Gatorade's Gx Platform Is Basically A FitBit For Your Water Bottle

Brilliance | Dec. 12, 2017

From game strategies to team injuries, coaches have a lot to keep tabs on, even before they worry about whether their athletes are hydrating properly. Gatorade may be taking a least one of those things off their plates. Unveiled in 2014 with the Brazilian National Football Team and rolling out to the public soon, their Gx system is designed to customize how each athlete hydrates from every possible angle.

Why we're covering this:

Every Sip You Take

Here's how it works: Athletes slap on a digital sweat patch that works with a Smart Cap and a mobile app to calculate their individual sweat loss, sodium loss, and ideal hydration level. The app uses that information to create an individualized "sweat profile" that helps dictate which of 12 Gatorade Fuel Pods—basically, concentrated, customized sports-drink formulas—they need. The Fuel Pod snaps into a special squeeze bottle, where it breaks open and mixes with water to create a personalized sports drink. The spout contains a microchip and a small turbine that measure how much the athlete drinks and light up LEDs on the cap to show whether he's ahead of or behind his hydration goal. Meanwhile, a check-in station in the locker room uses a digital scale and special software to analyze each athlete's fluid balance.

From Pros To Joes

If this sounds like overkill for your average weekend warrior, that's because it is. There's a reason the system is being tested on pro and collegiate sports teams—including the Boston Celtics, Kansas City Chiefs, and the University of Florida Gators—and not on everyday people like you or me. In high-stakes games between equally matched pro teams, something as small as improper hydration can mean the difference between a win or loss. In that scenario, overkill is what you want.

Even so, Gatorade is planning to unveil a consumer-level Gx system, one that includes the custom pods and smart cap but leaves out the expensive bells and whistles. Maybe one day you'll be able to track your electrolyte balance right along with your steps.

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