This app proves just how personal and helpful Apple Watch can be

Day five with our Apple Watches and day three with an app that proves just how personal and helpful Apple Watch can be.

The free Gulps app, by developer Fancy Pixel, keeps track of a simple yet healthy habit: Staying hydrated.

Gulps lets you track your daily water intake in a simple and intuitive way: You set your goal, set your usual portion, and start keeping track from within the app or a widget in your notification center or, most importantly via your Apple Watch upon which the Gulps app is rather gorgeous in its simplicity. It looks so good on Apple Watch, you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s an Apple app.

Up to 75 percent of the American population are functioning in a chronic state of dehydration. Grace Webb, Assistant Director for Clinical Nutrition at New York Hospital, told Medical Daily, “People just think that when they start to get a little weak or they have a headache, they need to eat something, but most often they need to drink.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, mild to moderate dehydration is likely to cause:
• Dry, sticky mouth
• Sleepiness or tiredness
• Thirst
• Decreased urine output
• Few or no tears
• Dry skin
• Headache
• Constipation
• Dizziness or lightheadedness

While those walking around in a state of subclinical dehydration may not feel thirst, their bodies are sending other signals of inadequate hydration — from headaches and stomach aches to low energy to dry skin,” Care2 reports.

Over time, failure to drink enough water can contribute to a wide array of medical complications, from fatigue, joint pain and weight gain to headaches, ulcers, high blood pressure and kidney disease. In addition, much of our fluid intake can itself have a deleterious effect on our health, as caffeinated, diuretic beverages may contribute to the problem. ‘We have a tendency in the U.S. to drink a lot of beverages that are mildly dehydrating,’ Webb explained.

That “8 ounces of water 8 times per day” is a disproven rule of thumb. It’s not enough. In 2004, the Institute of Medicine, a division of the National Academy of Sciences, set the adequate total-daily-water intake at 3.7 liters (125 fluid ounces) for men and 2.7 liters (91 fluid ounces) for women. But, those numbers refer to total water intake, meaning all beverages and water-containing foods count toward your daily quota.

As runners especially, and just in general as busy people, we’re constantly battling to stay properly hydrated, so we’ve tried many water reminder apps before on the Mac and iPhone. The problem is that the reminders are easy to miss, go unnoticed or are too easy to ignore. Not so on Apple Watch. Gulps will tap you on your wrist and reminds you to drink some water.

Here’s how it works:

1. In the Gulps app for iPhone, you choose you unit of measure (liter or ounces), define your glass or container sizes for small (ours is 12 oz.) and big (ours is 24 ounces) gulps, and you set your daily goal (ours is 120 oz.) You also tell the app the time period to remind you to drink (ours is 9am-8pm) and how often to remind you (ours works out to 12 oz. per hour).
2. In the Apple Watch app, you set Gulps to “Show App on Apple Watch” and also “Show in Glances” if you desire.
3. On Apple Watch, Gulps will notify you to have a drink of water with a tap on your wrist and/or an alert depending on your Apple Watch “Sounds & Haptics” settings.

When launched, the Gulps app on Apple Watch initially displays where you stand on your daily goal:
Gulps app for Apple Watch: Daily Goal display

A firm press (Force Touch) on the daily goal display brings up the “Add gulp” button:
Gulps app for Apple Watch: Add gulp button

You then simply tap the size glass or container you’re using:
Gulps app for Apple Watch: Add gulp small or big

Doing so adds to your daily goal:
Gulps app for Apple Watch: Daily Goal display

We’ve been using the app for the last three days and we can tell you that we definitely feel better being properly hydrated. No question, we were operating in a chronic state of dehydration prior to using Gulps, as we suspected.

Apps like Gulps shows just how personal and helpful Apple Watch can be. It proves that this is a new platform that can do certain things better than an iPhone or a Mac could ever hope to do. It can even help you to feel better and improve your health!

And, these are very early days – just imagine what’s to come!

More info and download link for the Gulps app (free) via Apple’s Apple Store here.

13 Comments

  1. I downloaded the free Gulps app and began using it on my iPhone and Apple Watch. I think it will become handy for increasing my water intake. Thanks for the heads up and review! 😀

  2. I’m not a urologist nor do I play one on TV, but I have had a couple kidney stones. You dont want to have a kidney stone. A simple rule of thumb to know you’re drinking enough is if your pee is light gold colored to slightly clear. If it’s dark, however, then you’re not drinking enough.

    (possible TMI, there 😉 )

    1. I had 7mm stone pass from my kidney in February. Horrible, shocking pain. Ambulance to ER, several doses of morphine…$16,000 in bills (insurance cut it in half, but still…). Just went in last week to have the stone removed from ureter.

      I need an app like this

      1. Ohhhhhhh, man that hurts just reading it. BTDT. Morphine doesn’t do anything in this situation except make you dopey, unfortunately. Glad you’re doing better. I’ll bet you don’t need this app, though 😉😰

      2. I am not a doctor but I played doctor as a kid. If the insurance cut it in half, wouldn’t that be 2 stones at 3.5 mm each? That wouldn’t hurt nearly as bad.

  3. So instead of using all the senses that your body has built in, people think they need an electronic drink counter? Wow. The dumbing down of the species has accelerated again.

    1. I heard a joke years ago that surmised that eventually humans would evolve into a finger and a button that served all the fingers needs. Then the human race would die out because the finger would be too lazy to push the button.

      I’m suspicious the Apple Watch may be a prototype of the button. I’m getting one anyway. Come on June.

  4. “But, those numbers refer to total water intake, meaning all beverages and water-containing foods count toward your daily quota.”

    And from the same FNB report: “About 80 percent of people’s total water intake comes from drinking water and beverages — including caffeinated beverages — and the other 20 percent is derived from food.”

    So, there’s no need to overdo it.

    Also, stats show marathoners are more likely to die from over hydration than from dehydration. It’s called hyponatremia.

    “Where did people get the idea that guzzling enormous quantities of water is healthful? A few years ago Heinz Valtin, a kidney specialist from Dartmouth Medical School, decided to determine if the common advice to drink eight, eight-ounce glasses of water per day could hold up to scientific scrutiny. After scouring the peer-reviewed literature, Valtin concluded that no scientific studies support the “eight x eight” dictum (for healthy adults living in temperate climates and doing mild exercise). In fact, drinking this much or more “could be harmful, both in precipitating potentially dangerous hyponatremia and exposure to pollutants, and also in making many people feel guilty for not drinking enough”

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