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
• Decreased urine output
• Few or no tears
• Dry skin
• 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.
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.