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.

When your members think of hydration, water is probably the least favorite liquid of choice. In terms of liquid, water just isn’t that sexy. TV commercials usually sell the notion that energy drinks, diet sodas and health drinks are good for you and contain only 100 calories or less. There is even a large campaign of the benefits of drinking milk, promoting healthy bones and teeth. The public and your members have forgotten about the basics, and how simple and easy it is to drink water.

Water is accessible everywhere people go. There are drinking fountains at parks, schools, fitness facilities and libraries, but sports drinks and diet drinks typically have to be purchased from a store. Not only does this set the consumer back a few dollars, but also these drinks usually contain unwanted sugar and preservatives. Water (with the exception of unfiltered water) is relatively clean and free of preservatives. So, how do we get clients to buy into the idea of drinking water?

When new clients join a fitness club, they are crying out for help. This is where we as club owners and personal trainers need to establish a baseline because these clients are like sponges, trying to absorb all of the information that they can. We preach that water has to be consumed throughout the workout, but does this carry over to the rest of the client’s day? What if the client is on vacation or not working out that day? These are situations that we need to think about to make sure that clients are staying on the right track.

Most clients have busy schedules, so trying to get them to eat and drink at certain intervals can be challenging. Club owners and personal trainers must make this process as seamless as going to work every day. This will take time, but once clients have this down, it becomes second nature.

One of the things that can be done is to show clients a comparison chart of calories and sugar that is in sodas, juices and sports drinks. If clients are on a limited calorie diet, you can quantify how a couple of these drinks can sabotage their diet. A good benchmark is to have clients purchase 20-ounce plastic sports bottles that can be readily filled with water. If a client starts work at 8 a.m. and takes lunch at noon, have them gradually drink the 20 ounces over a 4-hour span. They should do the same thing between the hours of 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. This, in addition to the 8-ounce glasses they drink with breakfast, lunch and dinner, should supply an adequate amount of hydration.

Adequate hydration is crucial to your clients’ well-being. If a client is exercising daily, has a well-balanced diet and is getting plenty of sleep but still sees no results, then hydration is an area that should be explored. This gets back to the fundamentals of good health.

There are too many health commercials that prey on the uneducated consumer of a miracle pill that promises weight reduction in as little as 30 days. A consumer usually purchases these items and sees no results. This becomes a frustrating proposition, and one that may have clients drop their fitness activities altogether. Water should be the first thing you mention the next time a client asks what they should do to insure good health.