Need a pick-me-up? Take a leaf from the gladiator handbook.

I have a really interesting link to share with you this week, it’s a bit earlier than what I normally post about but how can I resist evidence of ‘Gladiator Gatorade’? By analysing the trace elements and isotopes present in gladiator bones from Ephesus, researchers from MedUni Vienna and the University of Bern have been able to identify the main components of the contemporary Roman diet (wheat, barley and legumes) as well as substantial differences in the ratio of strontium to calcium among fighters and non-fighters. The results suggest that gladiators had an additional source of calcium in their diets, possibly a lye drink made from ashes which is mentioned by Pliny the Elder.

You can read NPR’s short version here or the full report in PLOS One here.


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