Image credit: Steve Collis / Flickr
Rafael Nadal wearing yellow wristbands during a tennis match. Future wristbands and sweatbands might just be able to provide professional athletes, such as tennis players, and regular exercisers, with valuable data on dehydration.

Future wristbands will be able to provide you with data on blood sugar and inform if you are getting dehydrated.

Researchers at Berkeley in California have developed a wristband that can measure the concentration of various salts and substances in the sweat secreted when we exercise.

The wristband can measure four different substances found in sweat and secreted when we exercise. This data can be sent to a smartphone for analysis and presentation.

The wristband is able to measure the presence of the salts sodium and potassium and inferred from these values it is possible to establish dehydration and electrolyte depletion.

It can also measure the presence of lactic acid and provide an indication of how high the intensity of one’s workout is. It can even measure the presence of glucose content in the sweat to possibly provide clues about blood sugar levels.

But for these latter substances lactic acid and glucose, more research is required. As the precise relationship between glucose present in the sweat and blood sugar levels need to be established.

The technology will primarily be useful for professional athletes and complement all the tests that athletes constantly do anyways.

But it is probably only a matter of time before the tech will be available for us regular exercisers wanting to receive more precise data on hydration when running on a hot summer day.

Wei Gao et al. Fully integrated wearable sensor arrays for multiplexed in situ perspiration analysis. DOI: 10.1038/nature16521