Did you know that in 2017, a University of Texas football coach created a urine-based “Longhorn Football Hydration Chart,” which labelled players with light urine as “selfish teammates” and those with dark urine as “bad guys”. This “hydration shaming” practice has permeated high school sports, thereby encouraging a sporting culture which equates superior performance with superior hydration. Dehydration is still a major problem in sports.
By now, most coaches and athletes are familiar with the dangers of dehydration, especially during practice in hot weather conditions. However, it’s also important to understand the dangers of overhydration – a medical condition known as exercise-associated hyponatremia. Hyponatremia is caused by drinking too much water or sports fluids, which dilutes blood salt levels below the normal range. A sudden drop in blood salt levels, from drinking more than the body can excrete, can cause all cells in the body to swell. Brain swelling from hyponatremia can cause headaches and vomiting, while muscle cell swelling can trigger whole-body muscle cramping.
With our combination of sensors and deep-learning algorithms it is possible to measure overhydration and prevent the dangers that overhydration can cause. It also prevents the dangers of dehydration by alerting the athlete that he or she should drink.
Research shows that the above-mentioned dangers mainly occur in endurance sports such as cycling, running, skating and swimming. Endurance sport is a collective term for a sports activity by an individual athlete in which key muscles are exercised at submaximal intensity for prolonged periods of time. This can be anything from 30 minutes up to a few hours, and without rest. What you eat and drink has a major impact on your performance. Endurance athletes often experience difficulties in determining the right time to eat or drink. BodyGraph wants to support these athletes by developing a product that anticipates this.