Leandro Barbosa will forever be known as the Brazilian Blur, the nickname he earned as a key cog in the Phoenix Suns’ iconic “Seven Seconds or Less” offense that swept the NBA from 2004 to 2008. If Barbosa beat you off the dribble, he’d be at the hoop before you could turn around, and he used his breakneck speed to facilitate, and finish, many of the Suns’ lethal fast breaks.
That was a long time ago. Barbosa is now in his 13th year in the NBA, and at age 33, he doesn’t quite have the same speed he possessed early in his career. Plus, three years ago he had major knee surgery. Still, Barbosa remains in incredible shape. He has settled nicely into a reserve role for the Golden State Warriors, where he still occasionally flashes the speed that Suns fans once witnessed every game. This is because he has a secret elixer, a concoction he drinks twice a day that we can safely say no other man consumes.
Barbosa drinks liquid horse medicine.
A liquid extract from a South American shrub named arnica do mato, the drink glows green. It is meant to be consumed by horses to speed up their recovery from injuries. Barbosa has been consuming this “supplement” since his aforementioned knee surgery in 2013. During his subsequent rehab, his trainer introduced him to the concoction, and Barbosa has sworn by it ever since. He receives packages of it straight from Brazil every few weeks, and he throws back a glass of it every morning and every night.
“It burns going down,” Barbosa told The New York Times. “You kind of feel dizzy if you’re not used to it. I got used to it. It cleans out all the bad things that you have in your body.”
According to the Times, arnica do mato contains flavonoids, which are described as “a group of plant metabolites that have antioxidant effects,” and sesquiterpene lactones, a “class of chemical compounds that are known to have anti-inflammatory properties.”
Despite the drink’s apparent healing and recovery properties, the consensus among many of Barbosa’s teammates is that it tastes gross. Barbosa has gotten a few teammates to try it, like Festus Ezili, who called it “disgusting,” and Harrison Barnes, who said “it tastes like acid.”
To Barbosa, it’s apparently the greatest drink ever created. We’re going to take a hard pass on sampling it, though.