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The Hub: A Nutritious and Delicious Destination
by Audrey Hanes, photography by Kayla Broadway

Erle Hammans opened the doors of Jonesboro’s new nutrition club in May with the hope of providing unique, healthy meal options to the area. The Nutrition Hub’s all-natural combination of aloe shots, teas and shakes, coupled with the option of a fitness and weight loss program, soon had many of its enthusiastic patrons living healthier, happier lives.

For more than three decades, Hammans worked in medical sales, a career he says he grew tired of and more apprehensive about with recent health care changes. After opening then selling a pizza business in Conway, a friend introduced Hammans to The Nutrition Hub in Little Rock.

“I used to go to Starbucks every morning, then I saw my friend posting about The Nutrition Hub,” said Hammans. “… He said he was trying to lose a little weight and was going there for shakes. A couple weeks later, I started going there and ended up losing 20 pounds. I would take my aloe, drink my shake and take my tea with me. Before, when I went to Starbucks, I’d be hungry again at 9 and need a snack and then eat at 11. But, with my protein shake, I would go in at 7:30 or 7:45 and I wouldn’t be hungry again until 2.”

In November of 2017, Hammans began working with Heather Talley at Halsey Thrasher Harpole Real Estate Group and found a location on Caraway Road that he and his girlfriend, manager Tracy Mathis, thought would be perfect for their vision.

“I had a vision to make this a sports bar/coffee shop that was user-friendly,” said Hammans. “Every outlet has a USB plug-in. We have booths and a sitting area for studying. We have Wi-Fi. Everything is comfortable, and it’s simple. We are pet friendly. I wanted it to be an open, friendly environment that would work for anyone who walked through our door.”

The Nutrition Hub experience is three-fold. First, customers choose a shot of mango, cranberry or mandarin aloe. Next, they choose an energy tea. Popular flavors include raspberry, peach, chai and pomegranate, to which customers can add one of four different flavors of the tea’s signature energy shot. Finally, when it comes to shakes, customers have an option of 36 different flavors, which range from Apple Pie and Caramel Latte to Oatmeal Cookie and Chocolate Strawberry. There is also an option to add extra collagen to any tea, extra fiber to any shake, five extra grams of protein to any shake or Prolessa Duo Fat Burner to any shake.

“All of our products are plant-based products,” said Hammans. “The aloe helps soothe your GI tract, helps break down the protein and helps with heart burn and so many other things. The aloe plant is a wonder plant, so you start off with a shot of that. Then you get a tea with lift off, which raises your core body temp for 30 min or so, which burns about 100 calories and also gives you energy. Then, we’ll make you a protein shake; we use flavored protein and then mix it up. A blueberry muffin tastes just like blueberry muffin, and peanut butter banana tastes just like peanut butter banana. There are six grams of fructose, 15 grams of carbohydrates and 24 grams of protein in each shake, plus another 21 nutrients and vitamins.

“Raspberry pomegranate is by far the most requested tea with liftoff. Cranberry aloe and the Wedding Cake shake are very popular.”

Also in high demand is the Red Wolf Tea, which is exclusive to the Jonesboro location. Hammans said The Hub started with a Razorback Tea, but when he saw a tea recipe that included orange liftoff, mango aloe and raspberry, he and Mathis thought it would make a perfect Red Wolf version for their menu.

The Hub also specializes in pre-, intra- and post-workout shakes. The pre-workout shakes use either the Nitric Oxide Precursor and creatine supplement system to Prepare, or Nite Works that are formulated with L-Arginine and L-Citrulline to support the body’s nitric oxide production. Intra-workout shake options include the CR7 Drive, an advanced hydration formulated with 320 milligrams of electrolytes and brain fueling glucose to fuel active lifestyles, or the Prolong, which sustains performance with dual-source carbohydrates and electrolytes to facilitate caloric utilization for sustained performance.

Post-workout shake options are the Formula 1 Sport, a post-workout nourishment shake balanced with carbohydrates, proteins and 1,000 milligrams of L-Glutamine to maintain muscle mass, or Rebuild Strength, a post-workout blend of a tri-core protein-amino acid blend of free amino, whey and casein proteins to help rebuild fatigued muscle over a multi-hour period. Post-workout shakes also contain 3,000 milligrams of L-Glutamine and 4,000 milligrams of ECAAs. The Hub recommends the combination of the Formula 1 Sport and Rebuild Strength for the ultimate muscle-building shake.

“We buy our product from the #1 nutrition company in the world, Herbalife,” said Hammans. “We are a different concept from other places that offer shakes or nutritional supplements.”

Also available at The Hub are coaching and consultation opportunities as part of the nutrition club’s fitness and weight loss program. Mathis, who manages the club, works to evaluate customers and clients to help them control their diet and teach them how to eat right.

“We are across the street from a gym and have four gyms within a mile and a half of us, so we get a lot of people who come in for workout shakes,” said Hammans. “… Several regulars come in preparing for gastric bypass surgery. One woman has lost 12 pounds, and another guy who comes in has tried everything in the world, and he and his wife have lost 10 pounds (each) just by coming in here for lunch. … Our shakes don’t leave you bloated, they leave you full. And the body working on the protein burns calories, as well.”

The Nutrition Hub – Jonesboro is one of several hundred throughout the United States and is one of 14 locations in Arkansas.

Hammans is already working to increase that number in the near future, with one location in Paragould and second location in Jonesboro already in the works, and a third Jonesboro location planned in the next year, as well.

“I’m happy,” said Hammans. “I’m helping to make people healthy. It’s nutritious and delicious, and I love what I do.”

For more information about The Nutrition Hub, located at 1203 S. Caraway Road, find The Nutrition Hub Jonesboro on Facebook or call (501) 352-5553.