Last updated on: 8/8/2013 | Author:

Late 19th Century – French Cyclists and Lacrosse Players Drink Wine and Coca Leaves to Fight Fatigue and Hunger

“The modern applications [of drug use in sports] began in the late nineteenth century, with preparations made from the coca leaf — the source of cocaine and related alkaloids. Vin Mariani, a widely used mixture of coca leaf extract and wine, was even called ‘the wine for athletes.’ It was used by French cyclists and… by a champion lacrosse team. Coca and cocaine were popular because they staved off the sense of fatigue and hunger brought on by prolonged exertion.”