A clever list of Roman gladiators. It was very neatly assembled, and the food relieved the pain

Roman gladiators were famous for their strength and endurance, which gave the best a privileged position in society. But did their diet also contribute to their success? Carefully prepared food helped them maintain their shape and stamina.

When the word gladiator comes to mind, everyone thinks of a well-built, well-built man whose whole body is muscular and tendon, and a joy to behold. But archaeological research suggests something else: the abdominal and pectoral muscles were likely covered by a quivering layer of subcutaneous fat. Who is to blame? Excessive consumption of carbohydrates obtained mainly from barley and beans. In addition, they ate very little animal protein. Their diet was nothing like what we associate with elite warriors and athletes today.

The wrestlers’ diet was carefully planned and also contained ingredients believed to have pain-relieving effects.

Can you guess what age the gladiators were in ancient Rome?  The number is shocking!

Especially the plant component

The wrestler’s diet consisted primarily of plant foods such as barley, beans, and lentils, which were rich in carbohydrates and protein. Their diet also included meat, but plant foods were consumed in smaller quantities. The meats were mainly pork, poultry, and beef, mainly from animals that were raised for muscle mass rather than fat content. However, there are also theories that gladiators were primarily vegetarians:

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As confirmed by the Viennese scientists, whose research we will talk about later, the wrestlers ate foods that increase weight, because the extra fat created a layer of protection for the body, so the bleeding wounds received in battle were less dangerous. Furthermore, the extra protective layer of fat made for a more satisfying spectacle: Gladiators could suffer from cuts that bleed, but because the cuts were shallow, they could continue fighting.

Drink from the ashes – fact or myth?

In addition to a vegetarian diet, gladiators also consumed a drink made from the ash, which was supposed to aid bone health and reduce inflammation. Ash drink was made by burning plants such as barley, beans, and wheat, and then mixing the ash with water. The drink was rich in calcium, magnesium, and potassium, which are important for bone health and muscle function. Although not all experts agree that this drink exists, it is mentioned quite often.

Diet and its effect on pain perception

The wrestlers’ diet was carefully planned and measured to maintain their physical strength and stamina. Their diet is also believed to have pain-relieving effects. For example, gladiators drank a drink made from ground frankincense, which was believed to reduce inflammation and relieve pain. They also ate a plant called fennel, which not only relieved pain but was used as a herbal remedy for many ailments.

Professor of Classical Sciences Kathleen Coleman He claims that the wrestlers’ diet was carefully considered: “I assume they know the relationship between diet and performance [a] Surely they wanted to fatten up the wrestlers. However, even if the diet was not an austere measure, the gladiators’ “anarchy,” as they called it, was ridiculed in ancient sources.

Scientists analyzed the DNA of 80 gladiator skeletons and were horrified.  The end of life in the arena was terrible!

Barley eaters

Current knowledge about the physique of wrestlers comes from a group of medical anthropologists from the Medical University of Vienna, who examined a roughly 2,000-year-old wrestler’s tomb in present-day Ephesus, Turkey. The bones of 67 gladiators and servant girls, believed to be the wife of one of them, were deposited here.

Although none of the skeletons were complete, scientists learned a great deal from the specimens collected. Using the “isotope analysis” technique, they tested the skeletal remains for the presence of elements including calcium and zinc, and based on this, the scientists reconstructed their diet. They were relatively meatless, as I have already indicated Pliny In his Natural History, where he refers to gladiators by the pseudonym hordearia, which means “barley-eaters” in translation.

In general, the gladiator’s diet was very nutritious and balanced, with an emphasis on plant foods, moderate consumption of meat, and ash drinks. It is carefully planned and also contains ingredients believed to have pain relieving effects.

resources: www.atlasobscura.comAnd www.biblicalarchaeology.orgAnd www.bbc.com

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