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The next big thing in hockey training is personalized smoothies

I'm surely not the only one who wants one of these.

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Dietary supplements are not an uncommon occurrence in sports. Athletes and teams in today's sports world feel more and more pressure to perform at their very best and will do anything to get there within the bounds of what's legal.

Football fans might be familiar with Eagles head coach Chip Kelly and his "sports science" technique, one part nutrition plan and other parts training and sleep regimen. For awhile, it looked liked Kelly's system worked, as the Eagles had more players complete the full 2013-14 season. For the Eagles now, it might not matter much with the other problems the team is facing, but that's neither here nor there. What matters is that teams are trying any method of cracking science to give them the leg up on their competitors.

The Washington Capitals, according to Washington Post beat writer Isabelle Khurshudyan, might have the next big thing on the horizon: smoothies! In Khurshudyan's article released on Tuesday, the Capitals are trying out personalized smoothie drinks and food packs to help replace lost nutrients and better prepare them for games and practices based on what each player needs. Check out an interesting passage from the article below:

"Ovechkin's smoothie is tailored just for him based on the results of a blood analysis he and his teammates did before the season. Each blood sample went through a micro-nutrient test, a hormonal test and then an adrenal test, which allowed the Capitals to compile individualized supplement packs and make adjustments to diets.

The results led Nate Schmidt to eat bananas after games for more potassium. Jay Beagle eats half an avocado after practices for more quality fat. Braden Holtby added more olive oils and walnuts to his diet for more magnesium."

Isn't the future grand? Personalized food packs and smoothie drinks? If this stuff works, they really need to make this go public. Hopefully mine takes like berries and not bananas, cause I hate bananas.

Joking aside, the article breaks down the Capitals process: a blood test that produces what nutrient deficiencies players have, then they get a personalized meal plan of foods to add to their diet or smoothies to drink to replenish what they are missing. The article even mentions pill packs for various needs and prescriptions, to do work mere foods cannot.

And apparently, it seems to be working for them, or at least they believe it's helping via the wonderful factor that is the placebo effect. In any case, this latest science hack has got me thinking, what other teams in the NHL use these sorts of things to help their players? Are there any "sports science" users, or are there even wackier programs out there? Lets take a look!

BioSteel, the NHL's new drink of choice?

Gatorade essentially owns the sports drink monopoly, no questions here. However, what if there was a drink that could do all that Gatorade claims it does without being loaded with sugar? Meet Biosteel, a neon pink sports drink that says it enhances the performance of athletes while cutting out the unnecessary sugar and unnatural coloring and flavoring.

The bright pink drink (with the rather unfortunate branding hashtag of #DrinkThePink) got major pushback from Gatorade back in August of 2011 when trying to partner with the NHL, according to an article written by Canadian Business. BioSteel stepped on Gatorade's toes in their attempt to make headway in the league and they paid the price, now resorting to finding individual players to market to rather than the whole league.

BioSteel's website makes it very clear that their science is as legitimate as they come, setting them apart from Gatorade and Powerade with their "commitment to providing an evidence-based product that does not contain preservatives, additives or unnatural colouring."

While it's not a nutritional plan in and of itself, BioSteel wants to revolutionize how hockey players -- and athletes in general -- recover nutrients after games without the added weight of sugar and unnatural substances. Players like Connor McDavid, Tyler Seguin, and Josh Ho-Sang are all listed as members of "Team BioSteel", all young up-and-coming hockey stars that have the potential to pave the way for this new sports drink.

Women's hockey combats Vitamin D deficiency

Last February before the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, the New York Times ran a piece on the U.S. women's team dietary habits before their games. Interesting enough, the article mentions the women's team using blood tests to find levels of Vitamin D deficiency, a hormone that gets its strength from the light of the sun, something hockey players rarely see when they play indoors.

Even the Blackhawks were on board the Vitamin D train, using supplements to raise their levels of the hormone, which apparently helped factor into the first Stanley Cup win of their dynasty back in 2010.

The US women's team also utilized the smoothie, though not at the personalized level of the Capitals. They also took in the habit of drinking beetroot juice before games which -- according to the Times piece -- they believed help "dilate blood vessels and enhance blood and oxygen flow to the muscles." More oxygen and blood flowing through your body? The harder you'll be able to push it to play.

Text diet specialist Gary Roberts

This article made waves four years ago from James Mirtle of The Globe and Mail on the diet regimen of one Gary Roberts, a specialist in the world of hockey dieting. While it gives us the hilarious image of Philadelphia's Brayden Schenn snapping a picture of packaged meat with his phone and waiting idly for a response, the ways of Roberts did prove themselves in one big case, Steven Stamkos.

Stamkos was a protege of Roberts after his rookie season and the results of the diet were quite clear, as the Lightning forward won the Rocket Richard trophy for the NHL's most goals in his second year.

Roberts is now retired and working across the league to help players find diets and workout plans that focus on eliminating the waste and sticking to foods that can only help your body. The man's reputation gained enough traction in the years since that he's built the Gary Roberts High Performance Centre and Fitness Institute in North York, Ontario, a place where players at any level of the sport can come to receive personal training with Roberts.

While it's not as high tech as a personalized smoothie or Vitamin D pills, it's just another method players and teams can use in the highly competitive world of hockey to gain an edge on their competitors.