Over the past couple of decades, pre-workout supplements have become a popular fixture in the daily routines of millions of fitness enthusiasts. In more recent times, Ghost Legend has emerged as one of the most popular pre-workout products amongst everyone from fitness YouTubers to regular, every-day gym-goers.
Although it may come in a variety of interesting flavors -- which may help to explain why it’s so popular -- an examination of the ingredient composition in Ghost Legend reveals that it may not actually be all that effective when it comes to enhancing your performance in the gym.
In order to further explore some of the potential shortcomings of Ghost Legend, we’re comparing it to MPO, our own pre-workout supplement specifically designed to improve muscle function and performance. Before we dive into the product comparison, however, let’s first take a look at what sort of qualities you should be looking for in a pre-workout supplement.
What Should You Look For in a Pre-Workout?
The end goal of taking a pre-workout supplement is to make improvements in your performance -- i.e. you want to get bigger, faster, stronger, etc. So the question is, does your pre-workout actually help with this or does it just get you amped up?
Stimulants like caffeine are the main ingredient in many pre-workouts and while they may help to fire up your central nervous system, the issue is that they don’t actually do anything at a cellular level in your muscles.
As opposed to stimulants, what you really want to look for in an effective pre-workout supplement are ergogenic aids. Ergogenic aids are substances that have been found to enhance muscle function through one or more of the following ways:
- Increasing the amount of available energy in your muscles
- Increasing endurance in your muscles so you can perform longer (i.e. more sets, reps, time under tension, etc..)
- Enhancing the underlying processes/biochemical pathways that make muscles bigger, stronger, and more powerful (i.e. stimulate muscle protein synthesis/mTOR)
- Decreasing the amount of protein breakdown that occurs as a result of intense physical exercise (i.e. improve muscle recovery and adaptation)
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What’s in Ghost Legend?
The unfortunate reality, however, is that many pre-workout products, including Ghost Legend, either don’t contain the right kinds of muscle-enhancing ingredients, or if they do, they’re underdosed, meaning that the supplement doesn’t contain a large enough concentration of the substance to elicit the desired effects.
What Are The Shortcomings of Ghost's Ingredients?
While it does offer a standard dose of beta-alanine -- a naturally occurring amino acid that’s been shown to improve muscular endurance -- Ghost Legend also has multiple shortcomings when it comes to its ingredient profile.
Although it does contains ergogenic aids other than beta-alanine, they’re mostly underdosed or have been shown to be ineffective when it comes to enhancing muscle function.
On top of that, Ghost also contains a handful of other ingredients that aren’t known to directly affect any of the underlying processes involved in building size, strength, and endurance.
⫸It’s Underdosed in L-Citrulline
For example, Ghost does contain L-citrulline, which is an amino acid that’s been found to increase muscular endurance in several human-based trials. However, 1 serving only contains 4 g of L-citrulline -- well below the standard dose of 6 g -- which ultimately may not be enough to see any kind of significant effects when it comes to improving muscular endurance.
⫸It Contains Ineffective Substances like Taurine and Agmatine Sulfate
Ghost Legend also contains a handful of ingredients that have been found to be ineffective in terms of bolstering your workout performance. On top of containing taurine -- a substance with no evidence of efficacy as far performance enhancement goes -- it also contains agmatine sulfate, which although commonly labeled as an ergogenic aid, has been shown to be ineffective in a number of well-designed human trials.
⫸It’s Also Underdosed in Alpha GPC and Adaptogens
In addition to containing ergogenic aids, Ghost also features several other ingredients like caffeine, alpha GPC, rhodiola, theobromine, and olive leaf extract, which do not necessarily contribute to improving muscle function and performance. On top of that, with the exception of caffeine, most of these ingredients are also underdosed.
For instance, alpha GPC is a natural choline compound with a considerable amount of evidence demonstrating its cognitive-enhancing effects. However, the dose found in Ghost Legend is 350 grams below the stand recommendation of 500 grams, which ultimately means that there’s likely not enough Alpha GPC in a single serving of Ghost pre-workout to prompt any kind of substantial effects.
What’s In MPO?
So at the end of the day, while Ghost Legend may be packed full of ingredients, many of them are either underdosed or have been shown to be ineffective, which ultimately means that while it may help to stimulate your central nervous, Ghost may not be all that effective when we’re talking about actually improving the ways in which your muscles work.
Unlike Ghost, MPO contains only proven ergogenic ingredients at clinical dosages; no fillers, no stimulants, and no underdosed or ineffective substance.
Why is MPO a Better Choice Than Ghost Legend?
MPO contains 5 different ergogenic ingredients all at dosages which have been shown to be effective in multiple human-based trials. Furthermore, all of the ingredients in MPO have been shown to have synergistic effects, meaning that they become even more effective when taken together.
The different ingredients in MPO have been shown to improve muscle function in multiple ways, helping to cumulatively increase strength, energy, and endurance, as well as enhance the underlying mechanisms behind muscle adaptation.
⫸It has Creatine For Improved Cellular Energy
MPO contains a standard dose of 4.5 grams of creatine monohydrate per serving. It’s been well documented that creatine helps to boost your body’s levels of ATP, which is an important biochemical that helps to provide your muscle cells with energy during intense physical activity.
The increased availability of ATP in your muscle cells, in turn, allows you to push yourself harder in the gym -- i.e. more sets, reps, time under tension, etc -- which ultimately equates to greater gains when all is said and done.
⫸It Contains Beta-Alanine For Improved Endurance
Beta-alanine is the one ingredient that both Ghost and MPO have in common (each contains a standard dose of 2 g per serving). There is an ample body of evidence that beta-alanine helps to improve muscular endurance through inhibiting the accumulation of chemical-by products in your muscles.
When your muscles burn up energy, they leave behind lactic acid (and other chemicals) which as they accumulate, blocks the influx of more energy into your muscles. Inhibiting the accumulation of these chemical by-products when you’re working out ultimately translates into more endurance -- i.e. you’ll be able to push yourself harder and further before you reach exhaustion.
⫸It has HICA, HMB, and PA to Enhance The Muscle-Building Process
MPO also contains clinical doses of 3 other ergogenic aids which have all been shown to enhance the underlying mechanism behind muscle growth and recovery. HICA and phosphatic acid (PA), for instance, have both been shown to significantly increase muscle protein synthesis (MPS), which refers to the biological process through which your body builds new muscle tissues -- higher levels of MPS translate to more muscle growth over time.
In addition to spiking MPS, HMB has also been shown to decrease the amount of protein breakdown that results from intense physical activity like exercising -- less protein breakdown ultimately means a shorter recovery period. The combination of more protein synthesis and less breakdown, in turn, equates to an improved muscle-building potential, leading to greater increases in size and strength.
While Ghost Legend may be a popular pre-workout, many of the ingredients it contains are either underdosed or ineffective when it comes to enhancing muscle function at the cellular level.
Ultimately, that means that while it may amp you up, it may do little else to actually improve your performance in the gym. In contrast, MPO contains only clinical doses of ergogenic substances that have actually been shown to improve the ways in which your muscles function and perform. It contains no stimulants, fillers, or any other unnecessary ingredients.
On top of helping to improve your muscles’ endurance and available energy supplies, several of the ingredients in MPO also help to enhance the underlying mechanisms behind muscle growth, which ultimately translates into greater gains in size and strength over time.