Food - Drink
Cacao Was The Energy Drink Of Ancient Civilizations
Long before the canned, sugary energy drinks of today, a much more natural energy drink was consumed in ancient civilizations. The main ingredient was cacao, which Mayans and Aztecs believed was a gift from the gods because of its energizing properties, and many Mesoamericans consumed cacao drinks to give them a boost.
Cacao had uses in folk medicine for its ability to bolster physical performance and recovery, which is why many Aztec soldiers would drink it to increase their energy. Plus, unlike a lot of modern-day energy drinks, beverages made with cacao usually lacked additives and sugar, so the caffeine rush wasn’t followed by an energy crash.
The Mayo-Chinchipe first cultivated cacao thousands of years ago — they and other early civilizations fermented, roasted, and ground cacao beans into a powdery paste, and mixed it up into a frothy drink. The benefits of cacao were so important that the Olmecs even left cacao beverages on tombs, energizing souls to reach their afterlives.