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Nix, an American biosensor development company with goals of “changing the way humans practice healthcare by empowering people to make decisions informed by their personal biology”, has today unveiled its new Nix Hydration Biosensor and app. The Nix Hydration sensor is said to be the world’s first biosensor to analyse sweat and provide athletes with personalised hydration data in real-time.
It’s no secret that better hydration improves endurance, strength, and cognition performance, and aids recovery. It’s even less of a secret that dehydration can dramatically and negatively impact performance. While perhaps not the most accurate measure, I’ve always applied the “2% drop in hydration can cause a 20% drop in power” theory to my training and racing. Dehydration causes a chain reaction of events detrimental to performance, including compromised thermoregulation, increased heart rate, and perceived fatigue. Simply put, dehydration can undo months of training and hamper performance, and it also comes with dangerous health side effects. Needless to say, it’s best avoided if at all possible.
However, the exact quantity and type of hydration each individual requires varies from person to person and is still a great unknown for many athletes. Although there are already some devices on the market to help athletes quantify their sweat – such as the Gatorade Gx Sweat Patch – the Nix sensor does it in real time, and it’s also reusable.
Nix says its new device provides personalised, accurate, and actionable data on exactly what and when to drink. Rather than simply providing a generic calculation, the biosensor is said to continuously analyse your sweat and promises to eliminate trial and error in identifying your optimal hydration strategy.
The system consists of a patch, a pod that houses the biosensor, and an app for live and post-ride analysis. The patch sticks directly to the skin to analyse sweat composition and determine fluid and electrolyte losses once per second, all without without needles or breaking the skin.
The rechargeable pod attaches to the single-use sweat patch to stream data directly to the Nix app in real-time. It is said to weigh less than 15 grams (0.5 oz) and is just about the size of a Garmin watch face.
The app provides live data during workouts, historical data for post-workout analysis and trend spotting, and predictive data for calculating hydration requirements for a given event based on weather forecasts. During workouts, the app also provides live, actionable notifications on when, what, and how much the athlete should drink.