Ghost Amino Review — What Does “Smart Hydration” Mean?

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Ghost calls themselves a lifestyle sports nutrition brand, and in addition to their supplements their site provides things like workout playlists, fitness content, and interviews with DJs and entrepreneurs. Today I’m reviewing Ghost Amino, a BCAA supplement.

On the supplement side, they focus a little more on pre-workouts than anything else but we’re trying Amino, which is meant to provide “BCAAs + hydration” during or after a workout and “sustain greatness at any hour.” So does it work?

Ghost Amino Nutrition and Ingredients

One scoop contains 10 calories and 2 grams of carbs, with no sugar.

Each serving has 5 grams of BCAAs with a 2:1:1 ratio of leucine, isoleucine, and valine.

Then there’s a little over three grams of seven different amino acids, including one gram of citrulline.

There’s a decent amount of calcium, sodium, and potassium for hydration, but the “Smart Hydration” blend has a lot more to it. There’s one gram of taurine, half a gram of organic coconut, 5-HTP, and Alpha-GPC. I’ll discuss the significance and effects of all these ingredients in the next section.

Ghost Amino Ingredients

Finally, there’s the “other ingredients”: Natural and artificial flavor, malic acid and citric acid and tartaric acid (for flavor), silicon dioxide and calcium silicate (anti-caking agents), the artificial sweetener sucralose (also called Splenda®), and blue food coloring number 1. (We got the Blue Raspberry flavor.)

Ghost Amino Benefits and Effectiveness

The BCAAs themselves are linked to improved muscle retention, endurance, and focus during workouts, though I will say that I see more experts recommending 7 to 10 grams per serving than the 5 grams in Ghost Amino.

So what about everything else? The seven Ghost Amino Acids aren’t given much justification. Citrulline is a pretty common addition to BCAAs because it may improve circulation and endurance, but there’s also lysine, phenylalanine, histidine, methionine, theanine, and tryptophan. The tryptophan might improve mood, the threonine might help us synthesize proteins, but none of these — besides the citrulline — is especially well-known for its sports nutrition applications.

But what about the Smart Hydration blend? There’s a gram of taurine, which might help reduce muscle cramps and aid with hypertrophy (it pulls water into your muscle cells), the calcium might help prevent bone deterioration from exercise, and the coconut has a few electrolytes, but the Alpha-GPC and the 5-HTP are the main attractions here.

[See our top BCAA picks HERE]

Ghost Amino Nutrition

Alpha-GPC is a compound that’s meant to promote focus and power output in athletes, and it’s also linked to increased production of growth hormone, which helps us build muscle and reduce body fat. 5-HTP is an amino acid that appears to help us produce serotonin, which is linked to improved cognition, mood, and appetite control.

The issue is that typically, both 5HTP and Alpha-GPC are used in doses of 300 milligrams, and in Ghost Amino there’s just 150mg of Alpha-GPC and 50mg of 5-HTP. That’s not to say that their presence will have no benefit or effect to the consumer, but it’s worth remembering that the effects may be pretty mild when compared to a dedicated supplement.

Ghost Amino Price

You can pick up 30 servings for $40, which comes to $1.33 per serving or 26 cents per gram of BCAA.

That’s somewhat expensive; popular competitors like Scivation and MusclePharm are closer to 11 cents per gram of BCAAs, but they don’t contain the kinds of extra ingredients you’ll find in Ghost. So while, like their whey protein, Ghost Amino is expensive compared to popular brands, the quality of the ingredients may justify the price.

Ghost Amino Taste

I tried the Blue Raspberry flavor, which tastes like raspberry candy, but it also has a hint of vanilla. It’s kind of like a raspberry candy that’s been sitting in cream soda. It’s unusual, but I really liked it.

Ghost Amino Taste

The Takeaway

Free from soy and acesulfame potassium, the people at Ghost have put together a very interesting addition to the BCAA industry.

I liked the BCAAs themselves and the Smart Hydration blend, but I will emphasize that I wasn’t sure of the purpose of many of the amino acids and I wasn’t convinced that the cognitive-enhancers are present in high enough amounts to have a significant effect. It’s up to you, the consumer, to decide if the price makes it worth picking up a tub and seeing if you respond well to the 5-HTP and Alpha-GPC.

Ghost Amino

Per Serving: $1.33
8

Ingredients

8.0/10

Effectiveness

8.0/10

Price

5.0/10

Taste

9.0/10

Other Ingredients

10.0/10

Pros

  • Good ratio of BCAAs
  • Contains ingredients linked to improved focus
  • No soy or acesulfame potassium

Cons

  • A little pricy
  • Contains artificial flavors, colors, and sweetener
  • Ingredient dosing may not be ideal

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Nick is a content producer and journalist with over seven years’ experience reporting on four continents. His first articles about health were on a cholera outbreak in rural Kenya while he was reporting for a French humanitarian organization. His next writing job was covering the nightlife scene in Shanghai. He’s written on a lot of things.After Shanghai, he went on to produce a radio documentary about bodybuilding in Australia before finishing his Master’s degrees in Journalism and International Relations and heading to New York City. Here, he’s been writing on health full time for more than five years for outlets like BarBend, Men's Health, VICE, and Popular Science.No fan of writing in the third person, Nick’s passion for health stems from an interest in self improvement: How do we reach our potential?Questions like these took him through a lot of different areas of health and fitness like gymnastics, vegetarianism, kettlebell training, fasting, CrossFit, Paleo, and so on, until he realized (or decided) that strength training fit best with the ideas of continuous, measurable self improvement.At BarBend his writing focuses a little more on nutrition and long-form content with a heaping dose of strength training. His underlying belief is in the middle path: you don’t have to count every calorie and complete every workout in order to benefit from a healthy lifestyle and a stronger body. Plus, big traps are cool.