Ancient Greek Olympic athletes and Roman gladiators competing in Circus Maximus used mushrooms, plants and mixtures of wine and herbs to boost performance, dating back to 776 BC. Different plants were used for different effects – some stimulants, some for pain relief.
Scholars have scraps of evidence for this practice:
In his work “Gymnasticos,” Filostratos (3rd-2nd century BC) mentions that the doctors had been significantly helping the preparation of the Olympic Games athletes, and that the cooks had been preparing bread with spices from juice of the plant poppy opium. Plinios, the younger (1st century BC), mentions that the athletes in running sports had been drinking a decoctum of a plant called hippouris for muscle mass and increased strength.