Misbehaving athletes get lots of headlines, while a great many professional athletes do good work that few notice. And they practice philanthropy in different ways. J.J. Watt helps to fund Wisconsin and Texas middle schools that don't have athletic programs. LeBron James aims to revitalize and stabilize his hometown of Akron, Ohio. But how about Javale McGee, a.k.a. the goofiest dude on Twitter? Well, he just wants you to drink more water.
We did some digging to learn more about the Denver Nuggets center's passion for hydration and the #JugLife movement.
Although he's about to enter his seventh year as a pro, McGee wasn't always a big water drinker. That changed a couple of years ago. "I started drinking a gallon of water a day probably in like 2012 during a playoff series," McGee told NBA.com. "I started feeling better." McGee began posting about his newfound water-drinking ways on social media, using the hashtag "JugLife." He advocated others to start drinking more water (specifically a gallon a day), and it slowly began to catch on.
The movement seems simple (all you need is water and some sort of jug), and it's an easy and effective way to promote healthier living. The human body is about 60% water, and H2O plays a critical role in nearly every single one of its natural processes. The importance of water for athletes cannot be overstated. It transports oxygen and nutrients throughout the body, aids in muscle contraction, fights fatigue and regulates body temperature, along with countless other benefits.
To learn how to assess your level of hydration, watch the video above featuring sports dietitian Leslie Bonci.
For McGee, what started as a simple hashtag exploded over the last couple of years as JugLife blossomed. Thousands of people have tweeted McGee affirming their dedication to drinking more water. Even his Nuggets' teammate Kenneth Faried has gotten in on the act.
McGee saw the growing popularity of #JugLife as an opportunity to do even more good, so he turned JugLife into a non-profit organization whose goal is to "increase awareness and educate society on the importance of drinking water on a daily basis to promote a healthy and active lifestyle."
Juglifewater.com sells products such as t-shirts and knit hats adorned with images of a water jug, using the proceeds to finance charitable endeavors. JugLife recently began its "Water Education Tour," visiting schools to inform students about the importance of water consumption, water conservation and leading an active lifestyle. In 2015, McGee and JugLife are planning to head to Uganda to build water wells for HIV-stricken children. This past summer, McGee hosted the first annual JugLife Celebrity Softball Game, which attracted the likes of John Wall and Terrell Owens, to further raise awareness.
What started as a simple hashtag has grown into a movement making a positive impact all over the world. If you're about the JugLife, head to the JugLife shop to buy some gear and donate to a good cause. And don't forget to drink your water.
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