Your Garmin watch is getting an update that could transform your nutrition strategy

Man running in woods, pausing to consume energy drink
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Garmin Connect is getting a new feature for tracking blood glucose measurements, which could help you monitor how your body uses fuel and optimize your sports nutrition strategy. It may also help people with diabetes to monitor their blood sugar levels to manage their condition.

The new feature was spotted in a code update, and first published via The5krunner (opens in new tab). So far it's hard to speculate how this will work, but last year Garmin added support for glucose monitoring apps for people with diabetes and those wanting to optimize their sporting performance.

In May 2021, Garmin made it possible to sync data from the Supersapiens (opens in new tab) mobile app with Garmin Connect. The Supersapiens app works with the Abbott Libre Sense (opens in new tab) device – a continuous glucose monitor that measures glucose in the fluid around your body's cells (interstitial fluid) using a small probe that sits just under your skin. Glucose levels in the interstitial fluid aren't exactly the same as blood glucose levels, but are a useful guide that can help you assess the impact of different fuel sources and strategies, and see how well you're recovering post-workout.

In October, Garmin also introduced an app that allows people with diabetes to view readings from a Dexcom continuous blood glucose monitor (opens in new tab) on their wrist, even while working out.

Will your Garmin watch monitor glucose itself?

Following the new Garmin Connect update, it's possible that data from these two sensors might be fully integrated into your dashboard and displayed alongside your other health and wellbeing stats, making it easy to track how lifestyle and workout factors affect blood glucose levels.

It's extremely unlikely that we'll see a Garmin watch that can take blood glucose measurements by itself any time soon, though. While continuous glucose monitors like those from Dexcom and Abbott are now commonplace, non-invasive glucose monitoring is still being perfected.

Researchers are currently investigating how to monitor glucose via spectroscopy (opens in new tab), which involves using lasers to identify different chemicals. There's also a device called the SugarBEAT (opens in new tab) monitor that draws molecules through the skin using a mild electrical current to measure interstitial glucose without a probe under the skin. However, it's likely to be many years before this tech is available in even the best Garmin watches.

Cat Ellis
Editor

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 13 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better).