Abu Dhabi: Residents across the UAE often fail to consume enough water daily for reasons such as the perceived ‘bland taste’ of water, or the stress of their workdays.
“I drink only about 400 millilitres (ml) of water per day, and only when I get thirsty. Having fresh juices and milk most of the time reduces my thirst further, so I end up drinking even less water,” Aya Ateek, a senior university student told Gulf News.
Only in summer does Ateek drink about 600 ml of water, mainly because she feels thirsty more often.
Another resident, Nermin Al Wardani, 25, said she drinks only one cup of water every day.
“Even though I know I should be drinking more, I can stay up to two days without drinking any water,” she said.
El Wardani prefers fresh juices and soft drinks because of their flavours.
“I just don’t like water because it has no taste,” she added.
According to medical recommendations and based on her body mass and level of activity, Al Wardani should be drinking at least 1.7 litres of water daily. In fact, lack of water and the strong sun caused her to faint at a beach last summer.
“The doctor made me lie down in the [clinic] and gave me water to drink, adding that dehydration occurs frequently during the summer,” she said.
Having to meet deadlines in stressful work situation also prevents some residents from consuming enough water on a daily basis. One engineer in the capital said he had developed a painful kidney stone because he routinely forgot to keep track of how much water he was consuming.
“It’s not that I don’t want to drink water. I just tend to forget when I am under pressure,” he said.
In addition, Ali Makki, a 37-year-old Emirati businessman, said many of his friends stay for days without water.
“They survive on tea, coffee, milk and other beverages, and cannot remember the last time they have had a glass of water. I myself did not drink enough when I was younger, but now make sure that I drink nearly 2.5 litres of water every day,” said Makki, who is also a biking enthusiast.
“Most people here simply do not realise the importance of water. Fortunately, my wife worked to ensure that our 12-year-old daughter developed a healthy habit of consuming water over all other beverages,” he added.
— Maisoon Mubarak is an intern at Gulf News