If you’re an athlete, you know how important proper nutrition and hydration are. And while it’s relatively easy to figure out basic nutrition needs, hydration can be a bit of an enigma. How much fluid did you actually lose? Do you need more sodium as you rehydrate? Gatorade wants to help answer these questions with a simple patch.
Measuring your sweat rate isn’t a very difficult task—weigh yourself before a workout, then re-assess afterward, subtracting any fluid that you took in during the workout. But that doesn’t really help if you want to know your total fluid or sodium loss. Gatorade’s new Gx Sweat Patch is a cool, simple way to gauge these metrics.
The patch sticks to your forearm and soaks up your body’s sweat as you perspire. The sweat then fills small channels, which measure your sweat rate and sodium concentration. These channels use food die (orange/red for sweat rate, purple for sodium concentration) for a clear indication of what’s going on.
Once your workout is over or the channels are full, you snap a pic of the patch with the Gatorade Gx app (available only on iOS, sorry Android users). The app will then give you all the details from the patch—your fluid loss, sweat rate, and sodium loss.
Obviously, Gatorade wants you to replace this fluid loss with its own product, but there’s no reason you can’t take this information and use your preferred hydration product (even if it’s Powerade). And while the initial use will tell you how much to take in after you do the work, you can use this information to be more proactive about your hydration habits in the future.
The patches sell in sets of two for $25. Gatorade says if you do a similar workout you won’t need to wear a new patch since you already have a sweat profile for that particular type of work, but if you do something longer or more intense a new patch—and thus, a new sweat profile—will be helpful. Ultimately, I figure you can probably extrapolate enough data from a couple of patches to at least get an idea of how much fluid you should take in during a given workout.