Surviving the heat: These are the best ways to stay hydrated

Without enough fluids, our bodies, brains and emotions do not function optimally, doctor says

With record-breaking heat in Texas, staying hydrated can play a key role in your health.

According to Dr. John Tully with Baptist Health System, higher temperatures make us sweat more, so we lose body fluids faster. Up to 60% of the average human adult body is water; even bones are 31% water. Water is also the main property of blood, which carries nutrients to cells and waste out of the body.

“If we do not have enough fluids in our bodies, our bodies, brains and emotions do not function optimally,” Tully said. “If someone becomes dehydrated due to heat exposure, they may develop heat cramps, heat exhaustion or even a heat stroke, which is a life-threatening condition.”

Hydration is the replacement of body fluids lost through eliminating waste, sweating and exhaling. Tully said the best sources of hydration are water or drinks that are primarily water.

Alcohol and caffeinated drinks should be avoided, and sports drinks should be limited as they typically contain large amounts of sugar.

Tully said dehydration can lead to heat injury and illness, seizures, weakness, organ damage and, in severe cases, death.

Symptoms of dehydration include sweating, fatigue, muscle cramps, shortness of breath, light-headedness and mental confusion. If you think you are suffering from a heat related illness, seek care immediately.

For more information on hydration, visit Baptist Health System’s website at