Gatorade has launched its smart sweat patch, as it aims to connect athletes with their hydration levels.
The disposable patch is worn on the inner left arm during a workout, and fills up with sweat which can then be analysed by the Gx app. The concept has been around since 2018, and had finally made it to market – and it looks pretty badass. We also covered the development with an interview with Gatorade's tech partner Epicore back in 2019.
The patch changes color as it takes on perspiration, which means you could theoretically decipher your hydration at a glance. But actually, the pattern and colors act as a kind of sweaty QR code for the app, which scans the patch using your smartphone’s camera.
The Gx app will then reveal your unique “sweat profile”, reading information such as hydration and sodium levels. It will then provide guidance on how much you need to drink to recover, and offer advice on fuelling before your next workout.
The Gx app after reading the Sweat Patch
The app will also provide data such as estimated fluid loss and the rate of sweat during your workout.
The Gx app will also talk to services such as Strava and Apple Health to augment the hydration data with activity information. It will then use this to guide you on training load and suggested recovery.
It’s not cheap though. A patch can only be used for a single workout, and costs $25 for two. That’s quite a premium for a simple workout, although dedicated athletes may find value there.
Back in 2019 Epicore co-founder and CEO Roozbeh Ghaffari told us:
“From our standpoint, it’s not meant to be a device that you use every day, the way you would a Fitbit. A pack of 12 may be good enough for a season, to give you a quick snapshot at the end of the exercise, or at half time.”
It could be used for the heaviest training sessions in the lead up to big events, perhaps when large distances are involved. Or, of course, used for race day. We could certainly see the value in ultra races, where fuelling and hydration can be the difference between a PB and a DNF.
The Gatorade GX Sweat Patch is available in the US at gatorade.com and Dicks Sporting Goods.
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