Ghost Pre-Workout Review: The Unhealthiest Pre-Workout?

Ghost Pre-Workout Review: The Unhealthiest Pre-Workout?

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Ghost is a popular supplement brand that sells a pre-workout called “Legend All Out.” The brand describes this supplement as their “hardest hitting pre to date” and states in the use instructions that it’s “only intended for healthy adults,” which suggests that it’s highly stimulatory and may be unsafe for those in poor health.

But does Ghost Pre-Workout contain ingredients shown in medical studies to improve power and energy, or is it a waste of money? Does it contain any unhealthy additives? What retailer sells Ghost Pre-Workout for the best price? And how do real users rate and describe the effects of Ghost Pre-Workout?

In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more as we analyze the ingredients in Ghost Pre-Workout based on medical studies to give our take on whether the supplement is likely to be effective, and whether it contains questionable additives.

This supplement contains a large number of active ingredients, so we’ll break our ingredient analysis into three sections: “Ghost Legend” blend (the pump ingredients), “Ghost Smart Energy” blend (the stimulant ingredients) and inactive ingredients (the additives).

We’ll also provide a cost breakdown featuring which retailer sells Ghost Pre-Workout for the best price, and highlight customer reviews.

Ghost Legend Blend – Ingredient Analysis 

Ghost Legend Blend ingredients

The ingredients in Ghost Legend Blend for the “Sour Patch Kids” flavor of this pre-workout are shown above.

Several of these ingredients have research backing.

L-citrulline is included at a 4,000 milligram (mg) dose. This amino acid is a nitric oxide precursor, meaning it can widen blood vessels and improve athletic endurance.

A medical review published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology found that citrulline increases muscular endurance, but describes the minimum effective dose as 8,000 mg, or 200% of the amount in Ghost Pre-Workout.

Beta-alanine is clinically shown to improve power during exercise, and as we referenced in our review of another pre-workout supplement containing this ingredient called Total War Pre Workout, the minimum effective dose appears to be 1,000 mg.

Ghost Pre-Workout provides 3,200 mg so we’ll consider this an effective dose.

Nitrosigine is a highly effective pre-workout ingredient and not one we’ve come across in many pre-workout reviews published to Illuminate Health.

A 2015 clinical trial tested the effects of Nitrosigine at the exact same dose as in Ghost Pre-Workout, and the study authors concluded the following: 

“daily doses of [Nitrosigine] prior to workout significantly increased pre-workout energy levels, increased muscle pump immediately following a workout, and decreased biomarkers of muscle damage immediately after a workout and during recovery.”

We’re unable to identify any clinical backing for the remaining two active ingredients at their stated dose.

Ghost Smart Energy Blend – Ingredient Analysis

Ghost Smart Energy Blend ingredients

The ingredients in Ghost Smart Energy blend are shown above.

L-tyrosine is frequently included in pre-workout supplements but we don’t understand why.

The only clinical trial we can find showing it to be effective in isolation used a dose of 150 mg per kilogram (kg) body weight, or a dose of 13,500 mg for a 90 kg man. That’s over 10x the dose as exists in Ghost Pre-Workout.

Taurine is another amino acid. We can’t find any clinical backing for it, and a medical review published in the Birth Defects Research journal found that it may harm the adolescent brain when combined with caffeine (which is also in this supplement).

Alpha-GPC was shown in a 2015 clinical trial to not only improve athletic performance but also mood, and the dose used was less than that in Ghost Pre-Workout.

Caffeine is included at a dose of 250 mg, equivalent to around 2.5 cups of coffee. As we documented in our review of Alani Nu Pre Workout, caffeine is clinically shown to improve both physical power and muscular endurance during exercise.

Theobromine is a mild stimulant derived from coffee that may improve energy, but we can’t find any evidence it improves exercise performance.

We can’t find any clinical evidence for the remaining two active ingredients at their stated doses.

Inactive Ingredient Analysis

Ghost inactive ingredients

The inactive ingredients in Ghost Pre-Workout are shown above.

This supplement contains a number of inactive ingredients that we consider questionable from a health perspective.

Artificial flavors have no nutritional value and were shown in a clinical trial published in the Brazilian Journal of Biology to be toxic to rodents.

Citric acid can cause inflammation throughout the body according to a medical review published in the Toxicology Reports journal.

Sucralose and acesulfame potassium are artificial sweeteners, the former of which was shown to negatively affect insulin function in healthy adults in a clinical trial, as we documented in our review of Gorilla Mind Energy Drink (another supplement containing this ingredient).

FD&C Red #40 is an artificial food dye that may be contaminated with carcinogens (cancer-causing chemicals) according to a 2012 medical review.

Clearly Ghost Pre-Workout contains some effectively dosed active ingredients and some questionable inactive ingredients. But how do real users rate its taste and effects? We’ll review in the next section.

Real People Try Ghost Pre-Workout

A YouTube creator named “Keefrica” has a review of Ghost Pre-Workout after trying the supplement for 30 days:

A fitness influencer named Brett Westover gave each of the different sections in Ghost Pre-Workout a rating out of 10 and shared his thoughts on whether the supplement is worth the money in a TikTok video:

@brettwestover Answer to @evkwrestling GHOST PRE-WORKOUT #fitness #workout #preworkout #supplements ♬ Up Beat (Married Life) - Kenyi

Where to Get the Best Price

Ghost Pre-Workout is sold at a variety of online retailers. Here’s a price breakdown at the time of publishing this article:

Brand website: $44.99 (plus shipping, link)

GNC: $44.99 (plus shipping, link)

Walmart: $44.99 (third-party seller, link)

The Vitamin Shoppe: $44.99 (free shippinglink)

Amazon: $44.99 (free shippinglink to official Amazon listing)

Amazon and The Vitamin Shoppe currently have the best prices, around 25% off from the brand’s website when considering shipping (the shipping fee for the test address in the U.S. we input was $7.99).

Why Was Ghost Sued?

In 2022, Ghost Lifestyle (the manufacturer of Ghost Pre-Workout) was sued by a plaintiff in California who alleges that the brand was engaging in false advertising.

As we documented in our Ghost Greens reviews article, the plaintiff alleges that the supplement contains an undisclosed ingredient called malic acid, which may be unhealthy to consumers.

At the time of publishing this article, the lawsuit appears to be ongoing so there is no way to determine whether or not these claims are true, but this should be proven in court if it reaches that stage.

There is no mention of this ingredient being included in Ghost Pre-Workout.

Later in 2022 another complaint was levied against Ghost Lifestyle. 

As documented in the above-linked article published on Truth in Advertising, two organizations submitted a notice to regulators asserting that Ghost is engaged in deceptive marketing practices targeting children.

Specifically, the complaint alleges that the brand is “failing to adequately disclose that its products are only intended for healthy adults and may be harmful to children): from its officially licensed candy flavors like Sour Patch Kids, Swedish Fish and Warheads that mimic the taste and packaging of candy brands popular among children”

While none of these claims have been proven in court, we do consider these facts to be a red flag about the brand as a whole.

Real Customers Review Ghost Pre-Workout

Amazon is a better resource for honest customer reviews than a brand’s website in our opinion.

Ghost Pre-Workout has been reviewed over 1,700 times on Amazon, with an average review rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.

The top positive review from a verified purchaser comes from a user named “L. Davis” who gives the supplement a 4-star rating and claims it tastes good and improves energy with minimal side effects:

“My experience may not be your experience. However this taste good, no bitter after taste. No jitters just energy! I was waiting for a crash and I had none. I felt the energy calming down gently and normalizing after a good 30-40mins into working out. I did have a bit of a sour stomach but nothing extreme like in the past also I took it on an empty stomach.”

The top negative review from a verified purchaser is written by a user named “DAISY G.” who gives the supplement a 1-star rating and claims it causes side effects:

“I took a chance on this given all of the positive reviews about it…I worked out yesterday and today and I still have chest pain. I didn’t get a good nights sleep because it definitely wired me up. This feeling is like no other I do not wish this on anyone. I regret buying this, but much more - taking it.”

Our Clean Pre-Workout Picks

Naked Energy by Naked Nutrition is our top pre-workout powder pick.

It provides an effective dose of beta alanine and caffeine for power and stamina improvements.

Pique Breakfast Black Tea Sticks is our top whole food energy pick.

Black tea consumption is "associated with rapid increases in alertness and information processing capacity" according to a clinical trial, and Pique's tea is organic and comes in convenient stick packs that can be mixed into water, so a teapot or kettle are not needed.

Both of the products mentioned in this section are entirely free of ingredients we consider to be unhealthy.

Pros and Cons of Ghost Pre-Workout

Here are the pros and cons of Ghost Pre-Workout in our opinion:


  • Many effectively-dosed active ingredients
  • Should cause pump
  • Should improve power
  • Should improve endurance
  • Mostly positive online customer reviews


  • Contains artificial color
  • Contains artificial sweeteners
  • Contains artificial flavor
  • Contains citric acid
  • Expensive per-serving
  • Brand website charges for shipping
  • Doesn’t appear clinically tested
Stay up-to-date on our research reviews


Ghost Pre-Workout contains a number of effective active ingredients. From a potency and efficacy perspective, this is one of the better pre-workouts we’ve analyzed on Illuminate Health.

We believe this supplement is likely to improve performance in the gym, because it contains research-backed ingredients for pump, power and endurance.

However, we consider Ghost Pre-Workout to be one of the unhealthiest pre-workouts we’ve analyzed because of its inactive ingredients.

This supplement contains artificial flavors, artificial color and artificial sweeteners, all of which have questionable effects on human health based on clinical studies.

Ghost Pre-Workout also contains the combination of taurine and caffeine which may be harmful to adolescents according to at least one clinical trial.

Ghost Lifestyle, the manufacturer of Ghost Pre-Workout, was sued in 2022 and also received a formal complaint that same year in regard to its advertising practices.

For consumers intent on purchasing Ghost Pre-Workout, Amazon and The Vitamin Shoppe currently have the best prices.