T Nation

History of Supplements?

I didn’t see anything in the search, so here goes…

I was curious about the history of supplements. I know steriods were discovered in the '30s and an article somewhere on here hinted that there were protein powders in use in the '50s, but we still see Rocky drinking a glass of eggs rather than worrying about stacks.

When did supplements as we know them today start being used? Protein powders, pre- and post-workout drinks, etc.?

In the “Look Great Nekkid” series part 1, Berardi takes it back a couple of centuries. Very interesting. Turns out a casket maker was was a pioneer of the high protein diet.

They became mainstream in the eighties when Arnold made bodybuilding a craze among the masses. I used to drink eggs just like Rocky(only in the nineties, and it worked, aside from being disgusting). I made sure they were cage-free eggs(new term, but I had access to a farm back then) cause the hormone ones are less healthy and there’s a risk of certain diseases.

Maybe steroids were discovered in the 30’s, but it’s my understanding they were essentially non-existent in weightlifting until the '50’s. For what it’s worth.

The person credited as the “father” of modern supplementation as we know it today is someone that a LOT of people have never heard of; RHEO H. BLAIR.

(I bet Tim and TC know of him!)

All the great bodybuilders of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s (Arnold,Frank Zane, Larry Scott, etc.) followed this guy’s advice and got in the biggest and best shape of their lives. He had the secret of achieving steroid-like results without drugs.

Blair rationalized that the highest quality protein in terms of supporting human growth and well-being would be found closer to home - in mother’s milk. It is the food that has been honed by millions of years of evolution to nourish newborns and carry them through their most rapid period of growth. Plus, enzymes found in milk, such as colostrum and lactoferrin, were believed to have powerful immune system-enhancing properties.

His famous protein powder was based on the amino acid ratios in mothers milk.

Forget Arnold! Arnold went to HIM for advice!