. We get many questions about FSA eligibility at, as people often wonder why protein powder is not considered an FSA eligible expense.

What's FSA eligible?

The IRS officially determines FSA eligibility, and does not recognize most nutritional supplements, herbal supplements or even multivitamins as eligible medical expenses. Vitamins and nutritional supplements (protein powder included) are generally considered to be items you would take to maintain general good health, rather than for medical care, and are not eligible (with the exception of prenatal vitamins and glucosamine/chondroitin products for joint pain). So, you would not get reimbursed for these items with your FSA. However, if you have a Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN) provided by your physician or other medical practitioner recommending a specific vitamin or nutritional supplement for the treatment of a medical condition like obesity, the expense may qualify.

Even though protein powder isn't generally an FSA eligible expense, there are other eligible items that can help you manage pain during and after your next workout!

Consider this list of FSA eligible products:

If you're interested in losing weight for health reasons, it's best to speak with your doctor beforehand. He or she will be able to assess your situation and see what programs or regiments will help. And if you're interested in involving your FSA with that weight loss goal, you definitely want to check in with your FSA administrator on what might qualify.-

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