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Avoiding Long-Term Weight GainThe average adult gains about a pound a year according to a study recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Researchers looked at the eating and lifestyle habits of 98,320 women and 22,557 men every 4 years for two decades and came up with some very interesting findings.

The biggest factor associated with long-term weight gain was food. For instance, every daily serving of potato chips contributed 1.69 pounds of extra weight every 4 years. Potatoes, sugar-sweetened beverages and meats were also singled out as poor choices. Food wasn’t the only factor. Those who slept an average of 6-8 hours nightly gained less weight than those who stayed asleep fewer than 6 or more than 8 hours.

True Strength Moment: You can improve the quality of your carbs by avoiding sugars from soft drinks and sweets along with starches from potatoes and corn. Switching from refined bread products to whole grain, and making an effort to eat more fruits and vegetables can also help keep your body weight from creeping upward. Then there’s physical activity. Turn off the TV and go get some exercise.


Making The Grade With Folic Acid

The labels of many protein products make a point of highlighting the amount of Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) each serving provides. The BCAAs are Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine, essential amino acids that can be absorbed directly into muscle tissue. A study recently published in the Journal of Nutrition details leucine’s importance to mTOR pathway activation, which controls protein synthesis in skeletal muscle.

True Strength Moment: These scientists at the University of Texas Medical Branch found a direct link between leucine administration and mTOR activation. So when you see that a protein contains 5.5 grams or8.8 grams of BCAAs, you’re doing your part to help muscles rebuild bigger and stronger from the breakdown of training. Especially if that protein is a fast-acting whey and consumed within 30 minutes of completing your workout.