"Plant ashes were evidently consumed to fortify the body after physical exertion and to promote better bone healing," the study leader Professor Fabian Kanz explained. "Things were similar then to what we do today - we take magnesium and calcium, in the form of effervescent tablets, for example, following physical exertion."
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Ancient texts have referred to gladiators as "hordearii" or "barley eaters."
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Recently researchers published a study in Plos One explaining how they were able to uncover the diet of ancient gladiators based on analysis of their bones. While vegetarians on record throughout history have been sparse, now you can add gladiators to the list as well. The study reveals that gladiators had a surprisingly meat-free diet, and they heavily consumed grains with an ancient form of a sports drink.
Check out the slideshow above to learn about the diet of Roman gladiators.