Rodney Wynn, founder of Wynn with Fitness, holds both a master’s of business administration degree and a bachelor’s degree in information systems management from the University of San Francisco. Wynn also is a certified specialist in performance nutrition. You can reach him at rodney@wynnwithfitness.net.

Most people know that keeping their body hydrated is important. But do they know why it’s important? As a health club owner or fitness professional, it’s your job to tell them and make sure that they are hydrated during these hot summer months.

Fitness enthusiasts have always preached the importance of drinking eight glasses of water every day, but not everyone heeds this advice. Although this may seem like a daunting task to many of your members, it is easily achievable by drinking a glass of water at each meal and drinking at least 20 ounces of fluid between breakfast and lunch, and lunch and dinner.

Staying hydrated becomes even more essential when members start participating in fitness activities. Members may deviate from these recommendations when they substitute water with liquids such as sugary sodas and caffeinated coffees. Both of these liquids in bulk can cause numerous health issues, such as diabetes, weight gain and headaches.

Diet drinks aren’t great, either. New studies show that artificial sweeteners may be 10 times worse than simple sugars. Although this sounds complex and a little scary, there is a simple solution to this: Tell your clients to spice up their water and indulge in sodas only periodically.

I’ll be the first to admit that water is not very sexy on its own when compared to the plethora of dinks that are mass-marketed daily. It’s like comparing a gourmet meal to a TV dinner. However, there are a number of things that can be done to water to give it some flavor without artificial or manufactured additives. Lemons and oranges are excellent sources of antioxidants and are readily available. Also citrus fruits such as grapefruit, lime and tangerine can be added. These all have the benefit of taking the bland taste out of water while supplying key vitamins and nutrients.

You should also let your clients know that probably the most crucial time to consume water or a sports drink is right before any fitness activity. In a way, this is sort of an insurance policy because exerting your body causes you to sweat, which depletes water in your body. If you are not properly hydrated to begin with, this could lead to dehydration. By taking in at least eight ounces of fluids prior to exercise, members minimize this risk. If your clients’ activity lasts more than 15 minutes, advise them to drink an additional two to four ounces every 15 minutes.

Although these steps are easy to follow, many people have trouble staying hydrated. Set a good example by making sure you and your staff are properly hydrated. Drinking water—for you and your members—should be a daily ritual, just like working out or stretching.