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It’s a common routine for anyone to carry a gym bag who goes to the gym regularly. You might keep a pre-packed gym bag in your car or bedroom that you can just pick up while you’re heading to the gym. Some gym-goers even have different gym bags at the ready for their different types of workouts. While packing your gym bag, it’s normal to forget some essential gym gears. So, to prevent these mishaps, here is a checklist of “must-haves” essentials for every gym bag with a few pro items to stow away just in case.
Before getting the things to pack your gym bag, consider picking the right gym bag that fits your needs. It doesn’t make any sense to carry a gym bag that’s too big or try to put all your gym essentials into a gym bag that is too small. The right-sized gym bag will carry all of the essential things you need for the gym and be mobile enough to carry on public transportation if needed. Also, your gym bag’s strap should be adjustable and rest comfortably on your shoulder without cutting in.
Essential Gym Gears to Carry in Your Gym Bag
- Gym Shoes
There is nothing worse than getting to the gym and realizing that you forgot to pack your gym shoes. Seriously, how are you supposed to get through your gym workouts with no shoes? So, when you’re assembling your gym bag, always make sure to pack your gym sports shoes first.
- Workout Clothes
There is nothing more aggravating than forgetting an important piece of workout cloth. A missing pair of socks can turn a productive workout into a mess. Depending on your workout types, some essential workout clothes to pack in your gym bag may include:
- Clean and appropriate innerwear and/or sports outfit
- Fresh pair of gym socks, Umbrella (Optional)
- Headgear (e.g., headband, hair tie/clip, or a cap)
- Goves, Belt, Knee wraps, wrist wraps ( Depends on your workout type and schedule)
- Workout top and bottoms (shorts, sweatpants, or leggings)
- Microfiber Gym Towel
Using a gym towel is not only hygienic, but it’s also good manners because even if you don’t overtly sweat, any moisture left behind might be felt by the next person using that gym equipment. A microfiber cotton towel is usually the best option for a gym towel as the fibres are extremely absorbent and will dry faster in a short amount of time.
- Pre-Workout ( Optional )
A pre-workout is any supplement that boosts workout performance if you consume it beforehand (apparently taken around 30 minutes before your workout). Pre-workout is usually a powder drink mix, but also available in the forms of capsule, chews, capsules, powders, canned drinks, and colourful liquid. The pre-workout supplement supports energy and focuses so that you can blast through your gym workouts and see better results. Make sure know what you are consuming for the morning ( Stim) and evening workouts ( Non stim’s) as the pre-workout.
- Compact Clean Towel
Always make sure to bring your own clean & fresh towel from your home for your after-workout use. Many fitness companies make compact microfiber towels that are perfect for gym use. Simply, pick your favourite colour and throw it in your gym bag before heading to the gym.
- Cleansing Wipes
Cleansing wipes can be a lifesaver after your gym workout. From removing sweats to acting as an impromptu body odour neutralizer (no judgment!), cleansing wipes are a must-have for any gym bag.
- Reusable Water Bottle
Staying hydrated is important during gym workouts, so, always make sure to keep a water bottle close by during your workout session. Reusable water bottles are most recommended as they are eco-friendly and keep your water colder for longer.
Pro Gym Gears to Carry in Your Gym Bag
A protein shaker bottle is best compatible with gym-goers or those who take fitness and health seriously. It’s absolutely essential to pick the right one as they’re best for making shakes on-the-run without making a mess and embarrassing yourself. Use this shaker bottle for your Intra workout liquids ( BCAA, EAA, Creatine ) or Post-workout essentials Liquid’s ( Protein shake, Juice, recovery, etc)
- Sanitiser & Wipes
Even though handwashing is the most effective way to kill germs on our hands, alcohol-based hand sanitisers are a good alternative. During the current COVID-19 situation it’s really essential to carry your own sanitiser & wipes to keep yourself hygienic and protected from infections.
It’s a pretty obvious thing to have in your gym bag. Keep your body odour at bay before, after, and during your gym workout by swiping your underarms with a lightly scented deodorant. Whether you go with vegan formula or opt for a clinical option, just make sure your deodorant is always on hand.
- Headphone and smartwatch
Music helps you to “get into the zone” and pace your workout. If you don’t enjoy the music plays at your gym, bring along your smartphone or music player with your favourite tunes and don’t forget your headphone. Also, make sure that your device is fully charged to last for your workout. Plus, find a way to securely carry your device and keep it dry while your workout. The same applies to your smartwatch to track your workout results.
- Intra Workout
As the name suggests, Intra workout supplements are taken during the gym workouts to maximize your performance. BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids), Amino, Creatine, etc are the most popular intra workout supplements. But, intra workout available in different forms like a powder that you can add to water, a premixed/easy-to-pour liquid, or a capsule that you can quickly swallow in the middle of your workout session. Intra workout helps you to sculpt your ideal physique and reach your specific fitness goals. Alternatively, you can prepare a delicious natural Intra workout drink using Himalayan Salt, Lemon, Honey, Chia seeds and water.
Bananas are a great food to eat after your gym workout. Bananas have good kinds of fast-acting carbs, so, it can reduce inflammation and restore your muscle glycogen which promotes quicker recovery. Altogether, bananas are a great snack you can enjoy immediately after your gym workout.
- Vitamin C (Optional)
Researches show that taking vitamin C before or after a workout can minimize the catabolic stress response and speed your recovery. Take 1000-3000mg (1-3g) dosage of vitamin C in the divided amount of doses throughout your workout day, and make sure to take 1000mg vitamin C just before or just after your workout.
I wrote these tips based on my own experience and the research that I have done with Sri Lankan fitness enthusiasts. When you go to a gym, you can’t simply take your workout clothes and a water bottle, you need some essential gears to make your workout more effective. And, the above-listed handy and pro gym essentials can make your pre, during and post-gym workout experience a better one. Also, wash your gloves, belt, knee pad and straps using proper antibacterial laundry detergent at least twice a week. Well, That’s all from my ned now. So, do you have any special gear in your gym bag? Let me know in the comments!