Roman Gladiators used to slurp energy drink made of vinegar, ash

A new anthropological investigation of arena fighter bones has revealed that Roman Gladiators used to slurp energy drinks made of vinegar and ash.

Washington: A new anthropological investigation of arena fighter bones has revealed that Roman Gladiators used to slurp energy drinks made of vinegar and ash.

The study by the Department of Forensic Medicine at the MedUni Vienna in cooperation with the Department of Anthropology at the Institute of Forensic Medicine at the University of Bern, examined bones from a 2nd century gladiator graveyard uncovered in 1993 in the ancient Roman city of Ephesos, Turkey, Discovery News reported.

It was mentioned that the diet of the arena fighters was quite different from the high-protein intake of modern athletes, as they typically ate wheat, barley and beans.

Fabian Kanz, Department of Forensic Medicine at the Medical University of Vienna in Austria, said that gladiators consumed a specific diet called "gladiatoriam saginam," which included barley and bell beans and the consumption of barley led to the derogatory nickname "hordearii" (barley eaters).

The tests revealed that all individuals, gladiators and non gladiators, mostly ate a vegetarian diet, primarily consisting of grain and meat-free meals, with little sign of dairy products as well.

However, the amount of strontium measured in the gladiators' bones revealed the arena fighters had a higher intake of minerals from a strontium-rich source of calcium, meaning that they were served plant ash beverage after fights and maybe also after training to remedy body pain.

The study is published in the journal PLOS One.

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