The old adage of "drink 8 ounces of water 8 times a day" is an easy mnemonic to remember but glugging those 1.9 liters of fluid isn't exactly doctor-approved advice. In fact, the National Academy of Medicine recommends that men consume 50 percent more than the colloquial knowledge implies -- roughly 3 liters of liquid every day -- while women should drink at least 2.2 liters. You're a busy person and keeping track of how much you drink throughout the day can be tricky.
STYR Lab's new smart water bottle, however, not only tells you exactly how much you've consumed so far but also calculates how much you'll need based on your activity level. Heck, it'll even recommend a personalized electrolyte regimen to keep you in tip top shape.
The Smart Water Bottle costs $60 and holds 500 mL. It tracks your consumption with a tiny sonar-like system that blasts sound waves to measure the amount of air left in the bottle to measure how much liquid is left after each swig. The cap then pairs wirelessly with the STYR mobile app via a Bluetooth connection and syncs that data with the STYR app, which is available for both iOS and Android. Your daily and monthly totals update by syncing with the bottle or manually inputting the number of ounces. The app can also calculate how many additional sips you'll need to take in order to remain at peak hydration given your upcoming activity.
Taking a 30-minute jog outdoors on a 75-degree day and running a consistent 10-minute mile over that span, for example, would tack on around 20 ounces to your necessary total. What's more, the app incorporates a geo-fencing feature that recognizes when you're in one of 55,000 gyms around the country and will send push notifications reminding you to hydrate after you get done working out.
The app will also recommend a customized electrolyte mix for users based on a variety of factors including their activity level, general health, diet and vice habits like drinking and smoking. My personalized recommendation, for example, include Vitamin C, Riboflavin, Calcium, Magnesium, Sodium and Potassium in concentrations from .5 to 435 mg. And, given your relative activity level, it recommends you suck down as many as four packets a day, though the company's reps put that figure closer to once or twice a week after vigorous exercise. Purchasing these supplements is completely voluntary and in no way impacts the function of the bottle itself.
However, I for the life of me can't understand how someone is expected to choke down four of these a day. The pineapple flavor that I received in the starter kit tasted horrible -- like weak Tang cut with extra salt. What's more, maintaining a steady supply of supplements is quite costly. 12 packets of electrolytes will set you back $24. Your wallet would be better off if you just bought some Gatorade and ate more salad.
The bottle is the third accessory in STYR Lab's fitness tracking ecosystem, joining a step tracker and smart scale. Much like the bottle, the step tracker hawks vitamin mix while the scale pushes protein powder. And these supplements just as pricey as the electrolytes. A 30-day supply of vitamins run $68 (the same price as the tracker itself), protein costs $28 per 1-pound bag. "We consider ourselves a nutritional technology company," STYR Lab founder Sergio Radovcic wrote to me recently, which would explain why the company is so adamant about selling its customers supplements.
In the end, this smart water bottle is really just a fancy canteen. Now, if you already use the STYR system and are training in earnest, this purchase makes sense. But if you're just looking for a vessel to store your liquids in, you can do the same for far less by just buying a regular water bottle and keeping track of your drinking habits manually.