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Gym Bag Essentials You Didn’t Know You Needed

An open gym bag
New Africa/Shutterstock.com

You’re on the treadmill, and your phone dies during your favorite song! You leave the gym and find that your face is a little more sweaty than you’d like to be for your 1 pm conference call. You deadlift to the point that your low back starts to feel a little funky.

Being prepared at the gym allows you to make the most of your workout time so that you can maximize your efforts, and work towards achieving your workout goals. The last thing you want to happen to is to feel drained and dehydrated, without your favorite Spotify playlist, or feel too stiff to make your workout successful.

Having a successful workout is reliant on many factors, including having a positive mindset, a plan, eating well, and staying hydrated! Having a bag packed with all of the essentials and then some will up your level of preparedness and your mindset. Whether you are returning to workout after a long break, or you’re a seasoned pro, you’ll want to have these items in your bag.

Collapsable Water Bottle

A woman places a Hydaway water bottle into her backpack.

It’s not the hardest thing to remember your standard water bottle for your visit to the gym, but you probably haven’t considered popping a collapsible water bottle in your gym bag.

Since the average water bottle takes up a lot of space when empty, packing this Hydaway Collapsible Water Bottle will ensure you get in all of your hydration while you cycle, without taking up additional space in your bag, when you don’t need it.

HYDAWAY Collapsible Water Bottle

The ultimate water bottle for travel and the gym.

Nuun Sport Electrotyles

Nuun Sport Electrolytes are displayed among fruit, and a woman puts a Nuun electrolyte into a bottle of water.

Staying hydrated keeps you moving, but adding in electrolytes will take your hour at the gym to new heights. Nuun Sport Electrolyte Drink Tablets are packed with magnesium, potassium, and calcium, three supplements known for optimizing energy and performance.

Popping a few Nuun tablets into your collapsible water bottle before you start your session will heighten your energy and take your workout to the next level!

Nuun Sport: Electrolyte Drink Tablets

Boost those hydration levels with these flavored tablets.

Portable iPhone Charger

An Apple MagSafe charger is on the back of an iPhone.

If your gym session is scheduled in the middle of a busy work day, chances are, your iPhone battery could already be on the low side. To ensure nothing interrupts your ability to jam to your favorite songs on the elliptical, you might want to consider purchasing the Apple MagSafe Battery Pack.

While this portable iPhone charger is on the pricey side, it’s best to pair Apple products with Apple chargers to ensure your battery isn’t drained by a third-party product. The Apple MagSafe Battery Pack provides safe, wireless charging for your iPhone on the go and is compatible with iPhone 12 through iPhone 14 Max.

Apple MagSafe Battery Pack

Read Review Geek's Full Review

Never let your phone die with this battery pack.

Locking Carabiner

Carabiners are attached to a wire basket, and a person has a carabiner on a backpack.

You can’t go wrong with having a carabiner on hand. Whether you are looking for a convenient place to hook your portable water bottle on the side of your gym bag, or maybe to loop your wallet safely on the inside of your bag, you’ll be glad to have this. It adds an element of safety and practicality to any gym session.

Hometu Combination Locking Carabiner

Our rec for a locking Carabiner!

Peanut Massage Ball

A person uses a massage ball on their back, and a person adds a massage ball to a bag.
5 Billion Fitness

Whether you prefer to roll it out before, during, or after your workout, the Peanut Massage Ball is a must-have not only in your gym bag, but in your daily bag, and travel bag too. It is the perfect trigger point release ball to help combat inflammation in your body quickly! You will be glad to have this tool for not just the gym, but your everyday self-care routine, even if you only have a few minutes.

5BILLION FITNESS Peanut Massage Ball

The best massage ball on the market.

Long Theraband

A woman using a Hoocan Theraband to workout her arms and three Hoocan Therabands in orange, green and blue
Hoocan Resistance Bands

Having one long theraband, or resistance band, is a must-have for your gym bag because prehab and rehab exercises before and after your main session can be just as important as your main exercise. A Theraband is a versatile tool that you can use with just your body weight as well as simple structures like door handles, pull-up bars, and other common places at your local gym.

Carving out a few minutes with your theraband before and after your workout will help optimize your warm-up and cool-down.

Resistance Bands Set

The only Theraband you'll need in your gym bag.

Face Wipes

A woman wiping her face with Neutrogena Hydro Boost face wipes

By the time you finish your session, chances are you’ll be a little sweaty. In addition to the deodorant you probably already thought to pack, pop in a pack of face wipes to freshen up before the next part of your day. Neutrogena’s HydroBoost is packed with hyaluronic acid to help rehydrate your pores.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Facial Cleansing Towelettes

The best face wipes for a mid-day refresh!

Hand Sanitizer

Someone putting hand sanitizer on

Lastly, it definitely won’t hurt to pack a portable hand sanitizer in your gym bag. Staying on top of your germ game will help ensure you can keep up your routine- regardless of all the equipment you might have your hands on as you work out!

Purell Advanced Hand Sanitizer Refreshing Gel

Handy pack of hand sanitizer for your gym bags, and all bags!

Your workout session relies more on your own stamina, focus, and dedication than anything single product, but these eight essentials will help optimize your sessions to ensure you make the progress you desire, and keep coming back!

Jenn Vigh Jenn Vigh
Jenn is a pilates and yoga instructor, an aerialist, and a travel blogger with 5 years of experience in nonprofit communications, and over 10 years of experience writing, teaching, training, performing and collaborating with creatives across the globe. For the last 6 years, her American home-base has been Austin, TX, where she’s worked with the aerial dance company, Blue Lapis Light, and enjoyed the sunshine with her world-traveling yorkipoo, Sheila. Read Full Bio »
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