Despite the numerous studies about how drinking more water keeps us focused and energized and does things like help us fight off colds and stave off migraines, most of us fail at drinking the recommended eight glasses of water a day. iHydrate, US$1.99 in the App Store, helps you to get your daily 64 ounces through reminders and goal setting techniques.
Before you start tracking your beverage intake, iHydrate asks you simple questions about your sex, age and weight so that it can set your water intake for each day. The app set my daily intake to 80 ounces of water. This seemed a bit ambitious to me, so, with the custom setting option, I reset it to 64 ounces.
While iHydrate's goal is for you to drink more water, you can enter in any type of beverage. There are options for water, milk, soda, coffee, tea, juice, plus energy and sports drinks. Each of these is associated with a color so that you can track how much of each beverage you drink.
Simply click on your drink of choice and enter in the amount of ounces to add it to your daily tally. Ounces are the default measurement, but you can change this to milliliters in the settings. Once you've added the drink, it shows up in the pie chart and iHydrate tells you how many ounces you have left for the day.
The only flaw in this app is that it does not account for the variations in hydration levels of beverage types. When you drink a cup of coffee, the app counts that toward your daily 64 ounces of water. If the app's goal is hydration, then a diuretic like coffee shouldn't count the same as water. The more coffee you drink, the more water you need to consume to offset coffee's negative effects. The app should increase your recommended daily water intake based on how much coffee, tea or soda you drink. Maybe that will end up in a future update.
Still, the pie chart clues you in to how much of your fluid intake is actually good for you. That's important for those of us who don't realize how much we subsist on coffee and soda.
There is a reminder feature, which I never used because the idea of the app itself was motivation enough. You can set as many reminders as you need and make them recurring to help you build healthy habits.
Other than the one flaw mentioned above, iHydrate is a great app that I plan to keep using. It's perfect for anyone who wants to make a small change that will have a big impact on their overall health.