Your Old School Supplements; MET-Rx -
Written by Tim Rigby

Ever wonder where meal replacement powders (MRPs) originated? Although they’ve loosely been around within the military of many nations for over a century in crude, inconsistent forms, it wasn’t until Boston-based Dr. Scott Connelly and MET-Rx set the stage for what we know as the original mass-marketed, widely consumed meal replacement powder.

Dr. Connelly, an anaesthesiologist, developed a mostly protein-based powder in the ‘80s for the purpose of helping very sick patients avoid muscle catabolism (wasting). These individuals didn’t have the strength nor capacity to consume solid food, but were able to drink these meal replacement shakes and derive all the nutrients necessary to preserve the muscle they had. Eventually, the product was developed for the mass market with the partnership of Bill Phillips, who would later become iconic for his own EAS brand of supplements, including the famous Phosphagen.

The name MET-Rx is often misunderstood; many think it’s a reference to the aerobic measurement of “Mets” which stands for “Metabolic Equivalent”. However, it’s actually based on the blend of whey, egg and micellar protein used in Dr. Connelly’s product which he branded as “Metamyosyn”. Eventually, the powder would also be offered in solid bar form – initially, it was infamous for being chalky and tasting like sawdust. After a number of years, the company improved the texture. MET-Rx was the subject of great scrutiny and scientific investigation questioning the legitimacy of its products and the credentials of Dr. Connelly. He sold the company in 2000 for $108 million to the Rexall Corporation.

Not the best start to a new segment of supplements, but the meal replacement powder (MRP) phenomenon was well on its way.

Stay tuned next week for part four - designer protein!

Dr connellyExerciseFitnessMeal replacementMet-rxMetamyosynSupplements

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