By Debbie Rogers: Look at your desk, your table or in your car – what do you see? What beverage is beside you? Is it a glass of water, a cup of tea or a mug of coffee? In the US, water is the second most popular drink, after soft drinks, a figure that shocked me when I did some research.
Water is the driving force of all nature. — Leonardo da Vinci
Water is essential to life
Our body is made up of between 55% to 78% water and water is essential to good health. Water keeps our body hydrated and is essential to health as almost every cell in the body needs water to function properly. We can survive for more than three weeks without food – Mahatma Gandhi survived 21 days of complete starvation — but water is a different story. The maximum time an individual can go without water seems to be a week — an estimate that is certainly much shorter in difficult conditions, such as intense heat.
From a nutrition point of view it has no calories, no fat, carbohydrates or sugar and can help with feeling full particularly if you are looking to lose some weight.
Aside from ‘running of the body’ mentioned above, water plays an essential part in our day to day life and wellbeing.
Keeping properly hydrated is essential since dehydration can have a major effect on energy levels, brain function and physical performance – it’s even more important to stay hydrated if you exercise particularly in our hot climate.
Dehydration can impact on how we feel and can trigger headaches in some people as well as lead to constipation and kidney stones for others. Water is essential for our body’s heating and cooling system too.
Infused water is also known as Detox water, and can be made very easily by combining the following:
- fresh fruits
- fresh vegetables
- fresh herbs
- spices such as roasted cumin powder, cinnamon
Immerse the ingredients in water and let it infuse for at least an hour. A few combinations that work well – lemon, basil and mint; strawberry, lime and cucumber, oranges and blueberries, kiwi and cucumber, watermelon and lemon etc.
Serve chilled with crushed ice, fizz it up if you would like and you have a healthy alternative to your regular soda.
How MUCH should we drink?
The common recommendation is to drink 8 x 8 ounce glass per day (roughly 2 litres) but some individuals need more than this, and living in a hot climate and/or exercising has an impact too. Regular hydration seems to be the trick, keeping a full water bottle or glass close to you and drinking when you are thirsty is a common trick which works for many.
Does it have to be PLAIN water?
Absolutely not, you can hydrate with in many ways:
- Heat water up and make it into tea or coffee
- Add herbs and/or edible flowers to make a detox/refreshing drink
- Add slices of citrus fruit to make it citrusy
- Chill it in the fridge
- Drink it still or sparkling
- use it to dilute fruit juice
- Add cucumber and/or soft fruit to add a different taste
- Eat fruit & vegetables with a high water percentage (eg cucumber, water melon, and many other fruits & vegetables)
Water in Dubai
The water that comes from your kitchen tap is desalinated water (sea water) which has had the salt removed, been filtered and treated to prevent bacteria growth and then converted into safe drinking water. In general, it’s perfectly safe to drink this water, however before the water makes it to your tap, it’s usually stored in an on-site water tank which needs to be regularly maintained and if not could cause issues.
Lots of people don’t drink tap water, and instead choose to drink purified or mineral water either bought by the bottle or supplied in large water dispensers typically in 5 gallon bottles (19 litres).
Aside from the taste and quality of the water, and the practicalities of having it delivered or carrying it home from the shops, things to consider include the cost and environmental impact of disposing large amounts of water bottles which are generally sent to landfill and not recycled.
When I moved to Dubai I started with a subscription bottle service and was easily getting through 2-3 large water containers a week but more recently have moved to been trying a Zip Water tap which has been installed in my kitchen and replaces my normal tap and my kettle too!
The tap and the under-counter control centre is a clever piece of kit which has really impressed me. Water from the building water tank is processed through a micro filter removing any dirt or contaminants and can be dispensed directly from the tap.
Filtered water can be chilled and/or served carbonated as the unit is also attached to a small C02 bottle. In addition, there is also a hot water facility which dispenses boiling hot water suitable for making tea/coffee at the press of a button.
From a convenience point of view, I no longer have to remember to order water from building security and rely on him delivering when I need it. Nor do I have to plan ahead and/or store large water bottles in my apartment. My chiller unit has been donated to someone who needed it and I no longer boil countless kettles full of water when I fill flasks for my #ChaiPopUp (Tea for the Taxi Guys) nor do I have to wait for water to come to the boil for cooking vegetables in etc.
I find that I’m drinking a lot more water now, particularly sparkling water as it’s readily available and always ‘on tap’ so to speak. On average I think I save a minimum of AED 50/week (3 x 5 gallon bottles and 6 bottles sparkling water) on buying in water, not to mention the reduction in water bottles going to landfill.
If you want to reduce your reliance on bottled water other options include Counter Top Filter Jugs, or Water Filters which are generally attached to your water feed under the sink and can filter through carbon filters, ion exchange units, reverse osmosis or distillation.
[Disclaimer : We were gifted the Zip Hydrotap by Zip Water. More details on www.zipwater.com. All images in this article are from Pixabay.com and do not require any attribution and are free for commercial use.]