If you're an athlete that travels or stays put, you probably have a collection of non-essential items that make your day-to-day life a whole lot easier.
A great playlist, good headphones, and the right shoes are a given. What about the other daily helpers that give you an extra edge when you walk out the door? We've got you covered, here are 10 Essentials Items Every Athlete Should Own.
Calvy Click is the Editor-in-Chief of Sneaker Report. When she isn’t writing about performance footwear and apparel, you can find her running around Manhattan to Rick Ross anthems. Keep up if you can on Instagram or Twitter.
No. 1 - Air Humidifier
This item is worth the damage it does on your street cred. Crucial in winter months, a humidifier keeps air moist which keeps your lungs and nasal passages from drying out. A dry set of lungs can lead to snoring, nosebleeds, and leave you more susceptible to colds and infection. This is an item worth the investment.
For daily use, the Pureguardian Ultrasonic Humidifier keeps air moist, can be adjusted to stream warm or cool mist and requires refilling only about once a week thanks to a hefty 1.4 gallon tank. For athletes that travel overnight frequently, the Homedics Personal Ultrasonic Humidifier is an infinitely better option than draping damp towels over the radiator. Control mist intensity and plug into the wall or via USB for up to five hours for $20.
No. 2 - High Quality Blender
A high quality blender doesn't have to mean a super expensive blender, as some blenders marketed to a healthy lifestyle can reach the $500 range. Anything that can crush ice consistently without liquifying it is probably good enough to blend up some bananas and kale everyday. Oster's Beehive Blender has a few tolerable flaws, but is a dependable choice for the $60 price.
No. 3 - Foam Roller
Foam rollers have had a moment in the past year. Rollers that are freezing cold, closely resemble torture devices or can fit inside your backpack are all available depending on how much you want to spend. If you're looking for a deep tissue massage, check out Rumble Roller's range starting at $44. TriggerPoint's The GRID roller is making waves this holiday thanks to it's super portable size (7x 5.5 in!) and $25 price tag.
No. 4 - A Stocked Medicine Cabinet
Epson Salt, Ibuprofen, Tiger Balm and the right Ace Bandage can be your best weapon in a pinch. Most athletes know what their bodies need most when pain sets in, but being prepared with the right stuff is key before you hit the road. Running a marathon? Double check to make sure you have whatever pain relievers you use at home.
The perfect water bottle for you depends on what you're most likely to tote around all day. Do you prefer something aesthetically pleasing? Something that keeps water ice cold? Do you require a straw out of a backpack a la Survivorman? Stick with what works for your and don't forget to sip!
No. 6 - Portable Speakers
Music-on-the-go is a must for athlete whether it's during training, pre-game or keeping your mind right while traveling. Speakers are key for traveling players that need to condition in the hotel room or for lucky athletes that cop exclusive gym time. These by TUNZ have great sound and can stand getting dropped a few times without effecting sound quality.
No. 7 - Portable Iron or Steamer
Competitors need to look their best, especially when traveling. Whether you're stepping into the game or representing your team off the court, the devil is in the details. While most hotels provide an iron or steamer, last minute locker room fixes are too easy with a travel iron. We found the Rowenta First Class Travel Iron to be easy to use on a variety of fabrics thanks to the vertical steam option, this compact iron is easy to store, lighter than you would expect (for an iron!) and is worth the extra space thanks to the dual capabilities. For $40 it's a steal.
No. 8 - Recovery Slippers
adidas has kept sporting goods stores stocked with these classic post-game slippers for decades but anything with a comfortable feel and a breathable fit will pamper for feet in-between workouts. Brands like Oofos have expanded the category, offering a slipper that may look a little funky but feels amazing on tired arches and irritated toes.
No. 9 - Compression Gear
While certain types of compression gear is best used during game-time (like football and basketball), the tight fitting stuff is also super useful when it comes to post-race recovery. Essential for distance runners and athletes recovering from injury, try wearing a pair of compression pants after the next time you go hard and let us know if you felt a difference when it was game-time again. Chances are you'll feel a difference worth the cost of compression gear.
No. 10 - Yoga Mat
Your mat doesn't have to be a "yoga" mat, but having a smooth, responsive surface to stretch out on can protect you from whatever germs others have left on the gym floor and will probably make those side planks last a little longer. Decide what density and how portable you need and shop from there since mats can range from take-it-everywhere to gymnasium status.