Ryan Hughes and Daniel Laurenco co-founded the Ghost brand as the first “lifestyle sports nutrition brand.” The Ghost name and mantra of the company, “be seen,” is a result of Ryan’s experience in the corporate world where he felt invisible yet wanted to be heard and make an impact. Their site is basic, short on verbiage, and long on videos; fitness videos, testimonials, playlists, and short documentaries. The Ghost “Fam” is an eclectic group of fitness enthusiasts, DJs, EJs, and entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds. Many members, regardless of their birthplaces, have migrated to Southern California in pursuit of the fitness lifestyle.
One of their most popular lifestyle ambassadors is Chris Guzman, a fitness model, YouTube vlogger, and amateur bodybuilder who helped in the formulation of their best-selling product, their pre-workout Legend. An unusual development, but a part of the GHOST® culture. We’ll table the Legend discussion for now, and focus on their Proteins in this article with an emphasis on their whey blend.
The company markets a variety of sports nutrition products to include:
- Amino Acids
- Thermogenic Diet Aids
- Muscle Builders
- Gear; Shaker Cups, and Hats
- Special Bundles, such as Pre-workouts, Protein, and Shaker Cups
Products are available for sale on the company website with dollars or loyalty points. Points are earned via purchase and by posting pictures on social media (Facebook or Twitter). There are three tiers to the Loyalty Program, Member, Silver, and Gold. Their tag line, “Be a Legend. Join Ghost.”
In this article, we’ll review the GHOST® WHEY PROTEIN product formulation and its key ingredients. We’ll discuss the product’s features and benefits and investigate to determine if the product is meeting its marketing claims. We’ll inform you where you can find the product, review the cost-value relationship, and always provide you our rating in terms of effectiveness and value.
What’s Unique About Ghost Whey Protein?
Unlike other proteins, such as Flow Supplements Protein Plus, that contain no whey, GHOST® WHEY PROTEIN is a blend of three different types of whey protein (whey concentrate, whey isolate, and hydrolyzed isolate), and digestive enzymes. Like many other protein products, like Orgain Protein, Ghost is soy-free and gluten-free, as well as having no amino spiking, however, does contain both natural and artificial flavors and colorings.
One scoop of GHOST® equals 32 grams, including 25 grams of protein, 1.5 grams of fat, and 4 carbs. Caloric values range from 120 to 140 calories determined by flavor. The product contains a proprietary blend of digestive enzymes, Ghost® Enzymes, including Protease, Bromelain, and Lactase.
The company employs a somewhat unique strategy in the sports nutrition space, co-branding with prominent other national brands such as Nabisco’s Chips Ahoy flavored protein. Flavorings are one of the company’s claims to fame. Other whey blend varieties include:
- Cinnamon Milk
- Cereal Milk
- Fruity Cereal Milk
- Peanut Butter Cereal Milk
- Milk Chocolate
- Coffee Ice Cream
- Blueberry Toaster Pastry
GHOST® also earns high marks for its transparency. In addition to a detailed Nutrition Facts Panel detailing the amount of each ingredient, with no proprietary blends, the brand also provides their Full Disclosure Protein statement. This statement lists the total number of grams and grams from protein delivered by each type of protein:
- Whey Protein Isolate 90%, 12.5 grams of protein
- Whey Protein Concentrate 80%, 10 grams of protein
- Hydrolyzed Whey Protein Isolate, 2.5 grams of protein
This is a step beyond what we are accustomed to seeing even on popular national brands.
GHOST® WHEY Key Ingredients
The whey blend consists of Isolate (further processed than concentrate, and contains more protein and fewer carbs and fat) Concentrate, (contains additional beneficial ingredients, such as CLA), and Hydrolyzed (for the quickest absorption). Following the protein ingredients on the Nutrition Facts panel are natural and artificial flavors, GHOST® Enzymes, (a blend of Proteases, Bromelain, and Lactase), Cellulose Gum and Xanthan Gum, Sucralose, and FD&C Red #40.
The Cellulose and Xantham Gums are thickeners, and we previously mentioned the artificial flavors and sweeteners (Sucralose). Many people have digestive issues with the Lactose in milk protein, which may be compounded by the Gums, so the inclusion of a digestive enzyme blend seems an additional benefit.
Given the company’s approach and formulations, we were a bit surprised that neither Stevia nor Monk Fruit were used as a sweetener in the products.
GHOST® WHEY Recommended Dosage
One scoop of GHOST® WHEY contains 32 grams, including 25 grams of protein, 1.5 grams of fat, and 4 carbs. Caloric values range from 120 to 140 calories determined by flavor. The company doesn’t list a recommended dosage on its product or its site.
Within sports nutrition, the appropriate amount of daily protein intake is an ongoing subject of debate. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein is a modest 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight or .36 grams per pound of bodyweight. Nutritionists state that even twice the RDA is still in the safe range, and bodybuilders may go as high as 1.5 – 2.0 grams per pound of bodyweight depending upon their specific goals.
For clarification, the RDA is for all proteins consumed, animal, and plant proteins. GHOST® WHEY is a supplement and is meant to supplement your protein intake from your whole food diet.
Benefits of GHOST® WHEY
Whey protein is an excellent source of high-quality protein used for building and maintaining muscle, improving strength, recovery from exercise, and weight loss. Additional potential benefits would include reducing inflammation, lowering blood pressure, and enhancing satiety.
The specific benefits of GHOST® WHEY are:
- No amino acid spiking
- Digestive enzymes
- Transparency in packaging
- Incredible flavors in a wide assortment
- Tastes great when mixed with water
- Low calorie, low carbs, low fat
- Fast absorption for use as a post-workout shake
How Does GHOST® PROTEIN Perform – the Claims versus the Reality
GHOST® WHEY earns very high marks for its approach to the market, its transparency, its unique co-branding strategy, and its commitment to great taste. With its nutritional makeup, the product is versatile and can be used as a low carb – low-fat meal substitute, for a pre, or post-workout shake, or in combination with other ingredients such as yogurt, fruit, etc. as a smoothie.
The product delivers a substantial amount of protein per serving and tastes great when mixed with water. The addition of the GHOST® Enzymes is an excellent concept for those who may have digestive issues when using a protein supplement.
Potential Side Effects of WHEY PROTEIN
Anyone who has ever reacted to whey protein will recognize the potential side effects:
- Increased bowel movements
- Reduced appetite
There are more serious possible side effects for those who are lactose intolerant or have milk allergies. We recommend you consult with your medical professional before dramatically increasing your protein consumption with a protein supplement.
On the GHOST® website, the 2-pound tub, 26 servings, is $39.99. We find it refreshing that we were not inundated with special offers for the purchase of multiple units when checking out. Yes, they do have special stacks, but they are marketed as such right upfront.
$39.99 per tub equates to $20.00 per pound, $1.25 per ounce, $1.53 per serving, or $.0615 per gram of protein.
Best Places to Buy GHOST® WHEY
If you’re seeking instant GHOST® WHEY gratification, you can head to your local GNC store and pick up a tub at the same price as on GNC.com or the GHOST® website, $39.99. The product is also available on Amazon.com, but at a significant premium. We did not find any other stores listed on the site’s store locator.
There’s a great deal to like about the GHOST® “lifestyle sports nutrition” marketing and approach to the business. We love the quality ingredients, the transparency, the packaging, its co-branding strategy, and their dedication to superior taste. Drawbacks are only two:
- We would rather see all-natural flavors and sweeteners, and the elimination of the Sucralose
- The product is very pricy; most national brand protein powders range between $.04 and $.05 per gram of protein versus over $.06 for the GHOST® brand.
In our final analysis, we recommend you give the brand’s protein powder a test run, after all, who can resist Chips Ahoy?