The Gladiator Diet... Not Like the Movies!

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Gladiators - Lean Athletes or Intentionally Fat

Watching television shows about ancient Rome and gladiators, one is lead to believe that gladiators were lean bodybuilder looking athletes.  In fact, that couldn't be further from the truth.  As explained by Andrew Curry's article in Archeology magazine, gladiators were fed a vegetarian based diet rich in simple carbohydrates to gain body fat. Apparently, it was more of a show for the spectators if the gladiators could absorb more punishment via excessive fat stores.  (see excerpt below)

See the following excerpt from:  The Gladiator Diet by Andrew Curry

"Consuming a lot of simple carbohydrates, such as barley, and legumes, like beans, was designed for survival in the arena. Packing in the carbs also packed on the pounds. "Gladiators needed subcutaneous fat," Grossschmidt explains. "A fat cushion protects you from cut wounds and shields nerves and blood vessels in a fight." Not only would a lean gladiator have been dead meat, he would have made for a bad show."

Correspondingly, read the summary below about carbohydrate vs. protein intake from Science Daily (sourced from the Obesity Society):  Read the article here.
"Researchers explored whether high- or low- protein diets might lead to less weight gain when consuming excess calories due to the ability of the body to burn extra energy with a high-protein diet. They found that study participants all gained similar amounts of weight regardless of diet composition; however, there was a vast difference in how the body stored the excess calories. Those who consumed normal- and high- protein diets stored 45% of the excess calories as lean tissue, or muscle mass, while those on the low-protein diet stored 95% of the excess calories as fat."
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