Your Old School Supplements: Ultimate Orange -
Written by Tim Rigby

The concept was simple. Give people a great-tasting drink and get them all wired up before they worked out. Such was the thinking of Dan Duchaine, the late bodybuilder and infamous “Steroid Guru” who launched the very first pre-workout blend in 1982 named Ultimate Orange. With its origins in Venice, California, this supplement was designed primarily for bodybuilders and weightlifters, but also due to the enhanced energy it provided, Ultimate Orange was also popular among endurance athletes, including those riding the wave of the burgeoning triathlon fad. At the time, orange was the most popular and marketable flavour of energy drinks, thanks mainly to the enormously successful original Gatorade brand.

Ultimate Orange contained just about every vitamin and mineral in existence, plus amino acids. However, it also contained a substance called ephedrine (ephedra extract) which was similar to highly concentrated caffeine for its stimulant effects. Originally, there were 32 milligrams of ephedrine per serving plus another 100 milligrams of caffeine anhydrous – no wonder people were wired. Ultimate Orange remained very popular for about a dozen years since its inception, but eventually it was quite apparent that the side effects of high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, arrhythmias and seizures could be traced to its ephedrine. The FDA then limited all supplement products to just one-quarter the original dose (namely, 8 milligrams per serving).

The famous cylindrical can with the snazzy Ultimate Orange label came off the market before the turn of the millennium due to scores of lawsuits, but it was the first to pave the way for what we now know as today’s superior pre-workout blends.

Stay tuned for MET-Rx next week in part three.

ExerciseFirstOld schoolOriginalPre-workoutSupplementsUltimate orangeWhat was the first preworkout

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