10 Things You Should Always Have in Your Gym Bag

Packing your gym bag for tomorrow? Self has everything you need to stock inside.

shutter stock

We've all been there—you get to the gym ready to sweat only to find out that you've forgotten something that's essential to your workout. Luckily most gyms have got you covered…for a serious cost. ($12 pair of socks, I'm looking at you.) To avoid these mishaps and make it even easier to get to the gym, Cait Weingartner of Pretty & Fun pulled together an easy cheat sheet of what you should always have stashed in your gym bag. (BTW, if you need a gym bag, these options are crazy-chic.) It'll save you during those rough early mornings when you only have a minute to pull it together.

  1. Water Bottle: Yeah, this may be a duh for some of you, but it's one of the most important items you could—and should always—have. Having an empty, reusable water bottle that you can refill on the fly will make sure you're always able to hydrate (and it's a more ecofriendly option than the plastic bottles many studios provide). I'm a big fan of the Contigo AutoSeal Water Bottle ($11).
  2. Face Wipes: Give your face a good swipe before and after you sweat to help fight breakouts and make sure you're not that girl with a full-face of smearing makeup during a cardio class or running on the treadmill. The ones from Simple ($5) won't cause any irritation to even the most sensitive-skinned; editors' picks here.
  3. Dry Shampoo: No shower at your gym? No problem! Easily make the transition from your workout to the day ahead with a few sprays of dry shampoo and a chic, messy topknot. SELF's 10 best dry shampoos here.
  4. BB or CC Cream: The perfect no-makeup makeup that moisturizes your face post-workout and add some subtle coverage to help reduce redness and cover any imperfections. Some SELF editors' picks for top CC creams here.
  5. Nutrition Bar: Avoid the hangry and make sure you've fueled for your sweat sesh by prepping your bag with some snacks that can be easily munched on the go. SELF's whipped up the best bars for every activity, too.
  6. Extra Tank Top: A fresh shirt will be appreciated when you walk out of class to find a text with a brunch invitation or to keep you dry on your walk home after an especially intense or hot workout. Stay on trend with a cropped style if you feel the urge to flaunt it (and why shouldn't you!)
  7. Lip Balm: Dry lips during a workout never feel good (and we tend to suffer from 'em frequently). Plus, chapstick isn't exactly something you can borrow from your locker room neighbor. Apply before and after your workout to keep your lips hydrated.
  8. Towel: Sweat in your eyes is a bummer. Slippery yoga-mat hands are also a bummer. And, avoid that pesky or slipping hands on your yoga mat are never fun. Avoid the "towel rental fee" (seriously?!) by having your own stashed in your bag at all times—microfiber is a great option because it absorbs big time yet dries quickly.
  9. Baby Wipes + Deodorant: The secret dream team for freshening up on the fly. Wipe down any particularly sweaty areas and reapply deodorant to prevent being stinky.
  10. Pair of Socks: Trying to work out without socks is never pretty. Stash a spare pair to prevent any mishaps; especially during the summer months where you're likely to be wearing flip-flops.