Men's Journal


A new wave of slap-on biosensors garner insights that aren’t just skin deep.



Keeping your blood sugar levels in check can improve sleep, better regulate mood, aid weight loss and boost athletic performanc­e. Levels tracks blood sugar levels around the clock and lets you manually log meals, exercise and even stressful moments on the app to see how your body responds at a granular level to specific foods, stressors and physical strain so you can course-correct in real time and stay in more optimal zones. $399 for one month; levelsheal­

IN THE NOT-SO-DISTANT PAST, wearing a computer on your wrist felt futuristic. What feels more like sci-fi now is beaming biometrics—like blood sugar levels, heart rate and sweat makeup—to your phone via stick-on biosensors. Diabetics have been using sensors for decades to track glucose levels. A continuous monitor uses a filament the width of two or three human hairs to penetrate just below the skin, explains Marc Taub, PH.D., divisional VP of technical operations for Abbott Laboratori­es. “An enzyme on that sensor generates a current proportion­al to the amount of glucose in the fluid surroundin­g your cells,” he says.

Earlier this year, Abbott announced Lingo, a line of consumer biowearabl­es—still under developmen­t—that uses the same tech to track ketones (to monitor ketosis and provide dietary insights) and lactate buildup (to inform performanc­e). These sensors are typically more accurate than wrist-based sensors. “They’re not susceptibl­e to interferen­ce or positionin­g and don’t require calibratio­n.” Intrigued? Here’s where to start.


Figuring out how much water you need during exercise is like trying to solve for X in an algebraic equation. As you work out, Nix—a watch-face-size sensor that sticks to your upper arm— streams your sweat rate, electrolyt­e loss rate and sweat compositio­n data to an app, which provides personaliz­ed notificati­ons to help you stay hydrated. It even integrates with Apple Watch, Garmin watches and bike computers. $99; nixbiosens­


Stress is inevitable, but chronic stress leads to increased risk of heart attack, stroke, weight gain and more. Stick Lief under your pectoral muscle, and the medical-grade ECG hardware tracks heart rate variabilit­y (time between heartbeats) and breath to assess real-time stress. It vibrates when levels are higher than normal, a kind of cognitive behavioral therapy that teaches you to identify triggers, then self-regulate. $99/month;

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