Ghost Energy Drink Review – Is It Right For You?

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By Thomas Youngerman

Reviewed by Juliana Tamayo, MS, RDN - Last Updated

Ghost Energy Drink Review

Ghost Lifestyle supplements were introduced in 2016 by co-founders Dan Laurenco and Ryan Hughes, seasoned experts in the dietary supplement space, as a “Lifestyle Sports Nutrition” brand. Ryan was a BSN-sponsored IFBB professional bodybuilder, and Dan oversaw social media for Cellucor. Those familiar with sports nutrition supplements will recognize BSN (Bio-Engineered Supplements and Nutrition) makers of NO-Xplode and Syntha 6 and Cellucor/Nutrabolt owners of C4 and Xtend. 

Ghost Energy Drink Fun Flavors

The co-founder’s concept was to position their products to appeal to the 99% of people trying to look and feel better, as opposed to the more competitive body perfectionists, by bringing more fun into the category. To accomplish this more fun approach, Ghost co-branded their protein powders, pre, intra, and post-workout products, and gaming nootropic and energy powders through licensing agreements with some of the biggest names in the candy and snacks arena, such as Oreo, Chips Ahoy, Nutter Butter, Cinnabon, Sour Patch Kids, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. For their Gamer line of energy and nootropic products, they partnered with esports powerhouse Faze Clan. 

Ghost Energy Drink Flavors

Ghost Energy Drink – the Intriguing Beginning

Fast forward to 2020, and Ghost supplement products (such as Ghost Burn, Ghost Pump, Ghost BCAA, and many more) are available in major retailers nationwide, including specialty shops such as GNC and Vitamin Shoppe. An Anheuser-Busch InBev sales executive took note of the brand while shopping at his local GNC and reached out to Hughes and Laurenco, believing there was an opportunity to do something in the massive ready-to-drink performance energy category.

After whirlwind exploratory meetings with the AB executive team, Ghost Beverage was formed in 2020 as a joint venture between Ghost Lifestyle and AB InBev. AB handles the distribution of the beverage products, and its sales and marketing clout has seen rapid acceptance of the brand into specialty, food, mass merchandisers, and convenience stores. 

Ghost Energy Drink Litigation

As mentioned above, the genius licensing strategy and fun names, popular with children, have led several consumer watchdog committees to appeal to the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) and the FTC (Federal Trade Commission), urging the agencies to take enforcement action. In a separate action, one consumer sued the company, claiming that Ghost is deceptively marketing energy drinks and supplements intended for adults to children. Note: a prominent banner on the Ghost can states, “Only Intended for Persons 18 Years or Older.”

It appears Ghost and InBev are taking corrective measures as the names of its beverage products are now more flavor-descriptive versus fun, such as Citrus, Sour Watermelon, Tropical Mango, RedBerry, Blue Raspberry, Orange Cream, Sour Green Apple, and Cherry Limeade. Swedish Fish and Faze Pop are the only “fun” product names remaining on the company landing page. The Sour Patch and Warheads varieties are still available on for those seeking more colorful names. 

We apologize for the long lead-in to our review; however, we found the story behind the products and their rapid expansion onto retailers’ shelves across the country fascinating. The remainder of our article reviews the product’s formulations and key components, its taste, price/value, and performance. Finally, we provide our assessment and rating. 

Ghost Energy Drink Beverage

Ghost is a sixteen-ounce carbonated beverage, available in ten flavors and developed to deliver “feel good energy”. The landing page emphasizes “fully transparent” and “fully loaded” and promises no “BS claims.” Unlike most other energy drinks, Ghost provides a supplement facts panel in addition to its Nutrition Facts and Ingredients list, allowing us to see the dosages of its active compounds.

Ghost Energy Drink

Ghost products are manufactured in an FDA-registered, cGMP-compliant facility. Ghost Energy is Vegan friendly, gluten, soy, and sugar-free, with no artificial colors. The caffeine is from natural sources: 200 mg from coffee and 100 mg of NeuroFactor, Coffee Arabica, which delivers another 7 grams. The product contains preservatives and sucralose, an artificial sweetener. 

The only benefits claimed on the Ghost Beverage landing page are “legendary” energy and “epic” focus. Although positioned in the performance energy category, customer reviews are the only references to fueling or supporting exercise performance.

Pricing is as follows for a twelve-pack case of sixteen-ounce cans:

  • – $27.96 per twelve-pack case
  • GNC – $29.99 per case
  • Vitamin Shoppe – $29.99 per case
  • Walmart – $2.48 per can, or the same $27.96
  • Target – $2.69 per can, or $32.28 per twelve-pack
  • Albertsons – $3.29 regularly, on sale for $2.50 per can
  • Safeway – $3.29 per can, or $39.48 per case

Ghost Energy Drink Ingredients 

The vitamin and mineral complex contains 30 mg of Sodium plus Vitamin C and seven B vitamins each at 100% of the RDV: Thiamin (B1), Niacin (B3), B4, Folate (B9), B12, Biotin (B7), and Pantothenic Acid (B5). 

Ghost Energy Drink Supplement Facts
  • Acetyl-L-Carnitine, 1000 mg – a form of the amino acid L-carnitine used in dietary supplements to address many health issues. A natural nootropic, acetyl-l-carnitine may also be useful for energy production and weight management.
  • Taurine, 1000 mg. Taurine is a conditionally essential amino acid, meaning that although your body produces taurine, you may need more at certain times. In addition to its potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, it aids in energy production, memory, and focus.
  • Caffeine, 200 mg from natural sources, coffee beans – Caffeine is clinically supported to aid cognitive function, provide energy and endurance, and boost your metabolism to aid in fat burning. Naturally sourced caffeine is typically gentler on your body than the more potent anhydrous.
  • 100 mg Neuro Factor, a patented nootropic compound from Coffee Arabica that supports brain function, memory, focus, and decision-making. Not a significant source of caffeine. 
  • Alpha GPC, 150 mg, when combined with caffeine, Alpha GPC is shown to improve both mental and athletic performance.
  • AstraGin, 25 mg, a patented compound that increases absorption of nutrients, used in many sports nutrition products to help improve performance and body composition.

What to Expect from Ghost Energy Drink

Ghost Beverage Taste Test

Great taste is front and center when considering an energy drink, and Ghost delivers. After recently testing several other entries in the space, we found Ghost’s Orange Cream a delicious, cleaner, less overly sweet product. The RedBerry also proved tasty, and the tinny aftertaste prevalent in many canned energy products was not a factor in Ghost beverages. With ten “epic” flavors (plus several others still available on, we’re sure you will find one that appeals to you. 

ghost energy drink


Ghost Energy Drink

  • Formula includes taurine, caffeine, astragin, and more
  • Available in 10 different flavors
  • Manufactured in an FDA-registered, cGMP-compliant facility

Benefits of Ghost Energy Drink

The 200 mg of natural caffeine in Ghost Energy delivered a mild energy boost and, much to my surprise, just a bit of anxiousness and jitters. I consume a significant amount of caffeine every day from three or more cups of black coffee, plus my pre-workout drink packs 300 mg of caffeine anhydrous, so anxiety was unexpected. I initially thought that Taurine may be the culprit; however, after further research, this was not the case. Fortunately, I used the product pre-workout, and within a few minutes, the jitters subsided entirely. What remained was a concentrated focus from the nootropics that lasted throughout my resistance training. 

Many of the compounds in Ghost Energy, such as caffeine, Alpha GPC, AstraGin, Taurine, and even Acetyl-L-Carnitine, may have ergogenic effects – the ability to increase energy and improve performance and recovery. Although motivated and focused, I noticed no increase or improvement in athletic performance or endurance. Many of Ghost’s ingredients aid in muscle recovery, so perhaps I should not have expected any immediate improvement. Regardless, the product delivered on its promised energy and focus benefits; however, the energy was less than “legendary,” and the focus was shy of “epic.” 

With only 200 mg of natural caffeine, we’d assume most people will experience energy without jitters or anxiety. This is confirmed by over 6,000 reviews on Amazon, with 79% voting five on a scale of 1 – 5. Orange Cream seems to be the favorite flavor for many of these reviewers.

Ghost Energy Drink In Hand

Ghost Energy Drink Versus the Competition

Although positioned in the performance energy segment, most people will enjoy Ghost beverages’ gentler energy and great focus. Some reviewers mentioned using the product as a pre-workout with good results – we’ll attribute that primarily to the energy boost. As stated, some of the ingredients aid in muscle recovery; however, we wouldn’t recommend Ghost as an intra, or post-workout as there are far better products for these purposes. 

Ghost RTDs are missing many of the essential components in a pre-workout, such as the arginine and citrulline found in their pre-workout Pump product or the Betaine and Beta-Alanine in their Legends product. Also, the electrolytes and BCAAs found in their intra-workout products, or the whey protein recommended for post-workout, are not present in the RTDs. 

Within the competitive set in the performance energy category, Ghost compares favorably with Optimum Nutrition’s Amino Energy and LifeAid. Both products feature the same natural caffeine, 200 milligrams in Life Aid and only 100 mg in Amino Energy, and deliver a similar energy boost. The extensive nootropic blend in Ghost provides superior focus to these brands, but Ghost is missing the amino acids (BCAAs or EAAs) and electrolytes found in the competitive products.

For those who feel focus should be the focus of their energy drink, Jocko Go or Onnit Alpha Brain Shots would be logical substitutes. Both Jocko and Onnit use lower dosages of caffeine (from natural sources) combined with extensive lists of clinically validated nootropic compounds such as Acetyl-L-Carnitine, Bacopa monnieri, Theobromine, Huperzine, and Alpha GPC. 

For those seeking the convenience of a ready-to-drink to fuel their pre-workout, we recommend one of the following – each with more potent caffeine content:

Cellucor’s C4 Ultimate Energy RTD – 300 mg of caffeine anhydrous, plus Beta-Alanine and Betaine Anhydrous.

Hyde Extreme from Pro Supps400 mg of caffeine anhydrous, plus Citrulline Malate and Beta-Alanine at clinical dosages. 

Ryse, Project Blackout Pre-Workout – 370 mg of caffeine from anhydrous with another 30 mg in a slow-release patented compound – ergogenic aids include Beta-Alanine, Betaine, and NO3 T (a patented nitric oxide compound).  

In Summary: Ghost Energy Drink Review

We love success stories such as Ghost. It’s not often a major consumer products company (AB InBev) approaches a relatively new startup like Ghost Lifestyle to suggest a joint venture. The partners have developed a solid formula with efficacious ingredients that deliver on their “no BS” benefit claims – and the flavors are good!

For those interested in other Ghost Lifestyle products, the company manufactures a complete lineup of powdered supplements and apparel, including:

  • Pre-, Intra, and Post-Workout 
  • Gaming – Nootropics and Energy
  • Protein – Vegan (Plant-Based), Whey, and BCAAs
  • Hydration – Electrolytes and Trace Minerals
  • Weight Management – Thermogenic/Fat Burners
  • Wellness – Greens and Multivitamins

Overall Rating:
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Thomas Youngerman

Thomas Youngerman is an entrepreneur and author in the health and wellness space with extensive experience in the supplement industry. He has owned multiple sports nutrition stores and served as the Category Manager and Director of Business Development for a regional chain of nutrition stores. Thomas created a successful line of men’s healthy aging supplements that was distributed in GNC, The Vitamin Shoppe, and Kroger, and later sold to a West Coast corporation. Thomas was previously a certified nutrition coach. He has a strong understanding of nutrition, supplement formulations, DSHEA, cGMP, and FDA regulations.