It was all about creating the ultimate sports mouth guard, and Joseph Tucker, the founder of Hydra-Guard, set out to engineer one to help athletes stay hydrated during games, practices, or workouts.
Tucker says the principle is simple: when it comes time to get some hydration, the wearer simply sucks on the mouth guard. The empty pouch holds liquids, and it can easily be refilled by squeezing the Hydra-Guard pouch in water or a sports drink.
An avid runner and outdoorsman, Tucker is the originator of the Hydra-Guard. Tucker is a McNeese State graduate and a participant in that school’s STEM research program. He says he came up with the idea as he was training for his second marathon, and after trying out options like water bottles and backpacks, Tucker wanted a device that would allow him to stay hydrated while leaving his hands free.
Tucker prototyped the device with a 3D printer, and the Hydra-Guard is now in the manufacturing phase. Essentially a standard sports mouth guard, it also contains a fitted, squeezable pod which is placed in the roof of the user’s mouth. It holds about 0.6 oz of liquid.
“Our target audience is anyone in the sports field. We’re trying to encompass everybody. We want to be able to reach out to colleges, high schools — we want to target the whole demographic,” Tucker says.
At least in the near term, Tucker and Hydra-Guards’ distributions operations analyst, Geoff Begnaud, say their initial target market for the Hydra-Guard is college sports teams, and they’ve been in contact with several universities about the product.
And Tucker has alread gotten some play from a famous athlete endorsing his Hydra-Guard. Odell Beckham Jr., a former LSU Tiger and now New York Giants wide receiver, endorsed the product via his Facebook page.
Tucker says the LSU football team plans to wear the Hydra-Guards during spring practice this season. Tucker and Begnaud add that it was a partnership with LSU that aided them in developing the device through that school’s Innovation Park business incubator.
Hydra-Guard will have an official launch this spring, and the product is expected to retail for $34.99, putting it in the reach of amateurs as well as professional athletes alike. What do you think of the Hydra-Guard? Would you use one during a sporting event? Let us know in the 3D Printed Sports Mouthpiece forum thread on 3DPB.com.
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