I have been trying hard to lose my weight for over a year now, and even though I walk regularly, and log my daily food intake, it wasn’t really working out. A key ingredient was missing, and after talking to a couple of experts, I finally figured it out. I wasn’t drinking enough WATER.
For a couple of months, I tried doing a manual calculation by using a normal water bottle and logging it on apps like Fitbit, MyFitnessPal, HydroCoach and so on. I finally fixed myself to HydroCoach which is really good at reminding with funny, and informative messages. But then came inaccurate logging, and I only realized it after I started using a Smart Water Bottle.
What is a Smart Water Bottle?
In simple words, it can track your daily water intake, more accurately, and automatically log it into an app. This is achieved by calculating the difference between how much water was in the bottle before and after you have a drink using a sensor.
Hidrate Spark: What’s in the box?
While there are many smart bottles, I picked up the Hidrate Spark to start with, to get a taste of how products in this line work. I did my research on how many services it connects to, and it included Fitbit, Under Armour (MyFitnessPal etc.), Google Fit, Nokia, and Jawbone Up. Then it worked on batteries which meant I don’t need to keep it charging every day, and it uses BPA Free Tritan Plastic, which makes sure it’s not hazardous for health.
Another thing which I expected was that it will fit regular bottles, but since it is meant for US & UK, it might not fit for India. So what do you get the package?
- Hidrate Spark 2.0 smart water bottle and lid.
- 2 CR2032 coin cell batteries. There is one battery which is already with the sensor.
- Finger loop
- a Quick start guide
If you are interested to know how it looks like from inside, check out the images below.
Setting up the Smart Bottle
The sensor in the bottle syncs with the Hidrate Spark app over Bluetooth. Once you have created your signed-up and created your basic profile, you can head over to your profile again, and add a new bottle. During the setup, you will have to calibrate your bottle for the first time. Here is how it works:
- Make sure your bottle is empty, and then you sync with the app.
- Next, fill in your bottle up to the mark on the bottle, and synch again.
- During both the steps, make sure the bottle is on a flat surface.
The total capacity of the bottle is 24 oz / 710 ml. Once you have connected, the app will automatically decide how much water you should drink every day based on your body metrics and age.
Hidrate Spark Features
Glow Based Reminder:
Apart from syncing with third-party health apps, it does a brilliant job when it comes to reminding. It’s natural for anybody to forget to drink water, and if you keep it around you, the glow based reminder will remind you of it. You just can’t miss it. Just make sure you drink every time you get a reminder, and you will be all set. If you miss the glow, get ready for some sarcastic, and funny messages to show up on your phone.
This is probably my second favorite feature of the bottle. This loop makes carrying a full bottle so easy to carry, you won’t feel the weight.
Integration with Third Party Apps:
Hidrate Spark can sync your water intake with Third Party services including Fitbit, Google Fit, Nokia, and Jawbone Up. IMO this is very limited, but supporting Fitbit and Google Fit was a win for me.
Depending on your location and the weather conditions, it also automatically adjusts the suggested water intake. Don’t be surprised if you see a varied amount of suggested water intake for every day. To make things easier, you get to see a number of bottles you need to drink every day.
Tracks location of Bottle:
If you keep your Bluetooth on, the app keeps a track of the last location of your bottle. In case you forgot it at your office or at a friends house, you will know.
For some reason, my initial sync experience wasn’t very good. While it does not lose any data, the sync kept going back and forth. Sometimes you get to see the accurate result, and then it rolls back to the last sync. However, the data is taken from the sensor in the bottle, and hence it comes back.
After using it for two months now, I don’t face this issue that often. Maybe once or twice in a month, but not every time. However, I would agree that it doesn’t do an instant sync, but takes a bit of time.
Tracking my Water Intake:
One thing which I realized using it is that all my manual calculation prior to using this bottle was off by at least a liter of water. That’s huge. I was pretty strict using it and made sure I was drinking from it when I was working at the office, and on my travel, and even at home.
However, the toughest part was to keep using it every time. I don’t mean you cannot, but if you want to track accurately it’s going to be dicey. Say if you are on a dinner table, it will look odd if you drink water from the bottle instead of a glass. The point is you might have to add few glasses of water manually at the end of the day.
After a month of usage, I had more accurate results in my hand. I wasn’t drinking enough water even with the bottle. I always missed by 500 ml, and sometimes it was 1000 ml.
Overall, I got some real stats of water intake, and that’s the key takeaway. Manual measurement doesn’t work great, and this bottle just proved it.
Hidrate Spark Price & Durability
It will cost you USD 54.95. This is not cheap which I agree too, but if you are serious about tracking your water intake every day, this is totally worth it. When it comes to durability, the plastic is rock solid, but it doesn’t mean it cannot break. I did accidentally drop the bottle from my table, and it took a hit around the cap and the container. The company did replace the bottle, but I am guessing this is one of the rare scenarios, else I had dropped it like at least a dozen number of times, and it stood strong.