UP Coffee is the latest data-crunching fitness app from the makers of Jawbone Up. As its name implies, the free app is a monitoring tool that keeps tabs on caffeine ingestion including espressos, energy drinks and chocolate. It will even let you know when you're too wired to sleep.
The UP Coffee app has been designed to give users real-time updates about their body’s reaction to caffeine. Although it can be paired with a Jawbone Up fitness wristband, it also works perfectly well as a standalone app.
According to Jawbone's head of channel and partner development Jorgen Nordin, Up Coffee was launched due to the high level of interest in caffeine data among Jawbone Up users.
"Within the Up app, the most popular food item to track globally was coffee," Nordin explained to Lifehacker during a recent Australian visit. "The UP Coffee app gives users a dedicated way to track caffeine. It lets you see how the coffee you're drinking changes the time your body feels ready to go to sleep."
Like most dietary apps, UP Coffee requires the user to input their food and beverage intake, although the focus is on caffeine rather than kilojoules. You can choose from a pre-loaded list of commercial products (Coke, Starbucks Coffee, etc) or manually input the number of milligrams yourself.
The centrepiece of the app is an animated laboratory flask that represents caffeine entering your bloodstream. The idea is to maintain a healthy balance to feel less jittery and improve your sleeping patterns. The app also provides scientific factoids, comparison charts with other users and a data-based 'caffeine persona' after the first week of use.
"Everyone metabolizes caffeine differently. UP Coffee helps you understand how your body breaks down every sip by tracing caffeine levels past and present to predict future," the app explains on its website.
When paired with a Jawbone Up, the app will automatically track your sleeping patterns and roll the UP Coffee data into the main app. According to Jawbone, this allows users to discover the relationship between sleep duration, nighttime awakenings and the amount of caffeine they drink. The app will also suggest personal experiments to help you manage your caffeine intake healthily.
We've had a play around with the app and it serves its singular purpose well. Our only reservation is that the product list is very US-centric. For example, there's a listing for Monster energy drink but not V, which is manufactured in New Zealand. That said, finding the caffeine amount in food and beverages usually isn't too difficult; it just means you need to type in lots of data to begin with. Hopefully, we'll begin to see more localisation in months to come.
The Up Coffee app is currently only available for iOS devices. You can download it now from the App Store.