We’ve finally reached the next level in real-time monitoring. If you’re an elite athlete, professional trainer or fitness enthusiast looking for more meaningful data, now’s the time to up your performance with our newest application, SweetBeatLife. The new application uses state-of-the-art sensor technology by our partners at Vital Connect, who created HealthPatch with extreme precision and accuracy.
IMPORTANT: The Vital Connect HealthPatch can only be purchased through our application or on our supported health sensors page. SweetBeatLife is the only application using the HealthPatch at this time! If you are unsure whether your device is compatible with SweetBeatLife or the HealthPatch, please check out our compatibility chart.
Below are some helpful tips for using SweetBeatLife with the HealthPatch and getting started with the new correlation feature, which includes data integration from other popular fitness platforms like MapMyFitness, Fitbit and Withings.
Purchasing the HealthPatch inside of SweetBeatLife is easier than ever!
Select the “General” tab on the bottom right.
Select “Buy the HealthPatch”.
Selecting the arrow below each option will drop down a description of that package.
Enter your information and checkout
If you cannot find “Buy the HealthPatch”, then you might have to go back (< General) to the main screen.
Make sure you checkout all of the way. If you do not receive a confirmation email within 24 hours, you have not finished checking out!
International users who wish to purchase the HealthPatch, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will have your request sent to the VitalConnect team. Please be patient as they finalize their international shipping system.
Authorizing Fitbit, Withings and MapMyFitness Data in SweetBeatLife
Sign in to your account on our website. If you do not have an account, yet, please purchase the app and go to General > Account Settings, and sign up for one.
Scroll down – between the small calendar and large calendar you will see a box. The box has clickable links for authorizing Fitbit, Withings and MapMyFitness.
Select whichever platform you want to authorize and sign in to your account for that platform.
Choose which data you want to see in the correlation feature. Do this by opening the app and selecting the Correlation tab > Settings > Select Data.
Math is not for everyone. That’s why we have added the handy dandy “Help” document in the top right corner of the Correlation screen. Please read this thoroughly!
You need at least three daysof data on your SweetBeatLife to use the correlation feature.
In settings where you “select data” for correlation, the colors coordinate with each other. For example, all of the Calorie outs are orange, even though some of them are labeled different depending on the sensor.
Sessions cannot be transferred from SweetBeat to SweetBeatLife (at this time).
Downloading CSV files
Our users have been requesting this and it’s finally here in SweetBeatLife! You can now export your RR-Intervals in a CSV file. Many people enter this file into the freeware Kubios for a deeper look into their nervous system. To read more about this click here.
SweetWater Health’s co-founder and CEO, Ronda Collier, will be hosting a webinar on May 14, 2014, 5 pm Eastern time via USA Triathlon. Listen in and see if Ronda can answer some of your HRV for Training questions. Sign up now!
Most athletes know that getting enough rest after exercise is essential to high-level performance. Still many over-train and feel guilty about taking a day off though scientific research proves that improved performance in competitive sports is achieved by alternating periods of intensive training with periods of relative rest. Standardized training programs produce well documented results, but do not take individual responses into account. In the past decade, college sports teams and world-class athletes have been increasingly using Heart Rate Variability (HRV) to monitor fatigue and recovery from workouts. In this webinar you will be able to understand:
The Science and Physiology of HRV
Using HRV for Individualized Endurance Training
The Relationship Between Stress, Food, HRV and Peak Performance
USAT coaches who wish to earn 1 CEU for this webinar must purchase the webinar at www.usatriathlonuniversity.com and then complete the corresponding webinar exam. Coaches will pay $24.99 to view the webinar and if they wish to earn CEU credit would purchase the webinar exam for $9.99 for a total of $34.98 which includes viewing of the webinar and 1 CEU credit.
If you cannot attend this webinar at the specified time and date, you can register in advance and the complete webinar recording will automatically be emailed to you after it is completed.
Ronda Collier, B.S.E.E., M.A. Psychology
Ronda has more than 25 years of experience in high technology product development with a proven track record of delivering leading edge consumer electronic products within both privately held startups and Fortune 500 corporations. She spent 3 years as an independent scholar researching non-invasive health monitoring techniques to improve overall personal wellbeing. This research led to the founding of SweetWater Health, L.L.C. in 2011 and the release of SweetBeat, the HRV measurement app in 2012.
Ronda has presented HRV basics and applications at the 2012 and 2013 Quantified Self conference and SweetBeat was featured at the 2012 Health 2.0 conference in San Francisco. In addition, she has been interviewed by several popular podcast hosts, including sports physiologist and author Ben Greenfield, and The Bulletproof Executive’s Dave Asprey. She is known for presenting HRV in a simple and understandable fashion.
It’s time for an update on my adventure to my optimal self and the fight against my sugar addiction. It is now day 89 without me having a relapse. Yay!
Usually, I can eat a meal, get up from the table without having any desert and still feel happy and satisfied. This is huge. Risky for me are now only days when I eat too much fruit or wait too long with preparing my next meal. Then grasping a “healthy bar” (too much sugar) or a piece of cheese (personal sensitivity: can trigger cold sores) is still very tempting.
Otherwise I eat gluten free without any regrets (when I eat gluten, it can cause depression or self-doubt within 2 days) and I don’t buy anything that comes with an ingredient list.
All is well that ends well? Unfortunately not.
My own heart measurement (SweetBeat App, 60Beats chest strap) has shown that my HRV (heart rate variability) and HF / LF (high frequency, low frequency) values are less than optimal. Both are measured to determine
the personal stress tolerance,
the biological (real) age,
the vital reserves,
the physical and mental fitness,
the recovery and regeneration capability,
and the respiratory function.
On the contrary, my values are by far the worst that I have ever measured on a test subject. Oops, that was a shock, and my active cycling comeback scheduled for this spring had to be cancelled. My journey to my optimal self is thus far from over.
Well, my dear heart was always my weak point. What to do next was the big question. Being professionally involved with health solutions proves to be very helpful at such occasion. I used my Swiss Nutritioneer analysis system, as described in my online practice. The findings were as follows:
– Adrenal fatigue in the 2nd stage (caused by chronic stressors)
– Resulting catabolic dominance in the body
– Assumed compensation by adrenaline
– Chronic adrenaline acts like “poison” for my heart
The real headache was to identify my main stressors. After a meeting with myself that included a sheet of paper, a pen, a quiet place in the sun and the willingness to question everything, I was able to determine these factors quite clearly. There are two emotional stressors in my current life that cause enormous, chronic stress (multiple simultaneous projects with their organizational and financial requirements). By the way, the three main causes of chronic stress are listed here, if you need help to identify yours.
As a result, I created the following, optimal program for me:
Remove emotional stressors
– Change my attitude towards these ongoing projects (book recommendation Eckhard Tolle, The Power Of Now.) I plan to write an additional blog post about what worked for me to stay in the moment instead of worrying about future events or regret things happened in the past)
– Breathing exercises using the Inner Balance App and the necessary ear sensor.
– Freeze frame technique (book recommendation The Heartmath Solution)
– Laugh! There is hardly a more powerful weapon against chronic stress than laughter. One Chuck TV episode in the evening works very well for me. You’ll have to find out what works best for you.
– Explosive, super short one rep max strength exercises of the strongest muscle groups in the body (chest press, leg press, shoulder pulls, calf raises), which trigger an anabolic hormone response.
– HIIT (high intensitiy interval training): Extremely short but full gas sprints of max. 6 seconds with 2 minutes rest in between. A total of 6 to 12 sprints. (boosts anabolic hormones)
– Overall, no workout longer than 15 to 20 minutes and no cycling (too much of a catabolic effect)
– Work less, surf more. Or translated for landlocked countries: less work, more hobby;)
Every morning, using HRV and LF / HF 3-minute test (SweetBeat App)
Obviously, my next chapter on the journey to my optimal self and faster cycling is opened…
To read the original article and more from the Swiss Nutritioneer, visit his website!
Rene von Gunten is certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine and the Nutritional Therapy Association and also holds a diploma in Nutritional Balancing Science from the Westbrook University. Rene is a graduate of the renowned mentorship program in functional medicine by Dr. Kalish.
About the Book: “You have amazing physical goals. You want the best body you can get. You want to look, feel, and perform like a champion.
So you beat up your body with tough training, day after day, week after week, month after month. As a result, you’re held back by frustrating issues like brain fog, broken gut, hormone depletion, heart problems, and damaged joints – limited to living at a fraction of your peak capacity and powerless to tap into your full potential and achieve your dreams – potentially destroying your brain, heart, gut and metabolism in the process.
But what if you could get an incredible physique, do an Ironman triathlon, compete in Crossfit, run a marathon, become a powerlifter, do extreme exercise, play any sport you want and achieve amazing feats of physical performance without destroying your body?
Now you can, with Ben Greenfield’s brand new book “Beyond Training: Mastering Endurance, Health & Life“.
Contrary to popular belief, it truly is possible to be healthy on the outside, to look amazing, and even to compete in teeth-grittingly hard events like Ironman triathlons and Crossfit – and still be healthy on the inside too. And this book gives you every training, nutrition, and lifestyle solution you need to do it, including:
The 2 best ways to build endurance fast without destroying your body
Underground training tactics for maximizing workout efficiency
The best biohacks for enhancing mental performance and instantly entering the zone
How to know with laserlike accuracy whether your body has truly recovered
26 ways to quickly recover from workouts, injuries and overtraining
The 25 most important blood and saliva biomarkers and how to test them
5 essential elements of training that most athletes neglect
7 stress-fighting weapons to make your mind-body connection bulletproof
Proven systems to enhance sleep, eliminate insomnia, and conquer jetlag
40 high-calorie, nutrient-dense meals that won’t destroy your metabolism
Done-for-you tools to customize your carbs, proteins and fats for your unique body and goals
9 ways to fix a broken gut, create toxin-free life, and detox your body
A complete system to safeguard your immune system and stomach
Potent time-efficiency tips for balancing training, work, travel, and family
Training and meal plans so that you easily and immediately implement everything you discover
Whether you’re a triathlete, marathoner, CrossFitter, swimmer, cyclist, ultrarunner, recreational athlete or any other extreme exercise or regular exercise enthusiast, this is the last system for training, endurance, health, and life you will ever need.”
Enjoy this great podcast from Debbie Potts and Ronda Collier. For a brief overview, read below:
“Was it Socrates or Michael Jackson who said “Keep on with the force, don’t stop. Don’t stop ’til you get enough”? Regardless, that’s the way Jon thinks about testing Heart Rate Variability. You can’t get enough of it! You see, testing HRV might be one of the most accurate and powerful biofeedback devices you can do in the comfort and privacy of your own home. HRV tells you so much about your autonomic nervous system which in turn tells you how your body is regulating heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, cortisol production and so much more. Understanding your autonomic nervous system is key to understanding a whole host of health parameters and HRV is the window into that. Debbie sits down in this episode to talk all about HRV testing with Rhonda Collier, founder of Sweetwater Health and the Sweetbeat App which is pretty much the industry standard for testing HRV. There’s a ton of great information….enjoy!
Below is a short explanation of the podcast and a link to listen!
“Expert Ronda Collier, CEO and co-founder of SweetWater Health and the SweetBeat app, joins the show to give a detailed chat on heart rate variability (HRV) and how to understand it, use it for training, use it to monitor and lower stress and more. On the show we explain what HRV actually is and what it measures, including details on the nervous system, the components of HRV and stress including high-frequency waves, low-frequency waves, rMSSD, and how to make sense of and interpret those. We also discuss what numbers are “good” and “bad” and what you want to see based on age/gender, when to measure HRV, how athletes can use it for their training programs, stress vs. HRV on the SweetBeat app, psychological components to HRV, other HRV apps available what you need to get started with HRV, and much more including a couple specific questions from listeners.”
This is an excerpt taken from the article mentioned above by Ben Greenfield, in which he has used SweetBeat to monitor his training and recovery. He goes over a little bit of background information about heart rate and heart rate variability. Followed up by some very interesting graphs from his personal sessions.
First, I’m going to explain HRV to you, and then I’ll tell you the best way to track your HRV.
The origin of your heartbeat is located in what is called a “node” of your heart, in this case, something called the sino-atrial (SA) node. In your SA node, cells in your heart continuously generate an electrical impulse that spreads throughout your entire heart muscle and causes a contraction (Levy).
Generally, your SA node will generate a certain number of these electrical impulses per minute, which is how many times your heart will beat per minute. Below is a graphic of how your SA node initiates the electrical impulse that causes a contraction to propagate from through the Right Atrium (RA) and Right Ventricle (RV) to the Left Atrium (LA) and Left Ventricle (LV) of your heart.
So where does HRV fit into this equation?
Here’s how: Your SA node activity, heart rate and rhythm are largely under the control of your autonomic nervous system, which is split into two branches, your “rest and digest” parasympathetic nervous system and your “fight and flight” sympathetic nervous system.
Your parasympathetic nervous system (“rest-and-digest”) influences heart rate via the release of a compound called acetylcholine by your vagus nerve, which can inhibit activation of SA node activity and decrease heart rate variability.
In contrast, your sympathetic nervous system (“fight-and-flight”) influences heart rate by release of epinephrine and norepinephrine, and generally increases activation of the SA node and increases heart rate variability.
If you’re well rested, haven’t been training excessively and aren’t in a state of over-reaching, your parasympathetic nervous system interacts cooperatively with your sympathetic nervous system to produce responses in your heart rate variability to respiration, temperature, blood pressure, stress, etc (Perini). And as a result, you tend to have really nice, consistent and high HRV values, which are typically measured on a 0-100 scale. The higher the HRV, the better your score.
But if you’re not well rested (over-reached or under-recovered), the normally healthy beat-to-beat variation in your heart rhythm begins to diminish. While normal variability would indicate sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system balance, and a proper regulation of your heartbeat by your nervous system, it can certainly be a serious issue if you see abnormal variability – such as consistently low HRV values (e.g. below 60) or HRV values that tend to jump around a lot from day-to-day (70 one day, 90 another day, 60 the next day, etc.).
In other words, these issues would indicate that the delicate see-saw balance of your sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system no longer works.
In a strength or speed athlete, or someone who is overdoing things from an intensity standpoint, you typically see more sympathetic nervous system overtraining, and a highly variable HRV (a heart rate variability number that bounces around from day to day).
In contrast, in endurance athletes or people who are overdoing things with too much long, slow, chronic cardio, you typically see more parasympathetic nervous system overtraining, and a consistently low HRV value (Mourot).
In my own case, as I’ve neared the finish of my build to any big triathlon, I’ve noticed consistently low HRV scores – indicating I am nearing an overreached status and my parasympathetic, aerobically trained nervous system is getting “overcooked”. And in the off-season, when I do more weight training and high intensity cardio or sprint sports, I’ve noticed more of the highly variable HRV issues. In either case case, recovery of a taxed nervous system can be fixed by training less, decreasing volume, or decreasing intensity – supercompensation, right?
But wait – we’re not done yet! HRV can get even more complex than simply a 0-100 number.
For example, when using an HRV tracking tool, you can also track your nervous system’s LF (low frequency) and HF (high frequency) power levels. This is important to track for a couple of reasons:
-Higher power in LF and HF represents greater flexibility and a very robust nervous system.
-Sedentary people have numbers in the low 100’s (100-300) or even lower, fit and active people are around 900 – 1800 and so on as fitness and health improve.
Tracking LF and HF together can really illustrate the balance in your nervous system. In general, you want the two to be relatively close. When they are not, it may indicate that the body is in deeply rested state with too much parasympathetic nervous system activation (HF is high) or in a stressed state with too much sympathetic nervous system activation (LF is high). Confused as I was when I first learned about this stuff? Then listen to this podcast interview I did with a heart rate variability testing company called Sweetbeat. It will really elucidate this whole frequency thing for you.
So how the heck do you test HRV?
When it comes to self quantification, there are a ton of devices out there for tracking HRV (and hours of sleep, heart rate, pulse oximetry, perspiration, respiration, calories burnt, steps taken, distance traveled and more).
For example, there is one popular device called the “emWave2″, which seems like it is the ost popular heart rate variability tracking device among biohackers. The emWave2 is a biofeedback device that trains you to change your heart rhythm pattern to facilitate a state of coherence and enter “the zone.”
Basically, when you use the emWave2 a few minutes a day, it can teach you how to transform feelings of anger, anxiety or frustration into peace and clarity. It actually comes with software that you run on your computer which teaches you how to do this. But the emWave2 is kinda big, and you certainly can’t place it discreetly in your pocket or take it with you on a run – although they have just developed a phone app called “Inner Balance” that can allow for a bit more portability and ease-of-use, albeit with less biofeedback potential.
Then there are devices such as the Tinke. A small, colored square with two round sensors, the Tinke, made by a company called Zensorium, is designed to measure heart rate, respiratory rate, blood oxygen level, and heart rate variability over time. Every time you measure, it gives you your “Zen” score and your “Vita” score, and you can simply use a measurement like this every morning to see how ready your body is for the rigors of training.
All you need to do is attach the Tinke to your iPhone, and then place your thumb over the sensors so the Tinke can measure cardiorespiratory levels. Tinke captures blood volume changes from the fingertip using optical sensing and signal processing. It takes about sixty seconds to measure all the parameters you need, from you stress level to your breathing and more.
You can use the Tinke anytime, anywhere, and it’s designed primarily to encourage deep breathing exercises in order to promote relaxation and alleviate stress levels. While it’s not a medical device, it can assist in stress relief and recovery when you combine it with regular deep breathing exercises, and I’ll admit that as a self-proclaimed biohacker I am addicted to playing with my Tinke every morning (which almost sounds a bit perverted to say).
Then there are simple apps that simply use the lens of your phone camera to check your heart rate or heart rate variability, or even teach you how to breathe properly. The Azumio Stress Check App is a perfect example of that. It’s not incredibly accurate, but it’s inexpensive and a good way to start.
Of course, there are also wearable body monitoring units you can clip to your body throughout the day, such as the Jawbone UP and FitBit, which measure sleep, movement and calories, but won’t measure heart rate, pulse oximetry, or heart rate variability – so I don’t consider these to be ideal recovery monitoring devices per se. Finally, there are wristwatch-like units that are getting fancier, such as the new MyBasis watch, which is a multi-sensor device that continuously measures motion, perspiration, and skin temperature, as well as heart rate patterns throughout the day and night – but once again, this device doesn’t measure things like heart rate variability and pulse oximetry (although there is a similar device under development called a MyBoBo which may offer these measurements).
And while I’ve experimented with a variety of heart rate chest strap style measurement tools, include the Bioforce and Omegawave, my top recommendation for measuring your heart rate variability is the SweetBeat system, and this is what I personally use every day to track HRV. I like the SweetBeat because it’s easy-to-use, intuitive, allows you to track your heart rate variability in real time (such as when you’re out on a run or working at your office) and is also something you can use with meals to test food sensitivities by tracking heart rate response to foods.