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Tap Into Health: Understanding supplements and protein for fitness

Sarah Konopka
Old Town Hot Springs

No workout is complete without a complimentary recovery protein shake, according to Matt Hammett, the guest services director at Old Town Hot Springs. Hammett has been a lifelong gym user.

“I’ve probably never not had a gym membership,” Hammett said.

Most people workout in the gym for cardio activity, which is where fat is being burned for energy, or to build muscle mass, which is where protein and supplements come into play. “A lot of people have a misconception that you build muscle mass in the gym, but what you’re actually doing is tearing your muscles apart with the use of weights,” Hammett said. “Where you actually build mass is when you’re recovering from your workout and not at the gym.”



Protein synthesis window informs recovery

Recovery from a workout actually occurs during the protein synthesis window. This is anywhere from immediately post workout to 1 hour and 15 minutes post exercise. During the protein synthesis window, muscles are in a prime situation to absorb protein. This is the process that actually builds muscle.

“Your body doesn’t go into repair mode until you go to sleep. If you haven’t absorbed the right proteins and macro nutrients before you go to sleep, your body isn’t healing itself. This can exhibit as muscle strains, tightness, soreness, etc.” Hammett said. “When the muscle doesn’t heal properly calcium is sent to that area, which is what we feel as trigger points, tightness, scar tissue.”



Types of proteins and workout recovery

One important distinction for fitness oriented individuals is the difference between whey protein and casein protein. Whey protein is milk based and is fast digesting for quick energy replacement. Casein protein is a slow digesting protein that will help restore energy over a longer period of time.

“If you’re only consuming whey protein, you’re getting that immediate energy boost, but after 1-2 hours it is fully digested and gone,” Hammett said. “That’s where casein protein comes in. It gets digested after 2-5 hours, dissolving more slowly so your body can continuously use it to repair your muscles through the day.”

Ultimate Muscle Protein provides whey and casein

Old Town Hot Springs offers fitness fanatics Ultimate Muscle Protein (UMP) products available for retail sale or mixed into smoothies and shakes in their cafe.

UMP combines whey and casein protein to facilitate maximum recovery after a workout. UMP is available in a variety of flavors including vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, angel food cake, rocky road.

“A lot of people who have had protein shakes in the past and didn’t enjoy them, that was 100% whey protein,” Hammett said. “When you make a shake out of whey protein it’s thinner, more similar to water. A shake with casein protein in it is much thicker, with a more velvety mouthfeel, and more enjoyable flavor. It doesn’t taste watery.”

Available at the Old Town Market

The reimagined Old Town Market is opening this spring and will provide snacks and beverages for individuals working out in the gym or soaking in the hot springs.

Fruit-based smoothies and protein shakes are available in a variety of flavors and with a complete selection of alternative milks. The market also offers light snacks, smoothie bowls and pre-workout drinks such as coffee and tea.

“When used in conjunction with a well balanced diet, protein shakes are a great additive,” Hammett said. “They can be used as meal replacements to help prevent you from eating fast food.”

Visit the Old Town Market this spring to try one of the new fitness forward protein shakes or browse the available selection of UMP powders available for sale in the OTHS lobby.

Sarah Konopka is the marketing director for Old Town Hot Springs. For more, OldTownHotSprings.org.


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