TQuick hint: When you hear the words “exercise” and “hydration,” what’s the first drink that comes to mind?
If you didn’t immediately think, well, water, your answer was probably Gatorade. While it’s far from the only sports drink on the market, it’s certainly one of the most influential.
But the highlighter-colored drinks aren’t the only products the brand offers in an effort to keep you hydrated during your workout. Gatorade’s new innovations for 2022 include a completely revamped app integrated with the brand’s popular sweat patch and an all-new smart water bottle. I tried them to see what they could tell me about my own hydration.
Gatorade sweat patch
Gatorade Gx Sweat Patches ($25 for two) are single-use patches designed to monitor your sweat rate, fluid loss and sodium loss. For best results, you should adhere the patch to the inside of your left arm before exercising for 30 minutes or more in an environment between 47 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Your sweat will soak the patch, triggering the non-toxic food dye to weave through the canal, ultimately indicating your sweat and sodium levels. At the end of your workout, you scan the patch into the Gx app, which creates a sweat profile for that specific activity.
While this sounds great, it’s hard for me to say how accurate it is, especially since my arms don’t really sweat (at least not noticeably). Still, I wore the patch to an Orangetheory class, where, mind you, I sweat a lot, and on the app, it reported that my sweat rate was 21 to 24 ounces per hour, which is lower than other athletes. Meanwhile, my sodium concentration is 11 to 25 milligrams per ounce.
Once my sweat profile was established for Orangetheory, I was able to click on it to plan future workouts. The app takes into account workout duration and your previous sweat data to prepare a personalized fuel and hydration plan. For me, it dictates when and how much to drink, as well as how many carbs to eat, milligrams of caffeine to consume, and what supplements to take before, during, and after my workout. It even shares snack ideas so you can easily hit your carb goals without having to research food labels. And as far as supplements go, it recommends specific brands but also calls out key ingredients to look for if you want to find something else that fits the bill.
All of this to say, unlocks sweat profiles (and the sweat patches that make them possible). a lot Training possibilities, especially for new everyday athletes (like moi!) wanting to learn how to hydrate and eat for peak performance. Are they 100 percent accurate? It’s hard to say, but they’ve been extensively researched and backed by experts, so I’d say the data they provide is definitely worth considering.
Smart water bottle
The Gatorade Gx Smart Water Bottle ($92) looks just like the OG Gx water bottle: It’s made of flexible, squeezable plastic and is compatible with Gx Pods (concentrated flavor packs sold separately) The big difference? The top is equipped with high-tech hydration tracking that monitors your sips and refills, encourages consumption with solid and flashing lights, and is fully integrated into the Gx app.
As someone who aims to drink 100 ounces of water a day, I need all the reminders I can get. Once clean and fully charged, I synced the bottle to the Gx app and set my hydration goals.
The bottle tracks how much you drink via a sensor on the lid. In the instructions, it says to tilt the bottle and set it on a flat surface after each refill or sip, which triggers the bottle to sync and update your numbers. When I did this, over a week after testing it, I found that the numbers didn’t add up. For example, the first day I used the bottle, I finished a full 30-ounce fill and my app was reporting that I only drank 21 ounces. Assuming it just needed time to update, I went ahead and refilled the bottle and continued drinking. After 60 ounces, I checked the app again, only to find that I had 48.
When I went online and read the bottle’s FAQ, I learned that I was not alone in this finding and that for the most accurate reading, the bottle should be placed on a flat surface for 30 to 60 seconds to fully register. Considering it sat for at least a few minutes (and often 20 or more) between sips, I couldn’t tell why the bottle wasn’t tracking properly, which is a bummer.
Even if it doesn’t count the exact amount I’m drinking, the fact that it lights up periodically to encourage sipping is definitely helpful. The lid shows ticks along the rim’s circumference to indicate your overall aim. Each tick lights up or blinks solidly—solid lights indicate how far you are from your hydration goal for the day, while flashing lights show where you should be within that time. Some days, I’m well ahead of my goals, other days I fall behind. Either way, it’s making me more conscious of my spending, which is definitely a step in the right direction.
In the free Gatorade Gx app, you’ll find the fueling and training programs of top athletes like soccer stars Mallory Hugh and Lionel Messi and tennis great Serena Williams. There are nine expert-created programs, focusing on things like running and strength training. Each ranges from eight to 20 weeks with three to five workouts per week.
You can click on the full schedule and then click on the workout of the day, where you’ll see pre-workout, workout time and recovery recommendations, and a preview of the workouts. Once you start a program, it takes into account your weight and dietary restrictions to provide more accurate recommendations. Every day, the home screen shows updates on your progress and what’s coming up in your training.
The best part? This highly detailed program is completely free for Gatorade Gx users. So if you’re hoping to train for a half-marathon or marathon, get a stronger core or become more athletic, what are you waiting for?
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