We’ve got a lot of protein powders on our shelves, but none of them stand out the way Ghost does. Most protein powders are housed in serious black tubs emblazoned with block letters and bro science terms like “ultra premium” and “extreme muscle,” but Ghost comes in a cream-colored tub with ghosts, monkeys, and funky, graffiti-like branding scrawled across it.
The brand, which overall is more focused on pre-workouts than protein, hopes to be the world’s first “lifestyle sports nutrition brand” and their website includes music playlists, fitness articles, and short documentaries about the founders. They don’t just sponsor athletes, they sponsor DJs and entrepreneurs.
To sum it up, Ghost is cool, cool in a way that no other self-serious supplement company manages. The branding sucked me right in. The question is, how does the product stack up?
Ghost Whey Protein Nutrition Facts
One scoop contains 130 calories, 25 grams of protein, 4 grams of carbs (including 1 gram of fiber and 2 grams of sugar), and 1.5 grams of fat (1 gram of which is saturated).
Outside of the macros, Ghost also contains 10 percent of your recommended daily intake of calcium and 6 percent of your iron. If you have a more restrictive diet, you should also know that it has 40mg of cholesterol (13 percent of your RDI) and 160mg of sodium (7 percent of your RDI).
Given this breakdown, Ghost is a good pick for low-carb diets, low-fat diets, and/or low-calorie diets.
[See our roundup for best whey protein]
Ghost Whey Protein Nutrition Ingredients
Their website says that, “most brands (…) get all crazy and tend to overthink their protein. We wanted to keep Ghost Whey as simple as possible.”
And the ingredients list is shorter than some of other companies. The Whey Protein mix is comprised of whey protein isolate, concentrate, and hydrolyzed whey in that order. Each form of whey has its own benefits — isolate has the most protein, concentrate has more ingredients linked to health benefits (like CLA fats), and hydrolyzed whey absorbs the fastest.
What’s nice is that they also disclose the exact amount of each kind of whey: one scoop has 14.53 grams of isolate, 13.16 grams of concentrate, and 2.98 grams of hydrolyzed isolate. Note that the isolate and concentrate have been sunflower lecithinated, which should improve mixability without adding any soy.
In the Milk Chocolate flavor, after the protein mix you’ve got an enigmatic “natural and artificial flavors,” followed by cocoa powder, salt, “Ghost Enzymes,” cellulose and xanthan gums (those are thickeners) and sucralose (also known as Splenda).
Ghost Whey Protein Benefits and Effectiveness
The lactose and the thickeners may be tough for some folks to digest, which is why the “Ghost Enzymes” (proteases, bromelain, and lactase) are notable. These should help to digest the protein and minimize gassiness, plus bromelain has been linked to reduced inflammation and soreness after exercise.
The product is soy-free and gluten-free and unlike some protein powders, it’s designed to not spike your insulin. This, in addition to the fact that it’s low in fat and carbs and the fact that it contains three kinds of whey, means it’s a pretty solid “anytime” mix. You can add it to something carb-heavy (like milk or cereal, or milk and cereal) if you want to boost your periworkout nutrition, or if you’re eating at night or during a period of low activity, you can mix it into something with fewer carbs and more fat (like yogurt) or water without worrying about an energy crash.
It’s pretty low in allergens — there’s no soy, gluten, or corn, and the lactase should help folks who are lactose intolerant. (Though the truth of that statement depends on how severe your reaction to whey normally is.)
If you’re wary of artificial sweeteners, this product does contain sucralose. However it doesn’t contain any other sweeteners like acesulfame potassium, which is present in a large number of protein powders and tends to be villified more than sucralose.
Ghost Whey contains more than just whey, but the additives make sense and while the product isn’t totally natural, it does a decent job of reducing the amount of problematic ingredients you find in many other whey powders.
Ghost Whey Protein Price
Ghost Whey is currently only sold in 2-pound tubs, which delivers 26 servings for $40. That comes out to $1.53 per serving or 6.15 cents per gram of protein.
That’s pretty pricy; most protein powders are between 4 and 5 cents per gram of protein. Compare Ghost with 2 pounds of Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard at $1.03 cents per serving (4.31 cents per gram of protein), BPI Sports Whey HD ($1.04 per serving or 4.16 cents per gram of protein), 2 pounds of Cellucor Cor Performance Whey ($1.15 per serving (4.61 cents per gram), and 2 pounds of Pro Jym ($1.27 per serving or 5.29 cents per gram).
Hopefully, Ghost will come out with a larger sized tub so that they can charge a little less per serving.
The powder mixes and dissolves very well, and that’s particularly impressive given the fact that it’s soy-free. Most of the time, whey will include soy lecithin, an ingredient that improves mixability. Ghost gets its lecithin from sunflower, so they’re able to make a rare, soy-free protein that mixes great.
Ghost Whey Protein Taste
We tried a few different flavors.
First of all, the Milk Chocolate flavor was excellent. Normally it takes a whole lot of artificial ingredients to make a protein powder that tastes great with water, but Ghost tastes fantastic with water. With whole milk, I found it just a little too sweet and creamy, but I think it would work really well with low-fat milk or almond milk.
Then we tried Cereal Milk, which is intended to taste like the milk that’s left over from a bowl of children’s cereal like Cap’n Crunch. That’s pretty much what it tastes like; some say that it’s like a vanilla flavor, but there’s definitely a sweet, corn-like flavor too, like you’d taste in Corn Pops.
Finally, we tried the Blueberry Toaster Pastry flavor. Personally, I find that blueberry-flavored protein powder can be pretty hit or miss but Ghost’s protein was actually pretty good. It didn’t make me think I was drinking actual blueberries, but it was pretty close.
And then there are the pastry pieces. It’s actually got crunchy chunks of pastry throughout the whey, even though it only has 1 more gram of carbs and 0.5 more grams of fat compared to chocolate flavor. It’s great, but don’t chug it — those pastry pieces won’t feel great flying down your gullet.
Ghost has pulled off the rare feat of producing a whey powder that’s low in carbs, low in fat, low in artificial ingredients, free of soy and gluten, and tastes amazing with water. The biggest downside is the price and you may take issue with the inclusion of sucralose as well. But if money is no object and you can handle a little Splenda, this protein powder can happily fit into just about any diet.