Tuesday, January 26th, 2010 at 4:56 pm  |  21 responses

San Dova’s Muscle Milk Review: Shaq’s New Conquest

Got Milk?

by Sandy Dover

We all watch the elite athletes on television compete at high levels, we watch them run, jump, hit, kick and a plethora of other things in the whole wide world of sports. We see bodies that are finely tuned and are the best of the best, and there are sightings of greatness that come out of physical development. Obviously, not everyone who is an athlete competes on TV or is a basketball player or what have you, but when it comes to training, it’s something that comes along with the territory.

In the basketball world, there’s only so much that laypersons know about what goes into preparation, and for years, all the prep that any basketball players did, amateur or professional, really only revolved around basic calisthenics, water, and a ball and hoop. With the evolution of the game and the players in the game, new products have come along, and for the basketball world, one company has decided to make a big splash with one of the game’s biggest players and personalities.

CytoSport is a famed health product company that is known widely around the world for their bodybuilding-focused and vitamin-infused beverages, particularly with their bestShaquille O'Nealselling product known as Muscle Milk, which is a high-protein, high-vitamin workout and recovery drink. Recently, The Big Aristotle linked up with CytoSport to introduce the new Shaquille O’Neal bottles of Muscle Milk Ready-to-Drink. The Ready-to-Drink versions feature the likeness of Shaq that are Internet-interactive with his image on the bottle, complete with a special sweepstakes where the winner can meet Shaq and be immortalized in a painting with him (sounds kinda fresh, huh?).

In either case, I was fortunate in being able to receive and try the RTD versions of Muscle Milk, and it was a great experience for me because of my history with the brand. For four of the past six years that I’ve been weight-training as someone between being a quasi-bodybuilder and super-non-professional athlete, I have heavily favored Muscle Milk. As a serious fitness enthusiast and religiously in the gym, anyone who’s like me knows that you need to have the proper fuel and energy to do what you need to do. It doesn’t matter if you’re a novice, on an intermediate path, or an expert-level gymrat, it’s necessary to be straight before you do anything rigorous. Without getting too deep in jargon, basically Muscle Milk acts as liquid nutrition that’s made with the same consistency as regular milk, but has the benefits of being non-dairy and fortified with high protein content, the good kinds of fat that your body likes to use and burn (instead of the kinds that like to hang around on your belly), and many of the essential vitamins and antioxidants that are shown to do a body good (really). Normally, I use the regular powder varieties that you can find at supermarkets and drug stores in the health food aisles, but with the pre-made Ready-to-Drink versions, it makes the process of shaking water or milk with the actual product a little easier than usual. It’s highly recommended that if you play a lot of ball or work out in general that you go out and try to some of the stuff–I guess it sort of goes without saying that I’ve given my stamp of approval.

Now, why does this really matter in the context of the basketball world? There are a few reasons why. One reason is that basketball players on all levels are much more active on the court. There’s more athletic players and lots more physical activity on the hardwood (or asphalt). That usually means that the players have to have more fuel and more long-lasting fuel to perform consistently. The thing with electrolyte-based drinks (think Gatorade or Powerade) is that they many times only provide in the energy that comes from formulations that are based in sodium and sugar–it’s not that they are bad, but salt and sugar can only last so long. With Muscle Milk and other protein-based drinks, players can not only be hydrated, but their muscles can be nourished at the same time.

Another reason why CytoSport’s partnership with Shaq (and Brandon Roy, as well) matters is because the union brings exposure to high-level products that make people who play the game healthier. If you know from drinking Muscle Milk that there are certain components in the beverage that are good for your overall wellness, you might start to look for other things that also carry over into the food you eat, don’t you think? NCAA and NFL football are already big into the products, the running world is as well, and many other sports that place a significant focus on weight-training and recovery endorse the beverages, but basketball in general has lagged behind, and these days the game is all about training and recovery. These specific CytoSport beverages are equipped to sustain your energy and help your body recover from rigorous activity, but are quite yummy (if I do say so myself) and great for brief snacks in-between workouts or meals.

For information on CytoSport, Muscle Milk and the Shaquille O’Neal product line and partnership, you can visit the above hyperlink or go to cytosport.com for more general information.

(Special thanks to SLAM’S Ryne Nelson and CytoSport media representative Jose Martinez for the special opportunity and information.)

(Additional thanks goes to health professionals Ash Blair, Janalyn Turner of JET.Fit, and Riku & Val Laitasalo for their valued professional fitness and supplement advice.)

Sandy Dover is a novelist/writer, artist and fitness enthusiast, as well as an unrepentant Prince fan (for real). You can find Sandy frequently here at SLAMonline, as well as at Associated Content and Twitter.

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  • http://slamonline.com/ Ryne Nelson

    Haven’t tried it myself, but I know this… Athletes need high-quality protein, hoopers and power lifters alike. BRoy, Shaq and Sandy’s stamp of approval means this product’s A-OK my book!

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/san-dova-speak-easy/ San Dova

    That’s right, son!

  • http://www.yahoo.com Logues

    sounds legit, but a wife beater? really?

  • http://digitalthread.com AlbertBarr

    It shows off his muscles, yo!

  • http://slamonline.com GotHandles?


  • http://www.slamonline.com Pardeep

    I prefer Whey proteins and Im pretty sure most NBA players do too. It doesnt have more than 6g of Fat and recovers your muscles real well. Shaq and B-Roy are cool but I want to know what LeBron, Kobe and Wade take.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/san-dova-speak-easy/ San Dova

    PARDEEP–> I take whey proteins as well. The whey is good for versatility with food and drink, but the Milk is great because of its all-around nutrition and flavor. The net amount of fats in MM that actually keep in your body are lower than you’d think, too.

    Knowing that LBJ has been slow to much of the training and such (he just started getting into his body last year), I’d doubt he has much going on there, but definitely Kobe and Wade would be interesting guys to look at when it comes to nutrition and fitness habits.

  • ALB

    Amazing work once again Mr.Dova!!!! Muscle Milk in whatever form is the BEST!!! & So are you ;)

  • http://www.realcavsfans.com Anton

    Yo Shaqtus I’m very happy for you and Imma let you finish but Myofusion is the most delicious whey of all time!

  • Matthew Duthie

    Last time I saw Dover he was eating Cinnabon in the mall.

    Yo Muscle Milk, go easy on the Saturated Fats and artificial sweeteners!

  • rob

    Anton you talked just like Charles Barkley

  • ab_40

    for guys who only work out like 4 times a week protein shakes are useless. you probably don’t know it but the level of protein in your regular diet is probably very high. I don’t like protein shakes I also don’t like that there is no stamp of aproval ofor the products or to show that they are realy what it says on the cover. There are no restricitons or rules for that. Drink your normal milk eat your vegies cut down on the sprites and colas and start drinking juice and watter instead. I’ve been on 6 days a week 4 hours straight high intensity training and the thing that helps me recover the most is sleep. I went from 210 to 243 in a year and a half. I’m a big fan of quark… shakes and stuff not so much.

  • Tony

    I heard that muscle milk and protein drinks in general cause cancer , but the media doesnt cover it due to the strong influence that the “health & nutrition” industry has. Think about it… a product of artificial formulations and extracts aimed towards the advancement in the generation and development of cells…

  • http://slamonline.com d.j.

    im sure this was steve nashes idea at first…

  • http://www.slamonline.com Pardeep

    SAN DOVA– So when you were in the NBA what were most guys using as supplements like for their protein shakes and stuff? Was it Whey protein or other types because I heard Whey protein is the best for ball players and especially if they hit the weights. I also heard it is the best if you are training your speed and quickness and stuff.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/san-dova-speak-easy/ San Dova

    PARDEEP–> Whey is still great. Most people who use supplements for fitness will go to whey because it’s so versatile, but whey, like all types of proteins, has its own limitations…which is why, depending on the person and the body, there is so much variety of it. If you check out Muscle Milk, one of the things about it is that is has whey protein content within it as a primary component.

    TONY–> Much of the protein products that are sold and marketed have high natural components. In many cases, protein products are more healthy than the meat that we eat in America. It’s all about moderation–if all you do is drink protein shakes every day, you’ll have a problem, but the same goes for just about anything. And by the way, the steroids injected into commercial meat is sometimes way worse for your body.

  • DallasJ

    pinche whey

  • tony

    good point sand dova. especially.when put into comparison of the meat we eat.

  • riggs

    lmao @ dallas j

  • Sturm Drang

    …Does no one else find the name “Muscle Milk” on a drink that prominently features a picture with liquid splashing off of a massive man’s body vaguely disturbing??? Seriously?

  • Mikey

    Another great recovery drink is Athletes HoneyMilk, much more natural and way less ingredients than muscle milk. Also 26 grams of protein. http://www.athletesmilk.com