Image source: Garmin

Explaining Garmin’s new hydration tracking feature

From about a month ago Garmin has introduced a new hydration tracking feature. Here’s everything you need to know.

Essential reading: Smart gadgets that help you drink more water

We all know that consuming liquid is important. But let’s face it, most of us are guilty of not taking in enough water. Your body needs H2O to regulate its temperature, flush out harmful toxins and to help vital organs work properly. Being dehydrated for prolonged periods can have bad health outcomes in the long run.

Garmin wants to make the job of staying hydrated a bit easier with its new hydration tracking feature. It works through the Garmin Connect app and (for a selection of watches) through a hydration tracker widget.

The way this functions is as follows.

In User Settings of Garmin connect you can customize Drinking Containers and Units preference. The app allows you to define three container sizes you most typically drink from. By default they are set to 250ml, 500ml and 750ml.

This is also the place to define your daily goal. By default, Garmin uses the hydration goal derived from the recommendations of several health organizations such as the US National Academy of Sciences. This is meant to guide your water intake, give you something to aim for and hopefully increase you daily water intake.

From that point on, each time you empty one of these containers tap on the Quick Add button on the Garmin Connect app dashboard.

Explaining Garmin’s new hydration tracking feature

This will allow you to either manually input the amount of liquid consumed or use one of the three pre-defined cup sizes to quickly add a quantity. Garmin is assuming this will be water, not wine or beer as the health effect is not quite the same!

Explaining Garmin’s new hydration tracking feature

Explaining Garmin’s new hydration tracking featureYour daily value consumed will be displayed on the dashboard. Longer term trends can be seen in the Health Status/Hydration section of the app. This shows your daily, weekly, 4 weekly and 12 monthly progress in the form of a chart. It also tallies your data.

While the above functionality works for all users of Garmin Connect, the job of tracking liquid intake for owners of the Vivoactive 4/4S, Venu, Ray, First Avenger and Darth Vader is a bit easier. They can download and install the Garmin Hydration Tracking app. This will allow them to add consumed cups via a widget on their watch screen. The info will be synced and aggregated with data entered manually through Garmin Connect.

Unfortunately, we are still waiting for the first wearable device with the ability to automatically track water intake. In the meantime, this is the next best thing.

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Marko Maslakovic

Marko founded Gadgets & Wearables in 2014, having worked for more than 15 years in the City of London’s financial district. Since then, he has led the company’s charge to become a leading information source on health and fitness gadgets and wearables.

7 thoughts on “Explaining Garmin’s new hydration tracking feature

  • False advertising. Horrible widget. Doesn’t work at all. Waste!

  • The widget works just fine on my Vivoactive 4s? However, I needed to update the Vivoactive a few times before the hydration widget worked correctly.
    It also adds huge amounts to the hydration goal value for exercise – after an 80km cycle tour it told me to drink over 8l of water for that day.

  • Works great for me too! Even increases the amount I need to drink if I run. Gotta admit. Sometimes it’s hard to get all 12 cups in. Guess that’s the idea behind the app!

    • Works on the Venu without issues.

  • The Auto update hydration target feature doesn’t work. Another irritating Garminism

  • 8 oz. Is NOT 250ml. Why can’t I record and see the results in ounces? Fitbit handles it just fine. None of my containers are marked for ml. Oh! My glasses are 8, 12, 14 and 20 oz. This is very limiting since I can’t just add 10 ounces…


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