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  • Writer's pictureTyler

Emerging Tech | Sweat Sensors

Updated: Jun 7, 2023

Proper water intake is critical for optimal performance in life and in sports. Learn about the growing field of sweat science and how it will reshape our approach to hydration.

 

The importance of proper hydration and its impact on so many aspects of health have finally made it into the mainstream. With the hopes of riding this new wave of interest, the beverage and supplement industry is now overflowing with products that tout their ability to help you hydrate more efficiently. I am no stranger to these products and have been buying hydration mixes of all kinds regularly for more than a decade. However, as I evolve as an athlete and become more sophisticated in my training, occasionally, I like to take a step back and make sure I understand the “why” behind what I am doing.


In this instance, the question that has become top of mind is not whether I should drink more water and use a hydration mix, as I know there are benefits. Instead, the question is how do I know that the quantity of water I am drinking, and the ingredient mix of the products I am using are optimal for me and my training?


Whether you are working out, at work, or just living life, sweating is universal and simply part of being a human. What many people do not realize is that although we all sweat, the rate at which we perspire and the minerals that our body loses in the process are highly individual. The logical thing to then ask is how we can measure these things and quantify the results, beyond using subjective measures like thirst and urine color?


To help answer this question, several companies are working on sweat-reading biowearables that aim to help you understand your specific hydration needs. These companies are all developing non-invasive skin patches and sensors that record sweat rate, sodium and electrolyte loss, and weather data to better understand your body's needs in different conditions. Sweat analysis is something that high-level athletes have had access to in the lab for many years, but until recently, the technology had not been accessible to ordinary consumers. The data generated from these devices can be used to create a customized hydration plan depending on your lifestyle and activities, as well as custom hydration supplements that will allow you to replenish precisely what your body is losing.


Though it is still early, interest and funding to develop sweat-analyzing technology are growing. Below are a few companies leading the charge in this emerging field that are worth watching. For my personal exploration, I have ordered a Nix sensor and will review the experience and insights it provides.


Nix - Hydration Biosensor (available for purchase)

nix sweat hydration biosensor
Nix Hydration Biosensor
Gatorade Gx Sweat patch
Gx Sweat Patch

Flowbio sweat sensor

 

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