Being an athlete is practically a part time job. Think of the time you spend riding, running, lifting, doing drills, stretching, driving to and from the gym, taking extra showers and all the extra things that come along with training. Accomplishing this makes a person super busy and constantly on the go. It also requires having fuel on hand at all times to have energy for all the hard workout sessions while on the go.
Enter the gym bag. Think of this piece of equipment not only as a way to carry all your gear but as a cooler, lunch sack and portable pantry as well. To determine what fuel to stash in your gym bag, it's important to consider the following factors: training duration, intensity, temperature, travel time, performance goals and body composition goals.
Suggestions for Your Gym Bag:
- Pick snacks that are easy, portable and mess free. Choose ones with the right protein, carbohydrate, fiber and nutrients for your needs.
- Quick carbohydrates like bananas, chews, gels, fruit pouches and sport drinks are essential for fueling energy needs when intense training lasts more an hour.
- Whole foods should be brought along whenever possible to fuel the in-between of working out, commuting and working.
- Recovery is a big part of a successful workout, so make sure to bring along a powder or pre-mixed protein blend.
- Electrolytes are essential for gym workouts where you sweat more due to warm, dry air. Bring a tablet, pill or drink that is low-calorie with potassium, sodium and magnesium.
- Investing in portable cups, containers, utensils and ice packs will go a long way in keeping your fuel fresh and easy to eat on the go.
Gym Bag Fuel Options:
- Bananas or other whole fruit
- Protein bars like PowerBar or Exo Protein Bars
- Hard boiled eggs—make your own or try Peckish
- Gummy bears or sports chews
- Shelf stable, ultra-pasteurized milk or nut milk boxes
- Overnight oats, grab a premade container or make your own jar
- Fruit pouches such as MammaChia
- Single serve cottage cheese or Greek yogurts
- Trail mix or fruit bites such as Made In Nature Razzy Pops
- Portable caffeine; try Forto Coffee Shots.
- Crackers and hummus; GoRaw pumpkin seed bites with spicy avocado Hope Hummus makes for a tasty, nutrient-loaded combination.
- Homemade sandwiches—try hummus and avocados or almond butter and honey.
- Supplements: Keep single serve packets of protein, electrolytes, BCAA, CoQ10 and other daily vitamins and minerals
Performing your best depends on a well-fueled and nourished body. Instead of leaving your nutrition to chance, be prepared by stashing a few extra snacks in your gym bag. Always keep a non-perishable option for carbohydrate and protein packed to pull out when you need an energy boost or quick recovery option. When your workouts are longer or when you'll be away from your kitchen for long periods of time, bring a whole food mini-meal along. Making room in your gym bag or backpack for some nutritious fuel will go a long way to achieving your fitness goals.
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