Working out is not just about burning calories and building muscle. There is a lot of bodily maintenance involved when you’re hitting the gym. Although exercise has many health benefits, there are a few setbacks to prepare for in advance. One unpleasant setback may have to do with how much you sweat.
To keep your sweat, odor, and electrolyte depletion from getting in the way of your workout, here are five workout survival must-haves for your gym bag.
1. A Water Bottle
Some people think you should have a water bottle with you at all times while you work out. Others do just fine keeping water handy in their gym bag.
Whichever camp you fall into, what matters is that water is essential to stay hydrated. Your body is releasing tons of water from physical exercise. We all naturally chug down water when we’re thirsty, but most of us don’t get enough water each day. One solution is to get a funky water bottle that motivates you to hydrate, especially during your workouts.
Find a water bottle that inspires you to crush your workouts and replenish afterward. Keep it in your gym bag for safekeeping.
2. A Cotton Towel
To effectively wipe down all the sweat you’ve released from exercising, keep a cotton towel in your gym bag. Cotton is one of the most gentle fabrics for the skin, and it also happens to be great at picking up grease and grime (like your sweat).
You can go for a full body towel or a wash-cloth-sized towel to keep things more convenient for on-the-go workouts. Sweat can sting and burn if it sits on the skin for too long, so, to keep feeling good post-workout, dry off with a cotton towel right away.
3. Cooling Fabric Socks
As you’re moving your body, your feet are growing hotter and hotter. Help those puppies stay cool with cooling fabric socks. The lighter material will hug your feet with less intensity than regular socks, giving your feet more room to breathe as you exercise. Keep an extra pair in your gym bag if you work up a sweat and need to refresh your feet.
4. A Body Mist
After a workout, you probably don’t smell that great. Whether or not you have time to hit the showers, keep a body mist with you to cover up any unpleasant odors released from exercise.
Many body mists are created specifically for sensitive skin. They often do not contain perfumes or fragrances if that is needed as well. You can find botanical blends and essential oil mists at any bath and beauty store near you. Keep one of these in your gym bag to spritz on after a sweaty workout.
5. An Electrolyte Supplement
When you sweat, you release water and minerals. You need to replenish your minerals as they are essential to your health. Pick up any sports drink or electrolyte powder of preference and keep a bottle or packet in your gym bag to refuel and recover after your workout.
You can even find sugar-free options for those on low-carb diets. If you go the packet route, remember to keep some extra water in your water bottle for the end, so you have some liquid left over to shake up your supplement.
The Bottom Line
Your gym bag is your workout survival kit. Make sure you have these essentials stocked to avoid extra sweat, odor, and nutritional depletion. You’ve got this!