Supersapiens gets support from Wahoo
Supersapiens takes a medical-grade glucose sensor and adds a sports-focused app and ecosystem around it.
Must Read: new Wahoo Elemnt Roam 2 Review (2022)
More info: Supersapiens.com
Outside of sports, athletes can check they are avoiding glucose spikes and simply better understand how their body responds to nutrients – for example, yesterday I went for a walk after a cheese sandwich on a white baguette…I got a massive glucose spike after about 30 minutes, similar to what I would get from taking a sports gel. Did you know white bread does that and that wholemeal bread is different? Anyway, you get to understand those kinds of nuances of your body’s relationship to macros.
Then, in the periods before and after your workouts, you can check you are loading and recovering sufficiently. You might ask yourself, “Are your muscles primed with glucose for when your workout starts and is there sufficient glucose when you’ve finished to help muscular repair and adaptation?”
Of course, for athletes, another key stage of usage is during Workouts. Wahoo and Garmin are the best choices for support for Supersapiens’ glucose DURING the workout or race. But do you really know how key aspects of your body are behaving as you race? Supersapiens can help you answer questions like, “Am I in the endurance glucose zone or the performance glucose zone?…or neither?” You would probably have no idea without a glucose sensor and I’m sure you’d agree that fuel is a fundamentally important factor in performance. You can see on the images above that both the Wahoo and Garmin also have an arrow indicator next to the glucose reading. You’ll need to know if the glucose level is rising or falling as there are lagged effects between fuel intake and usage and the arrow gives you some of that info. #ItsComplicated. After your workout, SuperSapiens overlays the workout on the glucose chart, breaks out the glucose curve over the duration of the workout and gives many other related performance metrics to indicate how good your fuelling was.
Getting Supersapiens to work with Wahoo or Garmin
Supersapiens are constrained by unusual technical characteristics of the Abbot glucose sensor that is the core of the Supersapiens platform. For example, the current sensor will never be a conventional ANT+ sensor and has only recently supported direct connections to Wahoo Roam 2 and Elemnt Bolt 2. Otherwise when directly paired to the Supersapiens app or to the Supersapiens Energy Band, these devices act as a bridge for the data. High-end Garmin watches and Edge bike computers can take the glucose info from either of these data bridges once a CIQ app is installed; Wahoo supports glucose natively and you have to indicate on the ELEMNT app that you want to indirectly pair a Roam/Bolt to the Supersapiens sensor as well as enabling the pairing in the Supersapiens app…it’s a bit of an unusual process but it works.
Better than that, the Wahoo link to Supersapiens seems pretty stable and I know that many people have reported a somewhat flakey connection to Garmins using the Supersapiens Energy Band as the bridge.
The downside is that you need to have your phone with you when you ride with a Wahoo and Supersapiens. there is currently no alternative.
Showing & interpreting Supersapiens’ live glucose data
I couldn’t manually find the Glucose metric in any of the lists of metrics in Wahoo’s ELEMNT app although it did automatically appear on several pages on the Roam 2/Bolt 2.
Understanding fuel (glucose) metrics is not the same as understanding those for heart rate, pace or power. Its absolute level is important but its direction of travel is also crucial to understand as it can take your body up to 30 minutes to turn around an adverse trend and it’s also important to know that the Supersapiens reading is updated once a minute.
You should be OK to perform easy workouts at 80-110mg/dl (milligrams per decilitre) but harder workouts will need 110-180mg/dl. Those are the only two zones you need to know about and they are probably correct for you but can vary.
Q: My glucose is falling so I need more gels, right?
A: It depends. If you had a gel 15 minutes ago then no, that hasn’t kicked in yet. If you’re trying harder then, also, maybe No, though it might depend on how long you intend to keep trying hard. If it’s falling to the endurance zone and you’re doing endurance work then, again, maybe No. The point is…it’s complicated.
Saving the Glucose data into a FIT file
Wahoo saves the glucose to the workout’s FIT file as a single mg/Dl reading per minute (Source: Wahoo, not tested), technically it’s saved as a developer field. This would normally not even be worth writing about as you would assume that you could already do that. But as far as I know, the only other way to export Supersapiens data is via a CSV file from the Supersapiens dashboard. Garmin’s CIQ fields couldn’t do it when I last looked.
Wahoo and Supersapiens need to look at alerts and colour-coded glucose data fields to reflect the zone and trend. They need the following
- mg/Dl and trend indicator – colour coded for Endurance workouts. Green for in-the-Endurance-Zone and another colour for the wrong zone but with a trend towards the Endurance zone. Red for totally out-of-zone.
- mg/Dl and trend indicator – colour coded for high performance. Green for in-the-Performance-Zone and another colour for the endurance zone but with a trend towards the Performance zone. Red for totally out-of-zone (under Endurance zone or over performance zone), Amber for a too high but falling reading.
- Audio Alert for in-Zone/Out-of-Zone events
- Audio Alert for a change of trend
- 30-60 minute Glucose chart on the bike computer
I’d be intrigued to see anyone provide combined insights for glucose and Muscle Oxygen, you kinda need both fuel and oxygen for sport!
Supersapiens sensors are expensive and each one lasts only two weeks.
It’s worth getting a deal similar to the one linked to from the image below or here. Just go for the minimum number of sensors (2) and get another one free (50 Euros each). That should keep you going for 6 weeks and try to get the end of the 6-weeks to coincide with a race-like event so you can test out Supersapiens in that kind of environment. At that point, you can decide if you’ve had any benefits. You will likely be overwhelmed by what you can learn from Blood Glucose so it’s best to start out with one or two specific aspects of your lifestyle/sport that you want to better understand and focus on those for a few weeks.
More info: Supersapiens.com
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