When packing a gym bag, you need to strike the right balance of stuff. Having too much stuff is a hassle, and being underprepared could mean staying in a sweat-drenched shirt while you run a last-minute errand. So we put together what we think is the most convenient packing list.
#1 Magnesium Muscle RubFor new lifters, magnesium is a MUST. Its anti-inflammatory properties can be absorbed transdermally (through the skin), so if you pick up a quality spray or rub, you can help prevent excessive soreness. The mineral also works wonders for achy joints.
#2 Travel-Sized ProteinAfter a rigorous workout, protein powder keeps hunger away and gives muscles the fuel they need. We like our 15-serving Nourish Protein bags for pack n’ go occasions. Unlike the giant container, it’s a lot easier to carry and takes up less room in the duffel. It also tastes delicious and it's vegan.
If you prefer to save the protein shake for another time of day, pack one of our Nourish Superfood Bars. Eating after a workout is really important for muscles to recover and replenish their glycogen stores.
#3 A Shaker Bottle for Protein ONLYA water bottle that doubles as a shaker bottle practically begs for drama. When you do, the protein shake is either preventing you from filling up the bottle with water, or the water tastes/smells like protein. We recommend prepping your post-workout shake (filled with plant-based milk) and packing it away. Keep your water bottle handy and for H2O only.
We don’t recommend pre-mixing your protein powder though. Once the protein has been mixed with a liquid it begins to break down the protein into amino acids. This causes the mixture to turn rancid in about two hours if it is kept at room temperature.
#4 Extra Hair Ties or Head WrapAny pressed look, glue-in, or other style that takes too long to do and costs too much to ruin, is doomed by sweat. Luckily there's a fix.
Wrapping your hair tightly, pre-sweat sesh. When you're done working out, leave it on until the sweat dries up. When you remove the head wrap it should be somewhat in tack, and prevent frizziness. Personally, we found it the most effective hack to keep a style in place.
#5 A Change of ClothesThis one is obvious, but for those who don't, here's a compelling reason: you have an errand pop-up, post-workout, but you're wearing a hot dog eating contest shirt from the 1990s, complete with a 30-year-old mustard stain. Or it's 20 degrees outside, but you're wearing a sweat-soaked t-shirt that's sticking to your back and it feels like 10 degrees.
At least pack a spare shirt, even if you’re showering at home.
#6 Charging Cables and a Portable ChargerIt's been too many times to count that we've slipped on our headphones at the gym and realized they were dead. Nothing kills a workout faster than silence, at least for us. A small portable battery and a short cable for the grab n’ go gym bag is a LIFESAVER.
#7 DeodorantYou may plan on showering, or you may not, but does everyone have to "smell" that you've been to the gym? Do unto others what you would have others do unto you. If you wouldn’t want to spend an hour commuting while smelling your neighbor, then don’t be that person who smells. The world is a much better place with deodorant and politeness.
#8 An Elastic BandageSometimes accidents happen, whether it's rolling your ankle or tweaking your knee. Having a wrap handy is a hairSAVER. There's nothing more frustrating than limping home with a new injury. Even if you only use the wrap once out of 100 training sessions, it doesn't weigh much or take up much room. You’ll be super grateful for this if you ever find yourself in a situation where you need it.
#9 A Keyless LockBetter safe than sorry. Put the combination code in your phone notes and secure your belongings. Nothing ruins a stellar workout faster than finding out your stuff has been stolen or losing the lock key.
Bonus: Don't forget to pack a small 'sweat towel'.