As the next generation of consumer wearables hits the market, sweat is now data.
The latest: Nix launched its Hydration Biosensor, a noninvasive skin patch for evaluating fluid and electrolyte losses in real time.
Targeted toward endurance athletes, the sweat-sensing device syncs recovery and performance insights to iOS devices and Garmin sport watches, with planned integrations with Strava, Wahoo, Zwift, and more in the near future.
Why it matters: According to Nix CEO Meridith Cass, hydration is an often overlooked yet crucial marker of performance for athletes, soldiers, laborers, and more.
- US Army studies show that only 50% of fluids lost are replenished when relying on subjective thirst.
- Methods like thirst, judging urine color, and lengthy lab tests lead to inaccurate estimations of hydration need up to 80% of the time.
- Athletes’ performance is impaired up to 29% with even mild, typically asymptomatic levels of dehydration.
While Nix is also experimenting with blood, saliva, and tears, Cass says sweat’s accessibility makes it the most promising.
“Sweat requires nothing more than a simple patch — wear it and forget it.”
Looking ahead: Next-gen health wearables are leveraging microfluidic, electrochemical, and molecular science to derive a real-time performance edge. And countless startups across the world believe endurance athletes are their superusers.
- Gatorade tapped Epicore Biosystems to design its microfluidic Gx Patch and recently integrated a smart water bottle into its ecosystem.
- hDrop and the UK’s FLOWBIO have partnerships providing professional cyclists with real-time hydration analysis.
- Supersapiens’ CGM platform focuses on energy balance, preventing endurance athletes from “bonking” during competition.
Punchline: FLOWBIO’s Stefan van der Fluit firmly believes “sweat is data.” Beyond hydration, perspiration patches might become the future of personalized biometrics, decoding stress, pain, metabolism, and more.