After a hard day of bruising battle, ancient gladiators reached for a post-workout drink, according to an ancient account. New research backs that up. Stefano Bianchetti/Corbis hide caption itoggle caption Stefano Bianchetti/Corbis The Salt Gladiator Gatorade? Ancient Athletes Had A Recovery Drink, Too October 27, 2014 Gladiators guzzled a drink made from plant ash to help their bodies recover after a hard day of sword fighting, according to Roman accounts. New tests of old bones back up that idea.