Don’t Just Drink – Drink Water!

Christopher Serju Photo
The Yallahs River in St. Thomas is a major source of piped water for Jamaica.

Water is life. You’ve heard it said very many times. And no doubt, you’ve registered the fact somewhere in your brain that water is important to your existence. If you’re like most people, you probably go through most of your days without remembering to drink even one cup of water. And you probably drink the token cup when you remember (usually after a long spell of water-less-ness). Fact is, unless the time is unbearably hot or you’re feeling very thirsty, you’re unlikely to remember to consume the recommended volume of water – eight glasses a day.

In Jamaica, we are blessed to have access to multiple sources of clean, potable water. In fact, the nation boasts a network of more than 160 underground wells, over 116 river sources and 147 springs from which the National Water Commission can source and treat water to supply our pipes. That’s actually a LOT more than many nations on earth, some of which have no natural sources of water at all. See more about the history of Jamaica’s piped water in our article: Clear As Crystal Punch.

With this proliferation of water sources, it’s easy for Jamaicans to take water for granted. This is dangerous, especially considering the hot, sweltering summers we undergo each year. Below we have listed some very good reasons for why you shouldn’t just drink any liquid to quench your thirst, but should instead make the premium choice to DRINK WATER – still the best thirst quencher and life builder of them all!

Sixty per cent of the human body is comprised of water.

Every day, you lose as much as 64 ounces of water through sweat alone. This water is lost whether or not you engage in rigorous physical activity. Just sitting or laying down all day can result in its loss, because the body is constantly regulating its internal temperature through perspiration. So that recommended eight 8oz glasses of water daily is really only just replacing what you lose on a relatively cool, lazy day. Imagine if you actually engage in light to moderate activity? It’s easy to see where your body would be losing more water than you are replacing. So drink up that good stuff!

Drinking water flushes toxins out of your body.

If you drink the recommended glasses of water daily, then you know that this results in frequent trips to the bathroom. Don’t worry. That’s a good thing. The boy gets rid of toxins through sweat, and through urine. A regularly ‘flushed’ urinary tract has less likelihood of picking up a urinary tract infection, and you also reduce the possibility of getting kidney stones. And as a plus, drinking water regularly also helps your body to digest the food you eat, and stops you from having blocked bowels (constipation).

Drinking water helps your skin and weight.

What is the largest organ on the human body? The skin. One great way to keep your skin healthy, and your complexion beautiful is to drink water. Water hydrates the cells in the skin, giving it a healthy, supple look. In contrast, dehydrated skin looks scaly and wrinkles and breaks easily. Where your weight is concerned, drinking lots of water helps you to feel full, leaving less room for that tempting large meal. The body also needs adequate water for proper metabolism.

Boost brain power and give yourself some energy.

The brain alone is 70% water. Need we say more? Need help staying focused and alert? Water to the brain is the answer. Conversely, dehydration results in negative brain performance – the opposite of what you would like to achieve. In fact, low brain power directly links to low energy in the body overall. They don’t call the brain the body’s power centre for nothing.

How to ensure that your body has enough water:

  • Drink water before you feel thirsty
  • Drink cool water as it helps to lower body temperature
  • Do not skip water stations if you are running a race
  • Carry a bottle of water and drink it
  • Weigh yourself before and immediately after exercise and replace each pound lost with 2 cups of water

Jamaica Ministry of Health: Physical Activity & Water
Elemental Bottles: Benefits of Drinking Water