Last week, on a private property amid rolling hills in York Region, nearly 40 NHL players and prospects spent five days running up a ski slope, hoisting medicine balls, and skating on-ice drills. The athletes at the third annual Biosteel pre-season training camp enjoyed what looked like a high-end gym and spa in the countryside, overseen by NHL fitness guru Gary Roberts and former Leafs trainer Matt Nichol. Besides being an intense training session, however, the camp is also a hype machine for Biosteel itself, the “high-performance sports drink” that’s been supplanting Gatorade as players’ beverage of choice during games.
The rink and facility was located inside what looked like a huge, nondescript barn, next to a horse stable. Blenders mixed post-skate shakes. Lunch bags included customized ingredients for each player, portion controlled, and all from Beretta Farms—an organic farm approved by Roberts. For achy players, there were masseuses and acupuncture upstairs.
At the centre of everything, of course, was Biosteel.
“It’s a natural product that helps you feel good,” said Calgary Flames left-winger and Toronto native Mike Cammalleri, who started using it three years ago, before it caught on league-wide. “It doesn’t make you feel artificially like Superman…just good, focused, consistent energy.” The mixer was top-quality as well: Goccia mineral water, imported from Italy.