Lifestyle

Review: HydraCoach Water Bottle

Looking to buy the Hydracoach UK Water Bottle but can’t find many reviews out there? I know I couldn’t – I’ve been using this bottle since February, and here are my results!

As many people who know me will be aware, I’m on a fitness journey. You wouldn’t know it looking at me but I do a lot of exercise. I mean A LOT. As well as pretty much constantly being on some form of Shaun T at-home workout regime, I also wake at 5.30am to get an early morning walk and go to the gym 6 days a week.

Since I started actively pushing myself to lose the final pounds at the start of this year, one thing I found was that my weight just wouldn’t budge downwards, but it would constantly be fluctuating up from my base weight and back down again. I’m a member of a couple of fitness related groups out there, and when I saw someone else post about similar problems with not seeing the scales shift someone else had suggested they ensure they were getting the adequate amount of water for their body.

The first water bottle I looked at was the Hydratem8 http://hydratem8.co.uk/, but I found they were out of stock until well into February. When I want something, I want it now, so this wasn’t really an option. I spent a long time searching for an equivalent, there must be a smart water bottle out there! Then I stumbled across a go fund me project in the US for a water bottle that glows when you drink your daily amount – it was something like $80 – out of the question. But it was from here that I somehow tumbled through a cacophony of Google searches to find the HydraCoach water bottle.

hydracoach UK water bottle

Price

The HydraCoach bottle can be found here http://hydracoach.co.uk/. Although it can be slightly confusing, as I’ll detail further down, the bottle itself I think is a really great solution and moderately priced for what you are getting. When I purchased it the bottle was £20, plus a postage fee. For what you are getting, and in the crowded market of fitness gadgets, I think £20 is a more than reasonable price to pay for a bottle with a computer in it. If we compare it to the Hydratem8 at £13.99, it’s only a fraction more than that and you’re getting something so much more high tech.

First Impressions

After 4 agonising days my bottle arrived and I opened it straight away. It comes with instructions and hygiene information which I followed before I began using it – you must fill it with water and a teaspoon of baking powder and let it sit for ten minutes. Whilst the 10 minutes ticked away we set up the computer. When you turn it on you set the date, times and measurements you prefer, then you input your weight and it sets your water goal which you can either accept or alter. Mine was 2.8 litres, and I accepted it.

Once the bottle was thoroughly clean, I put it together with the computer and began drinking – that’s exactly it, I began drinking without fully understanding the instructions – and it wasn’t tracking my sips but staying at 0%. Frustrated and worried it was broken I re-read the instructions more thoroughly – you need to press the start button before you take a sip!

Battery Life

I had read a number of reviews online which said the battery life was completely terrible, and the batteries that came with the bottle were drained within a matter of days. I have my suspicions for why this is, and I’ll share it with you.

You must press start, as I mentioned, before you take your first sip. The idea is to then leave it running and once it reaches a full 24 hours, it flashes and you have to reset and start again. I, personally, see little point in this because once you’ve pressed start it’s trying to track your sips constantly even when you’re not sipping – it’s little wonder this would drain the batteries. Instead, I press start when I take a sip, and stop when I finish, so it’s not constantly tracking. I’ve had no battery issues so far using this method.

The only downside to this is it doesn’t track a full 24 hours, so I have to hold the start button down myself to restart a day, but I don’t really see that as an issue. It also means the bottle can’t accurately track your average water intake each hour – at the moment mine thinks I’m drinking 30 litres an hour because I’ve drank 61% of my water allowance in only 3 minutes of it being ‘turned on’. This again, isn’t really an issue, as I’m not all that interested in my average in take, just wanting to know that I’m drinking enough.

NOTE: A note to add now I’ve been using the bottle for a long time. One evening, a cold February evening, I took it to rugby training. I left it in my sports bag while I was training, and when I came back to it at the end the screen was dead. Once I got it home and changed the battery it still remained dead. In the end, I put both the computer and the battery on the radiator to warm through and then reassembled it sometime later and it came back to life. The battery does not like being cold!

Practicality

It’s not bigger than a normal water bottle, so it’s not a hassle to take to the gym, to sports clubs, to work or even out on a walk. I have a backpack with a built in water bottle section so I put it in there when I’m out on long walks (though I make the computer face inward so it looks like a normal bottle, as I’m paranoid someone will grab it!).

What is not very practical about it is the sheer effort you have to put into drinking from it! I regularly sip from it and it just doesn’t budge on the percentage because I haven’t drank ‘hard enough’. You have to almost bite down on the tip of the straw and make sure you take long, drawn out sips. It isn’t complicated, or hassle, really, but it does look a bit strange and I felt obliged to explain the situation to my co-worker before I started chugging on my bottle!

The only issue I’ve found with it is now I’ve had the bottle for a while, I’ve become a bit lax, and I don’t always sip with the same vigour I used to. For example, today I’ve drunk from the bottle several times and the percentage hasn’t changed. Annoyingly too, this happens to me a lot when I exercise because I’m only on a short break I feel I don’t have the time to drink as I need to, to make the percentage go up. In some ways this defeats the object of the bottle, because I find myself thinking if it’s 75% or around that I’ve mostly likely drunk my allotted amount for the day.

Assembly

The assembly can be fiddly at times, which I discovered on my second evening of having the bottle. It suddenly stopped tracking my entire water intake after it had been working so perfectly. I kept sipping and sipping harder and harder and it just wouldn’t track anything. I was really upset as I thought my bottle had broken after less than 24 hours!

I asked my boyfriend to take a look at it and he couldn’t figure it out either. We took it apart and cleaned it thoroughly, thinking maybe it was clogged, but that did nothing either. Eventually after taking it apart and putting it back together for the second time, he realised the reason it was not working is because the straw has a pair of runners either side that need to be clicked into the bottle cap correctly for it to be able to see what you’re drinking.

I don’t think it mentioned this anywhere in the manual, so just be aware that this is the case, and make sure every little piece of the assembly is put together accurately, and that the straw sections clips into the top section.

Overall

For me, I feel the positives of the water bottle have far outweighed the negatives.

Ok, it can be a hassle having to drink really hard every time you want water (and you’re colleagues WILL stare), and some people have had issues with the battery life, but it’s practical and has helped contribute towards my health lifestyle.

Although it may be unrelated, my weight loss has soared since I began using the bottle, whereas before I was not experiencing the weight loss I should have been. I truly feel using the bottle has helped flush my system and restore my muscles when fatigued. Of course, by proxy, drinking a large amount of water each day has also helped satiate the hunger pangs.

Although there have been some teething problems with the bottle, I would fully recommend the product to anyone.

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