Even though we know staying hydrated is a crucial component of a healthy lifestyle, we’re totally guilty of not drinking enough water every day. But now that we found a way to schedule a seven-minute workout and cleansing meditation sesh into our hectic workweek, we knew we had better finally take the time to clean up our hydration. As a busy gal who barely remembers to pack a water bottle in her work bag, let alone drink eight glasses of water every day, I knew that I needed a little help kickstarting my brain to actually create a lasting habit and consistently remember to drink more water. So to help me crush my new hydration goals, I decided to test a trendy smart water bottle (it literally glows red to remind you to drink more water) to see if having hourly reminders could actually motivate me to create a hydration habit that sticks.

While there are many smart water bottles on the market, I decided to test the Hidrate Spark 2.0, a sleek smart water bottle that’s packed with features to remind hardworking bosses everywhere to drink more fluids. After receiving the bottle in the mail, it took just a few simple steps to piece it together and correctly insert the sensor inside the water bottle. The next step was to download the free Hidrate Spark app and pair the bottle with Bluetooth on my phone. Then I was instructed to enter my personal details (including my name, height, weight, activity level, and bedtime), set a personal hydrating goal, and submit how many times I wanted to receive reminders to drink more water every day. You can set both push notifications on your phone (they come in hilarious tweet-like quotes) and choose how many times you want the water bottle to glow to remind you to drink up. You can also set the intensity of the glow to either low, medium, or high depending on if you want an inconspicuous reminder that won’t bother your co-workers or an alarm-level light that will awaken you from your concentrated work.

After entering all my details, the app told me that my personal goal should be to drink three and two-thirds bottles of water per day, and day one started off great. I found the water bottle relatively easy to fill and use, and I loved that you could still put ice cubes in it (call me a water snob, but I hate room-temperature water). Since the sensor works best when the water bottle is seated flat on a surface, I put the bottle on my desk and every hour or so I would either receive a hydration-themed push notification or blinking alert to remind me to stay hydrated. At first, I was a little skeptical if I would actually notice the blinking light, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it did grab my attention and remind me to take a sip of aqua. After a full day of drinking (and running to the bathroom), I easily met my goal. In fact, I met my goals most days during the week — even if that meant I sometimes had to chug a bottle of water just before bed.

Of course, like any new technology, there are a few things that could still be improved. While I originally loved the idea that you don’t need to connect the bottle to a power outlet to charge the sensor, the physical battery didn’t last very long and I ended up burning through my complimentary two batteries within a few weeks, which probably isn’t ideal for the environmentally conscious. Also, as mentioned above, in order for the sensor to work optimally, you are instructed to keep the bottle on a flat surface, which is totally fine for in the office, but if you want to take it on a hike or on the trail, you may not get the most accurate reading.

Overall, my week with the Hidrate Spark 2.0 was indeed successful — I was more hydrated than ever (I could tell by my clearer skin and increased number of bathroom breaks) and I could mentally feel myself creating a lasting hydrating habit that I could feasibly maintain. While I won’t be giving up my trusty S’well anytime soon, I found my week with a smart water bottle to be an awesome training tool for this busy lady who wanted an easy way to trick her brain into staying more hydrated.

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(Photos via Hidrate Inc.)

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