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Can a 'smart' water bottle really help you stay hydrated?

Can a 'smart' water bottle really help you stay hydrated?
Credit: Camryn Rabideau / Reviewed.com
It's surprisingly hard to capture a photo of the bottle mid-glow.
Credit: Reviewed / Camryn Rabideau
Can a 'smart' water bottle really help you stay hydrated?

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A few weeks ago, I announced to my friends that I was the proud new owner of the Hidrate Spark 2.0, a recently released “smart” water bottle. My lovely roommate (who was kind enough to model for the picture above) was actually the first to splurge on the $55 bottle, and when she had overwhelmingly good things about it, I decided to see what all the fuss was about.

My friends weren’t so impressed.

Despite their judgment, I went on to fall in love with this surprisingly useful gadget. And now whenever anyone in earshot complains about dehydration, I wholeheartedly recommend they check out the Hidrate Spark.

Here’s what I like about this smart water bottle:

From dehydrated to glowing goddess

Credit: Camryn Rabideau / Reviewed.com
It may look plain, but this water bottle is awesome!

We all know it's important to drink water on a daily basis. Water is a key ingredient for good digestion, clear skin, and numerous other essential body functions, yet I never used to drink any.

On any given day, I would typically put down two or three cups of coffee, maybe a latte and, on good days, a can of seltzer—nowhere close to the recommended eight cups a day of good old H2O. And I had the forehead wrinkles to show for it (pro tip: wrinkles are more prominent when you’re dehydrated).

My roommate was the same way, which is why I was intrigued when she said her new Hidrate Spark was helping her drink a lot more water. At her urging, I took the plunge and purchased my own bottle. Since it arrived, I'm happy to say I’ve averaged around 50 ounces of water per day. Not too shabby, right?

How this bottle turned me into a believer

Credit: Camryn Rabideau / Reviewed.com
The bottle's sensor stick tracks how much water you drink.

The basic premise of the Hidrate Spark is simple: It tracks how much water you're drinking throughout the day with a sensor stick. When you fall behind on your goal, the bottle glows to reminds you to drink up.

Honestly, this main feature doesn’t do much for me, as I’m apt to walk away from the water bottle. If I can’t see it glow, I’m not going to remember to drink. However, the Hidrate Spark provides other reminders, including iPhone and Apple Watch notifications.

Credit: Camryn Rabideau / Reviewed.com
There's no escaping the reminders to drink!

These work much better for me, as I have at least one of the two on me roughly 98 percent of the time. As an added bonus, the reminders often include cute quotes about water, which I enjoy reading—it’s the little things.

The other feature that really motivates me to meet my daily water goal is that you can “keep an eye” on friends who have the bottle. It was easy for my roommate and me to sync up our bottles, and now we check in throughout the day to see who can get to 100 percent first. Silly? Maybe, but there's no better motivator than a little bit of competition!

But that’s not all!

Credit: Camryn Rabideau / Reviewed.com
The Hidrate Spark app is well-designed and easy to use.

A few other features worth mentioning:

  • The bottle can sync with your Fitbit or Apple Watch, and it will adjust your recommended intake based on how active you are that day.
  • It also adjusts your goal based on the weather! Hot days = more water.
  • The app is intuitive and easy to use. I have an iPhone, but my roommate has a Google Pixel and agrees with me that the app is well done.
  • You can easily add additional water to your total intake if you have a glass at lunch or whatever.

It’s not perfect, unfortunately

Credit: Camryn Rabideau / Reviewed.com
You can see where the bottle's coating is starting to wear off.

Like any new technology, the Hidrate Spark isn't perfect. There are a few downsides of this water bottle, and you should probably take them into consideration before you spend more than $50 on the product.

Perhaps the biggest negative is that the water bottle itself isn’t particularly high quality. The cap and sensor stick seem fairly sturdy, but the bottle itself is made of a thin plastic and has an opaque coating that wears off rather quickly. While the cap and bottle can supposedly go in the dishwasher, I would probably recommend washing them by hand just to increase their lifespan.

Further, the bottle occasionally has trouble syncing to the app, but 1. this is an issue with almost all tech, and 2. it can generally be resolved by turning your Bluetooth off and on again. Overall, not a huge problem, but it can be annoying.

Those are the only major downsides I've noticed after a few weeks of use, and for me, the pros definitely outweigh the cons.

Should you buy it?

Credit: Camryn Rabideau / Reviewed.com
It's surprisingly hard to capture a photo of the bottle mid-glow.

I've kind of given this away already, but yes, I do recommend this product! The technology seems to have improved since the last time we tested smart water bottles, and the Hidrate Spark has definitely helped me drink more water on a daily basis. If you're looking for a product that will push you to hydrate more, this is a good choice!

That said, I wouldn't recommend the product to anyone who tends to be rough with their water bottles. If you regularly drop your bottle or toss it in a bag while commuting, the Hidrate Spark may not hold up well, as it's not the sturdiest design.

Get the Hidrate Spark 2.0 on Amazon for $54.95

Prices are accurate at the time of publication, but may change over time.

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