Can This 'Smart' Water Bottle Help You Lead a Healthier Life?

STACK offers a product review of the Pryme Vessyl, a 'smart' water bottle from Mark One.

There's absolutely no doubt that being well-hydrated has a positive impact on nearly every aspect of your life.

The human body is roughly 60-percent water, and water plays a crucial role in almost every important bodily function. Water transports nutrients and oxygen, supports proper muscle contraction, improves joint function and fights fatigue. Being even slightly dehydrated can cause decreases in reaction time, mood and focus. The negative effects of not drinking enough water are almost too many to count, yet many Americans experience them on a daily basis.

A recent study found that more than 50 percent of American teens and children don't drink enough water, and 25 percent of them don't drink any water on a daily basis. Adults don't fare much better. Forty-three percent of them drink fewer than four cups a day.

The exact amount of water you need to drink daily depends on your age, gender, weight, climate and amount of physical activity; but no matter where you fit into those categories, there's a good chance you're not drinking enough water.

The Pryme Vessyl by Mark One would like to change that. The Vessyl is essentially a smart water bottle that aims to detect how much water you should be drinking and how much you've actually drunk. According to the company's website, the "Pryme Vessyl automatically tracks and displays your personal hydration needs."

Sounds pretty good, but does it really work? Here are my thoughts after some extensive hands-on experience with the Vessyl.

The New Age of Hydration?

Pryme Screen Shots

Screenshots of the Vessyl App

Getting the Vessyl up and running isn't difficult. Once you remove it from its packaging, all you have to do is assemble the lid, plug in the charging port and place the bottle on top. The Vessyl's short charge time and the fact that it doesn't require additional batteries are big plusses in my book. The actual unit itself is sleek and simple, with no buttons or screens. Rather, the data and UI are located on the accompanying app. The app is free to download, and once it's on your device (I used my iPhone 6), all you have to do is enter your unique unit number and establish a bluetooth connection with the Vessyl.

The makers of the Vessyl know that the old "eight cups of water a day" adage is inaccurate and that everybody's hydration needs are different. The Vessyl attempts to tackle this challenge by gathering as much information about the user as possible. When I first opened the app, I had to fill in my age, gender, height, weight, typical bedtime, typical time I wake up and choose from one of three lifestyles (mostly sitting, on your feet a lot, always breaking a sweat). To adjust for your amount of actual exercise, you can either manually enter the length, intensity and type of activity you performed or you can link the Vessyl to a fitness tracker (such as a Fitbit).

RELATED: How Much Water Should Athletes Drink Every Day?

Once all my info was punched in and the Vessyl was fully charged, I filled it up and started knocking back some H2O. As a  drinking experience, I enjoyed using the Vessyl. At 16 oz., it's big enough so you don't have to make constant trips to the water cooler but not so massive it becomes cumbersome to handle. The slidable lid makes it relatively spill-proof, and the Vessyl keeps water cooler than a traditional glass or bottle.

With every sip I took, I could watch the app calculate my total ounces consumed and report how close I was to my "Pryme" hydration level. Once you reach between 80 and 100 percent of your calculated optimal hydration level, a blue light appears on the unit, and the app congratulates you. It also informs you of how long you can go without additional hydration before you fall out of your "Pryme."

Pryme Graph

This gamification of hydration incentivized me to drink more than I normally would, as it felt rewarding to watch my levels climb and eventually get a message stating, "You are at your PRYME." You can also use the app to add any beverages that you didn't drink from the Vessyl, and your hydration numbers will update accordingly. Though water is the most convenient and affordable fluid option, other beverages do possess somewhat similar hydrating effects. Drinks that have been found to hydrate comparable to water include tea, coconut water and small to moderate amounts of coffee.

However, the Pryme doesn't account for hydration via food, which, according to the Institute of Health, makes up roughly 19 percent of the average American's water intake. It's tough to imagine a solution to this issue, but hopefully it's something the designers took into account when creating their hydration algorithm.

The Verdict

Pryme Vessyl

My experience led me to believe that the Vessyl is best suited for use at the office. Keep it on your desk, put it on the charging port before you head home and fill it up every morning. The Vessyl did a great job of reminding me and incentivizing me to stay hydrated throughout the work day, a time where most people get so caught up in tasks that they often forget to hydrate.

However, lugging the Vessyl around with me on my commute and to other destinations felt like a hassle. Its charge time isn't quite long enough and I was constantly in fear of forgetting it somewhere. I have enough trouble keeping track of my phone, keys and wallet—I don't need to constantly worry about a $100 water bottle. Keeping the Vessyl in my office allowed me to keep better tabs on my hydration throughout the day without worrying about taking the thing everywhere.

The Pryme Vessyl is available on Amazon and their official website as well as in select Apple stores for $99.

Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock