YBLTV Review: Hidrate Spark 2.0 Smart Water Bottle
It’s no secret that in recent years, the concept of hydration has been discussed at varying degrees and at great lengths. Hydration is at the core of many an industry’s concern – the beauty industry says you should drink more water to help your skin; the health industry says you should drink more water to help your metabolism and internal organs; the fitness industry says to drink more water to help match activity levels. However, living in the desert, there’s the main speech everyone gives: drink more water or you’re going to be SO sick. Living in Southern California most of my life, the hip drinks of choice were blended coffees or fruit smoothies, and people would fight kicking and screaming before you could get a bottle of water in their hands on a day less than 80-degrees. It fed the well-known fact that by the time you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated, and let me tell you, between the Los Angeles water system’s distinctive taste and the cost of bottled water, it was no wonder that most people were at already unsafe hydration levels before accepting that complementary ice water that was taken for granted in restaurants.
Living in the desert has given me a new perspective on the relationship between hydration, health, and renewable resources. In a place where it can get to 120-degrees and is constantly dry, you learn to appreciate clean, accessible sources of water; I’ve also learned to appreciate the ability to carry that water with me without contributing to the issue of recycling and waste production. I’m not sure when it happened, but one day I was lugging a big plastic jug with lemon slices and the next day I was shopping for reusable bottles. The change happens when you least expect it, but I really appreciate that it happened at all, since water is now constantly one of my top 3 daily concerns.
After shopping around some of the new tech for 2018, I stumbled across a company called Hidrate and their handy product, the Spark 2.0. The Spark 2.0 is marketed as a smart water bottle that helps keep hydration on your mind. Available in several different colors, the Spark 2.0 is something of a simple answer to a more complex question: How do we get people to drink water when they’re not thirsty?
The Spark 2.0 is designed to address these in two stages: 1) Syncing with a companion app through your smart phone and Bluetooth Low Energy where you can track the amount of water you drink in a day to match your daily goal, and 2) Through a light sensor connected to the bottle lid. The light sensor resembles something similar to a glow stick attached to the lid of the Spark 2.0 and measures how much water is inside of the bottle at a given time, and continues to monitor the water each time you drink it. The novelty of the bottle itself is the glowing light inside – this is designed as a reminder to drink more water in order to meet your daily goal and personal goals, including weight loss.
Over my time with the Spark 2.0, it became apparent that this was a bottle with a focused design of getting people who hardly drink water to drink more water. The material of the bottle was somewhere around an average reusable water bottle you could find on the market, and held around 24 ounces. Below, I’ve listed some of the main areas I noticed while using the Spark 2.0:
- Volume Amount: While drinking an entire bottle of water may be a challenge to some people who would rather drink soda or coffee versus tap water, I found that I was constantly refilling my Spark 2.0 more often than I was use to. My two most used water bottles averaged between 34 ounces and 36 ounces, and I would often fill those up at least twice a day. The Spark 2.0 couldn’t keep up with my drinking habits, and it was kind of difficult to keep refilling it at the rate I drink water.
- Temperature Control: Considering that some people have the habit of nursing a water bottle until it’s warmed to a gross, room-temperature level, I thought that the Spark 2.0 would do a better job of keeping my water cooler for a longer period of time. Wrong. Even with ice, my water ended up getting that weird, warm aftertaste that reminded me of lukewarm tap water.
- The Alerts: Some people need a reminder to drink water, and that’s the point of the Spark 2.0. It’s there to remind you to drink water! There’s nothing wrong with this, and I appreciate that you can log your water intake and link the bottle/app to your Fitbit. However, I found that because of the climate I live in, I have other ways of getting myself to drink water – I purposely order water first at restaurants and have my second beverage brought out with dinner; my primary water bottle is covered in fun stickers that make me excited to pull out my bottle; and I have bottles that hold significantly more water. These things are the habits of people who live in a climate that demands you pay attention to your personal hydration levels. I don’t need my water bottle glowing in the dark when I’m suppose to be focused on yoga or at night when I’m trying to sleep. If you take away the alerts, the Spark 2.0 becomes a more overpriced version of a water bottle you could find at Target. My main point is this: this bottle is great for someone who has the patience and need for a visual alert and who may not be listening to their body’s internal alerts and needs help forming habits. However, if you’re living in a climate that is more demanding on your hydration levels and find the alerts bothersome, I would recommend a higher capacity water bottle or canteen to keep water cold longer and has more room for customization.
While I might sound pessimistic about the Spark 2.0, nothing could be further from the truth. I applaud any company that is interested in promoting healthy habits, and hydration is a habit that is often at the bottom of people’s priorities. Most people in the United States live with reasonable access to clean drinking water, which lessens the level of demand the public has. We are also a culture that enjoys alternatives at dinner, such as soda, teas, and alcoholic beverages. As long as we are drinking something, we think that we’re addressing the growing dehydration in our bodies. Hidrate, as a company, acknowledges this dilemma and has produced a product that works in an assistive capacity to help build positive habits. However, I think it’s important to note that this product is going to find better success in some areas over another, and with a specific customer base.
“The Hidrate Spark 2.0 makes a great gift for those who are looking to build better habits, but may not be able to keep up with those with a handle on personal hydration,” – Katie Hernandez, YBLTV Writer / Reviewer, @khernandezybltv
The Hidrate Spark 2.0 makes a great gift for those who are looking to build better habits and have taken an invested interest in consuming more water. However, if you have already built those habits and are looking for a sturdy, temperature-regulated water bottle, I would suggest water bottles and canteens produced by camping or outdoor-focused companies where the focus is on durability, volume, and temp that can sustain you throughout the day.
Follow me during my coverage at the 2018 National Hardware Show starting May 8th through May 10th! I’ll be checking out some of the industry’s coolest products!
Disclosure of Material Connection: YBLTV Writer / Reviewer Katie Hernandez, received the Hidrate Spark 2.0 from Hidrate, Inc. in consideration for a Product Review.