Disruptive tech: The AI, genetic and bioactive research guiding supplement development

Brian Bender, co-founder at Intake Health, spoke about InFlow, his companyโ€™s urinal-based test that measures hydrationโ€‹. The test is currently used by nearly half of all male U.S. professional sports teams to improve team hydration immediately. Intake Health is also developing a test for women. ย ย ย ย 

โ€œBy the time you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated, most likely,โ€ Bender said. โ€œAnd there’s other challenges, such as there’s variability in when thirst occurs from person to person.โ€

People can drink small amounts of water, and it satiates that thirst sensation. But as more fluid enters the body, thereโ€™s a cascade of hormones to help the body maintain the fluids it already has. Kidneys reabsorb that water.

โ€œWhen youโ€™re working hard during the day and itโ€™s hot and humid, your urine becomes darker,โ€ Bender said. โ€œYour kidneys are reabsorbing water, and it becomes more concentrated, which leads us to measuring hydration status.โ€

InFlow works by being placed in a urinal. Once the inserted cup is full of urine, it gives users a red, yellow or green result to indicate various levels of dehydration. There is also a female version of InFlow in the works, Bender said.ย As for the future, Intake Health plans to go beyond hydration analysis and create tests that can also detect supplements, or lack thereof, in urine.ย 


Other companies are keenly focused on nutrigenomics, the interface between nutrition and genetic makeup. Itโ€™s about determining which supplements are right for individuals based on their genetics.

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