Safe hydration for a sizzling summer

In this balmy summer it feels like we’re being a little spoilt by the weather!  Ever keen to make the most of it, I have noticed that the outside areas of pubs and bars have been packed full of people eager to relax with their favourite chilled drink.

Having just got back from my annual summer holiday in tropical climes, the need to keep hydrated has been a serious and constant requirement of late.  It’s essential for concentration to make sure our bodies take on the required fluid levels to keep us alert – something that when out drinking alcoholic beverages can become tricky.  We keep drinking those icy fruit cocktails to keep cool and quench our thirst but there are dangers other than dehydration to beware of.

I heard about a clever little device recently that I wanted to share which exploits some typical analytical chemistry which could help in this situation; The ‘’ (Personal Drink ID) is a tiny USB-stick shaped device which contains a small chemistry lab inside!  This may detect the presence of any rogue substances in your drink.  From testing a drop of liquid, it can establish the temperature, conductivity and the light spectrum of the drink. Cross-referenced to the data of known ‘spiking’ substances, it will be able to tell if there are traces of these ocmpounds within the drink and therefore, thanks to a clever combination of chemistry techniques, this piece of kit means you can stop worrying about safe hydration on these long summer days!

Dr Arran Solomonsz