From the same company that brought us the Insight Lactate Threshold Muscle Oxygen monitor, BSX Athletics has again turned to Kickstarter to bring the LVL Hydration Monitor to life. Currently live on Kickstarter, the LVL is a wearable that among other things claims to offer live updates on your current hydration.
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Staying hydrated can be an uphill battle both on and off the bike, and former Team Sky, BMC, and Tinkoff-Saxo coach Bobby Julich says that you lose seven to ten percent of your power when you’re dehydrated.
The idea for the LVL Hydration Monitor came after BSX Athletes founder, Dustin Freckleton, suffered a dehydration-induced stroke that left him with temporary paralysis needing to relearn how to walk.
The LVL uses a wrist-based red light, which BSX says it has spent the past four and half years developing, that can measure ten times deeper into the body than the green light utilized by most optical heart rate sensors, and can accurately determine heart rate and hydration level. BSX also says its red light, named Near Infrared Light (NIRS), is also eight to ten times more accurate than green light sensors.
According to the LVL Kickstarter page: “As the light passes through the body, each wavelength is absorbed and reshaped in a unique way that allows us to generate a spectrographic 'picture' of the water content and other physiologic activities happening in the body at that point in time.
“The LVL creates a spectrographic image that contains information of water content and location, heart rate, blood flow, and characteristics, etc.”
BSX has conducted research with 250 test subjects (and counting) and while there are some pretty big claims here, the research has found the LVL’s hydration accuracy to be validated by both blood and urine tests, and its heart rate measurement was within +/- 2.7BPM.
BSX says the LVL measures your hydration level in real time, including what you're losing in sweat. It takes this data and combines it with your heart rate, activity level and an educated guess on calories burned to make hydration and refueling recommendations. It’ll even make suggestions on how much you need to drink to improve mood, sleep and athletic performance.
Bluetooth connects the device to a smartphone for the companion app, which shows more in-depth data. Battery life is claimed at four days with a charge time of one to two hours and the device carries an IP67 ingress protection rating of 30min at one meter. The LVL is claimed to weigh 50g.
With 31 days to go at the time of writing, the LVL has raised over ten times its funding goal. The unit is set to retail for US$199 but there are still a few early bird rewards to be had.
For more info check out the LVL’s Kickstarter campaign.