Olympic Star Got Buzz From Hornet Juice
TOKYO (Reuters) - A Japanese marathon star who won Olympic gold in Sydney got a crucial extra buzz by drinking the stomach juice of giant, killer hornets.
Naoko Takahashi, who became a national heroine by winning the women's
marathon, drank the unusual beverage before and during the race after Japanese scientists found it gave an astonishing boost to human performance.
The drink, being 100 percent natural, does not fall foul of Olympic laws against performance-enhancing drugs.
Scientists at the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research near Tokyo found the juice helped the three-inch long hornets to fly the equivalent of more than two marathons in search of food -- and had a similar effect on humans.
The juice reduced muscle fatigue and improved the body's efficiency, according to scientists.
``We are delighted that the fruits of our research have been recognized through Naoko Takahashi's success,'' a spokesman for the institute told Reuters on Monday.
A Japanese firm, Meiji Milk Products (2261.T), has reproduced the raw juice and is now marketing it as an energy drink.
Takahashi was the first Japanese woman to win an Olympic athletics gold. The government said last week it was planning to present her with the rarely bestowed People's Honor Award.
I guess I should expect this from a country where two of the favorite sodas are called Pokari Sweat and J.O.