When it comes to health and performance, optimal hydration plays a central role in keeping athletes in the game. Decreases in fluid levels leading to dehydration can have a detrimental effect on performance in sport. Losses of up to 2% of an athlete’s body mass can reduce work output and endurance. It is not just endurance that we see impacted, strength and power levels can see losses of 5-6%. As we move into pre-season and the hotter months, it is important to stay hydrated and efficiently track hydration levels within athletes to help steer clear of these impacts on performance.
How much faster, stronger, fitter, or better could your athletes perform, if their hydration was effectively tracked, and they had control over their own outcome?
Hydration status can be monitored in several ways by both athletes as well as health and performance staff members. Whilst laboratory based testing using blood or urine samples is considered to be the most accurate, they have traditionally been the most difficult to implement in a team setting. Because of this, many athletes and teams opt to use easier testing methods despite limitations of accuracy or reliability. These methods include subjective urine color charts, weigh-ins, sweat rate, and relative thirst levels.
Given the importance of hydration and fueling, as well as the unique challenges that come along with the variety of options, how exactly can athletes and teams analyse hydration both quickly and accurately. The answer, InFlow.
Inflow, The New Hydration Testing Device
Intake Health’s InFlow hydration monitoring solution, combines laboratory grade testing seamlessly with an athlete’s daily routine, giving the best-of-both worlds for staff wanting to maximise accuracy while minimising messes and time wasting. Athletes can now get instant, objective feedback on their hydration status every day without added testing or guesswork, all received in time for them to properly hydrate before they perform and holds them accountable for effective and proper refueling.
Intake Health's InFlow product provides automated urinalysis in real-time via colour analysis (Bender, 2022). Automation and control of urine colour assessment removes many of the shortcomings and pitfalls. Particularly:
- Variable lighting control: Variable external lighting changes the way colours look. InFlow performs the colour analysis internally, shielding external light variability.
- Variable container size: Colour appears different when looking at different volumes. InFlow standardises the urine volume during each measurement.
- Variable urine colour comparison charts: Either different sources of colour charts or different printer or paper quality can produce variable comparison charts. InFlow measures colour directly for consistent comparisons.
- Variability in individual skill and physiology: Individuals have variability in vision quality (colour-blindness) as well as skill in observing and matching colours. InFlow automates this process and removes user burden and requirement of manual colour-matching.
InFlow integrates proven sensing technology into normal behaviors to deliver real-time effortless hydration tests directly to athletes. The hydration testing device installs in seconds, fits seamlessly into existing routines, and works for you to deliver unlimited hydration testing all season long. It also comes with an over urinal action graphic that informs the next steps. Using a USG reading, any result above 1.012 will display green, any result between 1.012 and 1.025 will display yellow and anything below 1.025 will display red.
Product features include:
- Double suction cups for fast and secure mounting.
- Translucent lid that lights up the urinal for staff and player accountability.
- Urine resistant material reduces build up.
- Drain hole that allows for back-to-back testing.
- Magnetic cartridge that can be removed with one gloved hand for easy cleaning and charging by staff or custodians.
- 4-6 month battery life depending on use.
- A rechargeable battery that can be wirelessly charged for unlimited hydration testing.
- Intuitive red, yellow, green behavior changing hydration feedback.
- The device will flash blue when it needs charging.
- The device has colour blind features meaning the colour will flash when action needs to be taken.
Don’t Just Take Our Word For It’s Capabilities
Millwall FC have recently worked to increase their hydration awareness within their teams using InFlow. They were looking to optimise all aspects of team and player wellness to impact performance they found was critical to their success, this included hydration. Both staff and players found that techniques like urine dipstick tests and optical refractometers were burdensome, yielded mediocre results and were unsustainable.
Millwall saw value in the way InFlow’s automated hydration testing could help with their challenge of optimizing hydration readiness and recovery practices within the team. The players found InFlow easy to use and enjoyed using it daily; they specifically liked the clear and instant feedback. Players reported seeing fewer dehydrated test results and said they felt empowered by managing their own hydration. Staff reported that the InFlow hydration testing device made a positive impact without them having to chase players.
Empower athletes, build accountability, and maximise performance in your team. Get your InFlow Hydration Testing Device today.