The Gladiator Diet

matthew's picture

Got this pointed out to me this morning: The Gladiator Diet.

Compared to the average inhabitant of Ephesus, gladiators ate more plants and very little animal protein. The vegetarian diet had nothing to do with poverty or animal rights. Gladiators, it seems, were fat. 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. Surface wounds "look more spectacular," says Grossschmidt. "If I get wounded but just in the fatty layer, I can fight on," he adds. "It doesn't hurt much, and it looks great for the spectators."


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The paleo diet appeals to my

The paleo diet appeals to my inner biologist.

It's not really a "diet" in the weightloss sense, more of a way of eating.

I always feel like I ought to get more protein, I never drink soda and don't really like sweets or junk food, so it's not far off from what I already do. Ought to help me avoid diabetes too, in that it's technically low carb (not ultra crazy low carb, just lower than the typical American diet.)

This concept also relates to modern warriors

The military doesn't want bodybuilders. They want well-conditioned people that are in shape, but built for endurance. Imagine the average bodybuilder if he had to ruck march 15 miles a day, carrying an 80 pound load, for a week at a time. Soldiers need fat, because they need fat to lose. MRE's are packed with calories and carbs for that very reason.