Gadget Reporter: Never drink enough water? This bottle could motivate you to stay hydrated
Do you struggle to drink enough water every day even though you know you should drink more? I’ve been the same – I never drink enough water! For years, I’ve known I’m often dehydrated, and I’ve had comments when I’ve had massages or facials that I need to drink more. Although I’ve tried on and off to make myself drink more, I either forget or just can’t face drinking that much water.
I actually put it on my list of health goals for this year, to make sure I found a way to drink enough water each day. I think that because I’d put it so firmly on my radar, when I saw an ad for the Bellabeat Spring Smart water bottle, I researched it right away and ordered it very quickly (I’m not being paid to make say that!).
In the past couple of weeks since I received it, I’ve hit my goal of drinking enough water every day (except for one when I was out and about a lot). Because it measures exactly how much you’re drinking and you can track it in an app to see when you’ve hit your goal, there’s extra motivation that really works for me, and might work for you too.
The benefits: noticeable increase in energy and clearer skin
Since really focusing on my hydration, I’ve started to notice that I have more energy every day and my skin is clearer and rosier (although some of that could be to do with a diet tweak to incorporate more smoothies to increase my fruit and veg consumption). The day when I didn’t drink enough water, I started to feel very lethargic by about 6pm. It took me a while, but I realised it might be to do with the lack of water so I drank half a litre and instantly felt better. I’ve noticed the same in the mornings if I don’t drink enough right away, I might start flagging but can boost my energy quickly by drinking more. Seems like common sense, but I’ve never paid enough attention before. Now I am focusing on it, it is such a noticeable difference.
As they say that thirst can often be confused with hunger, I’m also experimenting with drinking more when I start to think of food. I obviously want to make sure I’m eating enough nutritious food each day, but if I know I’ve already had enough for that point in the day and my mind starts wandering to snacks or more food, I just start drinking more and those thoughts tend to disappear.
What is the Bellabeat Spring Smart water bottle?
It’s a clever BPA-free glass bottle with sensors in the base that measure the water you add to the bottle and the volume that you consume throughout each day. That data is then synced with their free Bellabeat app (which is also used for their Leaf jewellery-based health tracker – more on that in a future blog). You can then see exactly how much and when you’ve consumed water, and it marks when you’ve hit your daily goal. You can then track your water consumption over time.
Here’s a snapshot of the app showing a recent day of water tracking. You can also select weekly and monthly views.
(As you might spot from the message above, the Bellabeat product range is mainly targeted at women, but it’s a very functional bottle and if they add to the colour range it should work perfectly well for men too. And see below for a few other suggestions for more male-friendly options.)
Bellabeat comes up with a tailored goal for you based on your height, weight, age, activity level and even local climate (mine is a suggested 2.4 litres, which is a little more than I expected but it lets you work up to that quantity over a week).
Setting up and calibrating it was very easy with clear instructions and accompanying images. The battery is supposed to last for six months so doesn’t require daily charging like most other gadgets, which also adds to the convenience.
A few caveats
There are a few slightly less practical aspects of the Spring Smart water bottle, such as the synching process itself. You have to manually trigger it in the app and then ‘shake’ the bottle side to side for it to communicate the data. This hasn’t always worked right away so you can be left waiting for it to sync but I guess that’s what enables the long battery life, and it’s still very satisfying to see your intake chart improve with every sync.
Also it’s a screw cap which isn’t quite as practical as the flip top straw lids I usually have on my bottles. And I’m still not sure if I need to replace the lid after every sip to make sure the measurement is right! I’ve decided that I should and often just rest the lid on top if I know I’m going to be taking lots of sips.
Although it’s a little heavier than most bottles, I particularly like that it’s a glass bottle as I’m trying to avoid plastic bottles since becoming more aware of the potential damage the harmful chemicals can do as they can leach into the water. Technically, it’s Borosilicate glass, which is glass mixed with boric oxide to makes the glass resistant to very high temperatures and more resistant to chemical corrosion (and is what Pyrex used to be made out of).
If you have other drinks through the day without using the Spring Smart water bottle you can add manual logs of water intake also (for example, I add my herbal tea quantities to it also). What it can’t do of course is understand how much water you might get from your food and tailor your goal accordingly.
The app can send you reminders (which also works with an Apple Watch if you have one) although they haven’t been that useful for me so far as they might pop up when you’ve already been drinking plenty but just haven’t synched for a while as it has no idea what your consumption has been.
Also be warned if you’re ordering outside of the US, you might be hit with an unwelcome customs charge as I was in the UK.
I found a couple of alternative options out there too that you might want to look into (and that might be more suitable for men) such as the H2OPal, (with the same Borosilicate glass or the Hydrate Spark (although this one is a plastic bottle).
Verdict: It’s not cheap (at $89,99 at time of writing) but for me it has really motivated me to make sure I drink enough water throughout the day, and I feel I’m seeing the benefits in terms of increased energy and better skin.