Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Hidrate Spark 2.0 Review: Smart Water Bottle

Hidrate Spark 2.0 Water Bottle
As a goal-oriented person, I'm extremely motivated to achieve whatever it is I set out to do. But with one hang-up: I need to be able to measure my progress and my success. For example, if it weren't for my online training log, it would be difficult to motivate myself to run the mileage that I do. And if races weren't timed, it would be difficult to motivate myself to run fast.

One of my goals for as long as I can remember is to stay hydrated. I know that I don't drink nearly as much water as I should. And no matter how hard I try to remind myself to drink during the work day, I simply don't. I forget to drink or I don't make time to get water from the water cooler. I've always wanted to be able to track my water consumption, but that's hard. It's hard enough to actually drink the water, let alone take the time to figure how much I've had.

Typically during the work week, I drink a little bit of water before I run, and then chug a lot of water immediately afterwards. If it's warm out I may carry a water bottle with me. But then I go to work and drink little to no water. If I do drink, it's usually only one cup. Even my zebra striped water bottle does not motivate me to drink. I simply get caught up in whatever I am working on and going to meetings, so water is rarely prioritized. Enter the Hidrate Spark 2.0 bottle.

A few days after Christmas, I saw an ad for this smart water bottle pop up in my Facebook news feed: "Smart water bottle reminds you to drink water, syncs with FitBit." A-ha! My interest was immediately captured and I clicked through to the Hidrate Spark website. I learned that this water bottle tracks your water consumption and glows when you haven't been drinking enough. It syncs with FitBit and other health apps so that you can track all of your health data in one place. FitBit addict that I am, and knowing my personality, I instantly decided that I needed this bottle. If I could measure my intake, I would surely be motivated to drink more. I wished I had heard about it before Christmas so I could have put it on my list (or hinted to Greg about it), but I didn't.

I decided to purchase the bottle for myself, but hesitated due to the price. Could I justify spending
Hidrate Spark 2.0 Bottle
$54.95 on a water bottle when I already have at least a dozen water bottles that I never use? I gave it some more thought and I realized that hydration would be very important in the coming months of marathon training, and I needed to stay healthy. My recent bout with mono has made me focus more on taking care of my body, so I decided it was worth the investment.

Just as I was about to click on the purchase button, I thought that I could potentially procure a free bottle in exchange for a review on my blog. I only review 2-3 products a year on my blog, and I almost never receive free items; I only write reviews for products that I am passionate about and that contribute to my success as an athlete. I think that hydration is essential to staying healthy and running well, and I knew that whether or not I received a free Hidrate Spark bottle, I would blog about it. Sure enough, Hidrate Spark accepted my offer, and I received a free smart water bottle two weeks ago.

Setup
The Hidrate Spark 2.0 bottle comes in 6 different color choices. I chose aqua because it looked the most refreshing! When mine arrived, I opened it immediately and found it easy to setup. I downloaded the Hidrate Spark app, and entered my height, weight, birthday, bedtime and activity level. I also integrated the app with my FitBit. I then waited for the app to sync with my bottle. It wouldn't sync, so after some troubleshooting I realized that the batteries were dead. Bummer! I could have sent the bottle back and requested one with working batteries, but that would have been a hassle. Instead, I purchased batteries from Best Buy, replaced them (okay, Greg replaced them) and the bottle then paired with my phone just fine. A minor hiccup in the overall Hidrate Spark experience!

Once the bottle was paired with my phone, the app created a hydration goal. This goal changes every day based off of my FitBit steps and the local weather. Talk about being "smart!" My goal for the first day was 75 ounces. For the 10 days I've had the bottle, my goal has ranged from 67-76 ounces per day. That's a lot of water-- at least three bottles worth! I can use either the Hidrate app to track my consumption, or the FitBit app. I actually prefer using the Hidrate app because it contains a visualization that shows not only how much water you've had, but also if you are ahead or behind your goal, depending on what time it is.

The First 24 Hours
Lights up as a reminder to drink
All of a sudden, I found myself accountable for my water intake. The app would track it, and I knew I would be blogging about it. I had to drink water! This worked. I went to work on Monday feeling super cool with my new bottle. I told my colleagues that this wasn't just any water bottle, it was a smart water bottle! I was excited to see it light up and remind me to drink. By 11:00am, I still hadn't seen the bottle light up, so I actually decided not to drink any water until it lit up, so I could confirm it was working. Sure enough, the bottle lit up and I got really excited! I drank some water, my app showed that I was closer to goal completion, and the bottle stopped blinking.

I think the blinking feature is cool, but I'm more intrigued by the tracking aspect. Numbers motivate me, not lights. On Monday, I ended up drinking 50 out of 75 ounces. On one hand, I was surprised I couldn't meet my goal given how focused I was on it. But on the other hand, I realized that I drank probably three times as much as I would on a normal day. Now that I see how much water I am drinking, I think that my typical average probably used to be only 20 ounces a day. Pitiful for an endurance athlete, I know!

You can also manually add water consumption to the app if you drink water at a restaurant, for example. You just need to estimate how much water you drank and then key in the amount. For my long run on Saturday, I drank half of a 24 oz sports bottle, so I manually added 12 ounces to the app when I finished.

Daily Tracking
Does this smart water bottle help me drink more water? Absolutely. Do I meet my water goal every day? No. In fact, I usually only achieve half of my goal. But as I said earlier, I would guess that I
Hidrate Spark App
previously drank about 20 ounces of water per day on average. According to the Hidrate app, I have been drinking about 44 ounces of water per day since getting the bottle. And that's a huge increase.

Last week I ran over 71 miles and I found that I had plenty of energy throughout the day. More energy than usual, and I ran more miles than usual, so that's a win. All of my runs felt great, too. Oftentimes I worry in the morning that I didn't drink enough water the previous day to hydrate my workout, but that was not the case last week.

Looking at the graph, I notice that my water consumption gradually declined throughout the week. The novelty of tracking my intake definitely wore off, but I do want to continue to monitor this and try to get to 75% of my goal or more. So I think the bottle is going to be part of my daily life for the foreseeable future.

Pros and Cons
The benefits of the Hidrate Spark 2.0 bottle are:

  • An effective way to drink more water, particularly for competitive results-driven personality types
  • Sleek design that's easy to carry and is fun to drink from
  • A ridiculously smart app that calculates your goal for you, and also lets you setup competitions with friends (I haven't setup any friends yet)
  • The app allows you to customize how often the bottle glows, and what style of glow you want
  • Syncs with FitBit
  • An overall fun way to drink water 

The negatives of the Hidrate Spark 2.0 bottle:
On my way to work with Hidrate Spark
  • Mine came with dead batteries
  • You are not supposed to put hot water in the bottle, and sometimes I prefer hot water

Summary + Discount Code
Overall I am happy with this water bottle. I am actually slightly obsessed with it because it's so cool! I've probably never hydrated so well in my life except for maybe the week leading up to a marathon. In the past, Greg has suspected that I have over hydrated for my marathons because I essentially tripled or quadrupled my water intake in the days leading up to the race. But now I will have a precise way to measure how much I am actually drinking.

Given that I am at the height of my marathon training cycle, this bottle came at just the right time. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who struggles to stay hydrated. If you think of it as just another water bottle, the price tag may seem high. But when you think about the technology involved and the potential impact it can have on your health, then it's worth the cost. You're not just buying a water bottle; you are buying the ability to monitor your water consumption. Hidrate Spark is offering my blog readers a 15% discount with the code ECLOR. It expires on Wednesday, February 1st, so don't wait! Visit the Hidrate Spark website to use the code.

Thank you for reading this Hidrate Spark 2.0 review. Happy hydrating!


Hidrate Spark 2.0 Smart Water Bottle
Smart water bottle that tracks water consumption
Rating: 4

39 comments:

  1. I felt like I was reading a blog post I wrote. I am terrible with hydration and also run a lot. It's so bad. I don't do fitbit. What would you say to someone who doesn't use fitbit? Still think it's worth it? And does it account for the mileage you run on any given day for how much water consumption you may need?

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    1. I actually rarely use the FitBit app to look at my water intake because the Hidrate app has more information. Like it tells you where you should be at any given point in the day, which is helpful. So yes, even if you don't use a FitBit, I would still recommend it. I think it does account for my steps because it seems to know that data based on my FitBit. However, when you set it up, you can say you are "very active" and it will take that into consideration.

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    2. Absolutely. This bottle ALWAYS MADE ME AWARE OF HOW MUCH I WAS DRINKING. The one problem I had was the lights stopped working about a month after I got it. It hasn't changed the way I use it, but I have to admit that it was fun to get my goal lights!!!

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    3. My lights quit working also fairly quickly after I got it. Still use it the same way! Still love it!

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  2. This sounds like a fun gadget. But I do drink really well, and I dont' have a Fitbit.

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    1. If you hydrate well, don't bother! Keep up the good work.

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  3. You neglected to say what it is made from. Is it plastic, metal or glass?

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    1. It's made from a smooth-feeling plastic material. Sorry I can't be more technical than that! It's light weight and easy to carry with a thumb loop.

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  4. if i put cold water does it remain cold for long or warms up right away?

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    1. The water bottle is not insulated, so it will become room temperature.

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  5. I enjoyed the blog post! I've been back and forth about purchasing so I thoroughly enjoyed feedback from a user that is similar to myself. Does the bottle sync with any other devices? I don't have a FitBit but I do have a Garmin Vivoactive HR that tracks all my runs, sports, sleep, etc.

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    1. It syncs with Apple Health Kit, Jawbone, and WithThings. I actually rarely check the water consumption in my Fitbit app because I prefer the Hidrate Spark app interface. I like that you can see where you "should" be at any given point in the day versus where you are. I definitely recommend getting this bottle. It's a fun way to stay hydrated!

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  6. Once the order has been placed how long does it take to ship?

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    1. I'm not sure, but you could check their website or contact them on Facebook. They are very responsive.

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    2. I ordered when they were first advertised, so it took longer than normal to get, but worth every penny to me!!!

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  7. I've seen this ad/promo on Facebook. Looks tempting to purchase and I love how it keeps track of your water intake right with the app. I I have a Contigo bottle (32 ounces) and I try to drink two of those bottles (sometimes 3).

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  8. I know that this was a sponsored review but I was hoping that you could help me. I have wanted this bottle for a while now! I am in love with the idea. Not only do I not drink enough water but my medication makes me drink more, except I don’t. I have all the great intentions but with the combination of being slammed at work and ADD I forget A LOT. I probably get 8 glasses of water in in a WEEK (Im sure I am a desert almost inside). So I NEED something like this that gently nudges me or else it is going to be my mother calling every hour asking if I have drank water.
    ANYWAYS! Like I said I want this product, but the reviews are HORRIFYING! Is it possible that I am just reading the worst of the worst and there are not this many problems with it? I even reached out to the company to see if they had any insite (I will be surprised if they get back to me). It is a little under a month after you wrote this review…how is the bottle holding up?

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    1. Hi Megan, yes even though this was a sponsored review I will give you my honest opinion. so far, the bottle has held up fine. I have had no issues with it. It works for me not because of the blinking feature but the actual tracking and accountability. Because it's so expensive, you probably WILL remember to take it with you to work and actually use it. At least for the first week, but by then it should become a habit. The only technical issue I have had is that the batteries were dead when I first got it. I hope this helps.

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    2. Megan, I don't know what negative feedback you've seen, but this bottle is a Godsend to me. People who hydrate well will probably think it's stupid, but if you don't hydrate enough, it is a miracle worker. I have averaged about 75 ounces a day! Up until then, I averaged maybe 32. The only problem I have is the lights stopped working. They may have worked out that bug, but that hasn't stopped me from using it and drinking plenty of water... I LOVE IT!

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  9. Does it sync with a Samsung phone, or only an Apple iphone?

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    1. I'm not sure. You can reach out to them on Facebook and ask, they are very responsive!

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    2. Yes it does :) but you do get different buttons on the android app than on the apple app but I think you can use the same functions through the menu. The support guys are not so helpful directly. Not v good for people who aren't on facebook...

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  10. Honestly is the water bottle worth$54? I really want to try it but I am nervous about it.

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    1. It's good technology, and I think it's worth the investment. The question you have to ask yourself is-- are you willing to spend $54 to potentially be better hydrated? The bottle works great, but you also have to commit to using it! So only get it if you think you'd actually use it more than a normal bottle. For me- the answer is yes.

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    2. It was to me!!! Averaging 75 ounces a day v. about 32 before I got the bottle!!

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  11. I saw the Facebook ads for this and really want one, but I do have one reservation about it. I like my water to be ice cold. Currently I just drink from my Yeti cup so it'll stay cold. Have you tried using it with ice in it and does it recognize that?

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    1. That's a good question. The bottle is not insulated and I haven't tried it with ice. I like my water at room temperature. You can reach out to them on Facebook and ask about the ice.

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    2. I like my water cold too. It us not insulated, so if you let your water sit, it will become room temp. I drink mine fairly quickly so it's never been an issue. You would have to put ice in it. The reminders are given quite often. I don't work out with an insulated bottle either. You may do better with something insulated.

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  12. Can you put fruit in with your water ?

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    1. I'm not sure, but you can reach out to them on their website or Facebook page and ask.

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    3. Instructions say water only. Anything else can damage the sensor

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  13. What's the warranty when lights quit working?

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  14. There is none. They won't repair. Mine quit working completely after 3 months and they refused to repair, refund or replace unless I pay more. It already costs $55. They have an F rating with. BBB. DO NOT BUY!

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  15. This bottle works until it doesn't. Mine lasted 3 months then completely stopped working. After I contacted the company 4 times they finally responded that they would do nothing. No repair, replacement or refund. I would have to pay more money. They also have an F rating with the BBB. DO NOT BUY this piece of junk.

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  16. DO NOT BUY, had for 2 months, batteries were dead, to insert the plastic flashing tube, you have to put your hands all over it. It wouldn't sync. Contacted customer support, received my bottle Feb 8, this response is April 10th
    I'm so sorry about this but you are not eligible for a warranty return for your bottle to receive a refund because: you are passed the 60 day from delivery limited warranty.

    However if you would like to purchase a replacement part please let me know.

    Thanks,
    Liza

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  17. I purchased this bottle. It took a couple of months to get, and when I got it I loved it, but it stopped working after about a month. The company sent me a new sensor stick, which only worked for about a week. I was able to return for a refund. I hope they work out the "bugs". If so, I would try it again. Customer service was fantastic.

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