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This is the one Apple Watch app you should be using

This is the one Apple Watch app you should be using
(Image credit: Future)

The Apple Watch is an outstanding wellness device, but sometimes it makes following health goals feel a little shame-y. If you’re an Apple Watch user, you know exactly what I’m talking about. 

Luckily, with some of the best Apple Watch apps, there are ways to take the reins over from Apple’s native programs and all of their slightly-passive aggressive push notifications. I’ve found one third-party app in particular that is improving the health-tracking relationship between me and my Apple Watch 6. It’s also making my skin glow.

No, seriously. While I’ve always assumed I’m hydrated enough to ward off wrinkles and get through my workouts and day-to-day activities without headaches, I’m learning I might need more water than I thought thanks to an app called Water Reminder.

Why you need Water Reminder on your Apple Watch

Available for any of the best Apple Watch models, Water Reminder is the app I believe everyone should use. You could already log your water intake in the Apple Health app, but for a reason I can’t understand, there’s not an Apple Watch version of the health dashboard. 

Yet, hydration is as important a health metric as any, with as much as 75% of Americans being chronically dehydrated. In the U.K. 345 non-Covid-19 patients in hospitals and care homes died from dehydration during first lockdown, according to a study. 173 of those who died were younger than 65 years, though adults older than 65 still have the highest hospital admission rates for dehydration, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Though the consequences of dehydration aren't always so severe, there's plenty of evidence that people are better off when they've had ample water. 

Tracking water intake with your Apple Watch

Whether I’m sitting down at a restaurant or finishing up at the gym, I’ve found it much easier and less obtrusive to log what I’m drinking on my wrist rather than from my iPhone. 

Here's how it works: First, you need to download Water Reminder on either your iPhone or Apple Watch. You'll then be prompted to configure your settings. The app gives you the option to sync with Apple Health for your age, weight and height information, or you can input that data manually. You'll also be asked to enter your activity level, climate and personal goals.

Based on these factors Water Reminder provides a daily water intake recommendation. Mine is 100 ounces, but the app doesn’t expect me to remember that I should be drinking just shy of a gallon of water every day.

It will send notifications when I haven’t logged a drink recently. And to put your hydration levels in perspective, Water Reminder keeps tallies of your coffee, tea, milk, juice and soda ounces, too. For other drink types, you'd need to subscribe to a paid version of Water Reminder that costs $3.99 per month or $35.99 per year. 

I've found the free version works just fine. In fact, I'd say it works great, considering I'm drinking more water now that it's been gamified in a similar manner to closing my activity rings. 

It's obviously difficult to solely credit Water Reminder with improving how I feel, but I've definitely noticed I'm breaking out less, working out longer and not waking up painfully thirsty anymore. Though using an Apple Watch app to track water intake might seem like small habit to initiate, it could be one with big health benefits.

For more Apple Watch tips and tricks, check out our guide on how to use the Apple Watch. Also be sure to catch up with the latest on watchOS 8 and Apple Watch 7, since the launches of both Apple's software update and its new watch will happen in a few months.

Kate Kozuch

Kate Kozuch is a senior writer at Tom’s Guide covering wearables, TVs and everything smart-home related. When she’s not in cyborg mode, you can find her on an exercise bike or channeling her inner celebrity chef. She and her robot army will rule the world one day, but until then, reach her at kate.kozuch@futurenet.com.