AMITIAE - Monday 22 September 2014

Increased Health Awareness: DrinkWater App - Monitoring Daily Fluid Intake

apple and chopsticks


By Graham K. Rogers


The update of iOS 8 with its inclusion of the Health app, coupled with recent announcements about the Apple Watch and the release of the iPhone 6 models have brought an increasing awareness about health to some users.

Since the release of iOS 8 past week I have been playing with the Health app. While some data needs to be entered manually, there are some settings that allow input from the iPhone directly, or from sensors. Currently, however, these third party apps and sensors are not able to use Health as Apple detected a problem just before release. Nonetheless, I have begun to monitor the number of steps and the distance I walk each day for starters.

A link on MacNN has information about Pyle Audio's new Bluetooth Blood Pressure Monitor, but this does not seem to be available in Asia. Those making queries are required to create an account and log in. We have too much of this nowadays, so I declined.

I am more hopeful of a response from iHealth who already have a number of devices and apps that are designed to link with iPhones and Android things. I sent them a query and will keep my fingers crossed for a reply.

In the meantime, a look on the apps list found me iDrinkWater: an app that helps users monitor fluid intake. Living in a tropical environment, I am aware of the need to drink a lot of water daily.

When I used to ride motorbikes, it was easy to let this slip. By the time I felt thirsty, it was too late; so it was important to drink at each stop. I learned this the hard (and painful) way when I discovered I had a small kidney stone the morning after an extended ride. Lots of fluids cleared this with no need for further medical attention (I was lucky).

iDrinkWater iDrinkWater iDrinkWater

After an opening screen, the app requests the user to enter body weight: this will affect daily needs. The page for data that follows has 4 mini-panels that allow for data to be entered: Weight, Love Sports (ml), Hot weather (ml), and Water intake (ml). Each has an icon to the left that corresponds with identical icons on the main information page.

The data in the mini panels can all be changed to suit the user and circumstances. Apart from weight, I left these unchanged. My daily intake was apparently 3185 ml of water. I drank a small bottle of water (500 ml) and entered this information and the app awarded me with a gold star. The information on the main panel changed to indicate 2985 ml to go. When I added 150 ml later, another comment appeared.

At the bottom of the panel is a button marked, Drink Water. This reveals a quick list of quantities from 50 ml to 500 ml plus More, so a user can quickly enter any amount that is consumed. More opens a panel with 1,000 entered by default with a number pad below for entering quantities.

The five icons on the page are for a graph of intake, a useful quantity guide, a screenshot feature that allows information to be shared with users on a number of social networking sites (or messages to be sent), sports mode (on/off) and Hot weather mode (on/off).

iDrinkWater iDrinkWater iDrinkWater

To turn on the useful Graph feature, I needed to submit a review in the apps section of the iTunes store. Likewise, Hot weather mode could only be turned on if I were to share the app with others (I declined). With Sports mode on, the quantity of water needed is increased (the default was 300 ml but this can be changed)

At the top of the screen is an "i" icon which shows a screen with useful tips and a panel that allows a user to create a plan: a regimen for consumption of fluids. Also at the top is a gear wheel for settings, but I was never able to access this as the app crashed every time, even after restarting the iPhone and the app (cleared from memory).

When I first set the app up, I was able to turn on the badges feature that now displays the amount I still need to drink in the day. There is also a notification setting which sends a warning that it is "Drinking Time", with a warning sound of running water.

A quick Google search using "why is water essential" gave me a list of sites with information. One of these, ShapeFit, has a page of useful information, including a number of bullet points:

  • Water is essential to your body's temperature regulation, keeping it cool through perspiration.

  • Water flushes out toxins and wastes.

  • Water is a major component of blood which carries nutrients and oxygen to and from all cells.

  • Water provides a moist environment for all body tissues. . . .

  • Water cushions joints and protects tissues and organs like the brain from shock and damage.

  • Water helps maintain a healthy weight.

Awareness of body condition, using monitors and data input, so building an overall picture is a way to make all of us more concerned about health. And improved health has its own benefits in less downtime and lower (or preferably, zero) medical expenses.

Apart from the inability to access the Settings, the main drawback to iDrinkWater is that it does not link (currently) with the iOS Health app: this would be a logical connection as water intake directly affects health, but the Health app itself has no setting for this either. But it is a start.

See also:

Why Water Is Important - Essential Nutrient For Health & Fitness (ShapeFit)

Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand where he is also Assistant Dean. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. He is now continuing that in the Bangkok Post supplement, Life.



Made on Mac

For further information, e-mail to

information Tag information Tag

Back to eXtensions
Back to Home Page

All content copyright © G. K. Rogers 2014