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Is Ghost Protein Powder Good For You?

Is Ghost Protein Powder Good?

Known for its unique flavor options and creative branding, Ghost protein powder has become a standout brand with a youthful, Gen Z appeal. 

While I may be more of a millennial myself, I’ve tried several flavors of Ghost’s protein powder products, including its hydrolyzed whey and vegan protein powder.

Don’t get me wrong. When it comes to original flavors that genuinely taste good, Ghost gets two thumbs up. But from a nutritional perspective, is Ghost protein powder good for you?

Sure, Ghost uses quality protein sources in its products. But it’s the additives that raise a big red flag for me. So while Ghost might top the podium as one of the best-tasting protein powders, the ingredients give cause for concern.

What’s Good in Ghost Protein Powder?

Is Ghost Protein Powder Bad For You

Ghost has several good things going for it. While I mostly focus on plant-based protein powders on this blog, I think it’s important to discuss both the whey and vegan protein powder for Ghost. Here’s a quick rundown on what’s good with Ghost protein.

  • Ghost Whey Protein Powder uses a distinct blend of isolate, concentrate, and hydrolyzed isolate. This unique combination is naturally rich in amino acids and the ‘hydrolyzed’ part means it’s further processed to be more easily digestible and absorbed by the body.[1]
  • Ghost Vegan Protein Powder is made from pea protein concentrate, organic pumpkin protein, and watermelon seed protein. Although it’s unclear what the amino acid profile looks like, it’s safe to assume this is a complete protein with all essential amino acids.
  • One scoop provides 25-26g of protein (whey) and 20-21g of protein (vegan), depending on the flavor. With 26 servings and 28 servings per tub, respectably, you’re getting a good amount of protein for a container that’s typically around the mid-$40 price point.
  • Soy-free, gluten-free, and low-to-no sugar options are available with Ghost. Most products are soy-free, some of them are gluten-free, and a few of them are legitimately sugar-free protein powders. But almost all of them use alternative sweeteners to improve their taste. 
  • The variety of fun flavors is perhaps Ghost’s biggest selling point and marketing appeal. In addition to flagship flavors like Peanut Butter Cereal Milk and Pancake Batter (vegan only), Ghost now offers co-branded flavors like Cinnabon, Oreo, Chips Ahoy!, and Nutter Butter.

You don’t have to be a food scientist to read the label and recognize the good qualities that come with Ghost protein powders. But there’s more to it than protein content, sugar, and taste that determines whether or not a product is good for you. 

Not-So-Good Things About Ghost Protein Powder

Ghost Vegan Protein Powder is it Good for You

Despite having some positive aspects, several not-so-good things about Ghost protein powder are worth calling out. 

I realize not all brands are perfect and many products have similar flaws (e.g. Muscle Milk, Premier Protein, and even organic brands like Orgain). But sadly, Ghost fails in many departments, and (spoiler alert), I do not find it to be a healthy brand that’s considered ‘good for you.’ Here’s why.

Natural and Artificial Flavors are High on the Ingredients List

Is Ghost Protein Powder Good for You with Natural and Artificial Flavors

I think what sounded the alarm most for me about Ghost protein powder was seeing this statement on its Amazon graphics/advertising for the vegan protein powder:

“All Ghost products feature a fully transparent label, so you know you’re getting in each and every scoop.”

But when the second ingredient next to the vegan protein blend is “Natural and Artificial Flavors” (which is marketing speak for ‘ingredients we’re not willing to disclose exactly what those flavors are’), it sort of contradicts their “fully transparent” statement.

While each flavor is different, “Natural and Artificial Flavors” are found in almost all of Ghost’s products. If the artificial part isn’t enough to raise your eyebrows, the contradiction above should.

Unfortunately, “Natural Flavors” are pretty common in the supplement space. But with most products, they are low on the ingredients list. The fact that these mystery ingredients are near the top is quite unusual and highly questionable.

Ghost Protein Powder Uses Artificial Sweetener

Ghost Protein Powder has Artificial Sweeteners

Again, depending on which product or flavor of Ghost protein powder you choose, you can expect to find artificial sweeteners like sucralose, and in some cases, acesulfame potassium (Ace-K).

Now I know the FDA has given food manufacturers the green light saying these synthetic sweeteners are safe. But there’s ample research saying otherwise. 

In the case of sucralose, a 2018 study found it had a significant impact on glucose metabolism, suggesting that it may negatively affect insulin action, even in healthy individuals, which could lead to insulin resistance, a precursor to type 2 diabetes mellitus.[2]

Other studies have linked sucralose to gut health problems, DNA damage, and immune system suppression. I won’t go too deep into the science, but if you want more on this topic, see this article by the U.S. Right to Know.

If this makes Ghost Protein a hard pass for you, check out my article on the best protein powder without artificial sweeteners.

Some Flavors Contain a Lot of Sh*t Ingredients

Is Ghost Whey Protein Powder Good for You

If you look at the ingredients list on some of the co-branded flavors like the Chips Ahoy!, Nutter Butter, and Oreo-flavored protein powders for Ghost, you can see they contain a lot more garbage ingredients, like:

  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Soy Lecithin
  • Seed Oils (soybean oil, palm oil, cottonseed oil, and/or sunflower seed oil)
Is Ghost Protein Powder Not Good for You

Some of these ingredients can be inflammatory, which is counterintuitive for a protein powder that’s intended for post-workout recovery.

Combined with artificial sweeteners, mysterious flavors, and other fillers and additives, it seems Ghost uses more synthetic and highly processed ingredients than it does real food ingredients.

I Wouldn’t Consider Ghost Protein Powder “Clean”

Is Ghost Protein Good for You with Artificial Sweeteners in It?

In a post I wrote about clean protein powder, I talked about what defines these types of products. These are generally organic, non-GMO protein powders that use third-party testing to measure heavy metals and contaminants.

Ghost protein powder is nowhere near the realm of “clean.” Considering the flaws mentioned above regarding synthetic sweeteners, natural and artificial flavors, and other garbage ingredients, I wouldn’t be fooled by Ghost’s marketing.

Bottom Line

Ghost Protein Powder

So, is Ghost protein powder good for you? While the company uses quality protein for both its whey and vegan protein powder line, there are too many drawbacks to consider Ghost a good-for-you option.

The use of artificial sweeteners in all its protein powder products is a major flaw, especially for crunchy, health-conscious consumers. Given its liberal use of natural (and artificial) flavors, contrary to its self-proclaimed transparent labeling, is another red flag. 

And while the nostalgic flavor choices might taste delicious, they pack too many poor-quality ingredients like seed oils, high fructose corn syrup, and other additives that are simply not what I want to consume in a protein powder.

With a price point between $40 and $50 for a tub of Ghost protein powder, you can find many other options that are far better for you and offer much higher-quality ingredients.

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About the Author

tyler tafelsky vegan protein powder review editor

This article was written by Tyler Tafelsky, the lead editor here at Tyler is an experienced writer in the health and athletic space who has tried hundreds of different plant-based nutritional products and writes about his favorites here on this blog. Learn more about Tyler by viewing his full author bio or by following him on social platforms like LinkedInTwitterFacebookPinterest, or Instagram. You can also visit his personal site to learn more about what he’s up to.

Scientific References

  1. Moro T, Brightwell CR, Velarde B, Fry CS, Nakayama K, Sanbongi C, Volpi E, Rasmussen BB. Whey Protein Hydrolysate Increases Amino Acid Uptake, mTORC1 Signaling, and Protein Synthesis in Skeletal Muscle of Healthy Young Men in a Randomized Crossover Trial. J Nutr. 2019 Jul 1;149(7):1149-1158. doi: 10.1093/jn/nxz053. PMID: 31095313; PMCID: PMC7443767.
  2. Romo-Romo A, Aguilar-Salinas CA, Brito-Córdova GX, Gómez-Díaz RA, Almeda-Valdes P. Sucralose decreases insulin sensitivity in healthy subjects: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2018 Sep 1;108(3):485-491. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/nqy152. PMID: 30535090.