Same Day Dispatch for orders before 12pm
5% DISCOUNT on all orders over $300
FREE FREIGHT on orders over $99

Ghost Pre-Workout Review

Posted on March 22, 2020

Ghost Pre-Workout ReviewDividerimage


Ghost Legend is a pre-workout that delivers as much funky flare as it does tantalising tastes and performance enhancement, with their innovative Legend X Warhead flavours.


You might remember, somewhere deep in the recesses of your childhood memories, sour warhead lollies, also referred to as ‘extreme candy’—no joke, they were literally called that.


This was a candy only unwrapped by the toughest kids, those willing to withstand an unreasonably compelling mixture of pleasure and pain, as all watch in admiration from a safe distance.


This was a candy so sour that it made the eyeballs bulge with regret as a tsunami of sourness washes over the palate, much to the amusement of our friends.


And then the sour flavour really hits you.


It was a little bit like sucking on a lemon, but actually worse. A lot worse.




You might be relieved to know that Ghost Legend X sour flavours have in fact been toned down, which doesn’t detract from the nostalgic experience of this concept pre-workout.


Sporty’s Health stock the standard Ghost Legend flavours (without the Sour Warheads) in Red Berry and Lemon Lime, which are ideal if you want to shoot for a more regular flavour that still delivers ergogenic benefits.  


However, if you’re ready to experience a full-palate, the likes of which even the most complex aged wine cannot compete with, try Sour Watermelon or Sour Green Apple.


I dare you.


But Ghost Legend Pre-Workout isn’t just about gimmicky flavours and cool packaging—which they do incredibly well. And yes, it does look good sitting atop your fridge. This product boasts a solid ingredient profile, with some rare inclusions that will help make a difference to any slate of sessions you have lined up in the near future.




Caffeine, Malic Acid and NADH

Each 12.5 gram scoop (1 serve) contains a total of 202mg of caffeine, derived from caffeine anhydrous (165mg) and di-caffeine malate (50mg). Given that di-caffeine malate is a joint molecule composed of two caffeine molecules and one malic acid, each 50mg contains 37mg of caffeine and 13mg malic acid.


Di-Caffeine Malate is believed to release more slowly into the bloodstream compared to caffeine anhydrous, thus helping to mitigate any unwanted crashes. However, this is yet to be confirmed by independently funded clinical trials (always nice).


Ghost-Pre-Workout.jpgDespite this, the malate portion of malic acid is a constituent of the citric acid cycle (kreb’s cycle), essential for the synthesis of NADH and FADH2. These by-products deliver electrons, fueling the last stage in ATP production called oxidative phosphorylation in the mitochondria.


Based on this, Malic acid may promote natural energy levels and alleviate delayed onset muscle soreness, as it has demonstrated benefits for fibromyalgia sufferers. Again, though, more research is warranted to confirm these roles.


Pure NADH has actually been added to the formula as well, which is a rare addition, and definitely an Australia-first for a pre-workout, if not a global first.


The 202mg of elemental caffeine contained in each serve of Ghost Legend will be enough to knock the sleep from the eyes of most. Though if you are used to a super strong pre-workout, you’ll be looking at a double scoop here, creating 15 serves per contained instead of 30.


Nitric Oxide Enhancement

Citrulline is another ingredient widely found in pre-workout formulations. But is it just a vanity ingredient, promising bigger pumps and more vascularity for the few lean enough to actually make a difference?


Fortunately, there’s more to citrulline than that.


Citrulline is an effective blood arginine booster, with evidence indicating that it does a better job at increasing arginine levels than arginine supplementation itself.


Why is it so?


It’s all to do with the first-pass effect.


The liver plays the important role of metabolizing anything absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract, such as vitamins, drugs and amino acids. Unfortunately for arginine, it is broken down extensively by hepatic arginase (into urea and ornithine), while citrulline remains relatively unchanged.


Rodent research has shown that citrulline supplementation is 35% more effect at increasing blood arginine levels than arginine 1.


Citrulline is readily converted into arginine by two enzymes, with the help of aspartate, which elevates blood arginine relatively quickly.


And with a higher blood arginine level, we have more substrate or fuel available for the synthesis of that wonderful gas called nitric oxide, which triggers vasodilation and the delivery of more nutrients to working muscles.


Dosages are typically around the 6 dose for pure Citrulline powders, or 8 grams for Citrulline Malate. So to hit a solid clinical citrulline dose, you’re looking at a 22.5 serve container instead of 30 serves (at a 1.5 scoop serving size, also delivering 303mg caffeine).


Alternatively, grab some citrulline malate 2:1 powder and top up each Ghost Legend serve with an additional three grams. This will makes for a more cost-effective strategy.


You don't need to be a mad scientist to get the job done, or any kind of scientist for that matter. You just need a good set of scales that can measure down to 100mg or so (10mg at least for measuring caffeine).




Here are some of the outcomes from clinical trials involving pure citrulline and citrulline malate supplementation:

  • Improved skeletal muscle blood flow (young and elderly)[presumably everyone in between as well] 2,3.
  • Enhanced Maximal Oxygen Uptake (VO2) 4.
  • On average, a 53% Increase in Bench Press Volume 5.
  • On average, a 21% Increase in Leg Press Volume 6.
  • Reduced Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness 5.
  • Improved 4km Cycle Test via Ergometer (2.4g/day pure powder) 7.
  • Increased Blood Lactate and Ammonia clearance post-exercise 8.
  • No benefit found for German Volume Training (10 sets of 10 reps @ 70% 1RM). However, this dosage was acute. Prolonged daily use may prove beneficial 8.


L-Norvaline is included in this Ghost Pre-Workout as an arginase inhibitor. Arginase clears excess nitric oxide from the blood. Technically, this should offer a synergistic effect with citrulline malate.


However, clinical trials investigating the effectiveness of norvaline supplementation as an ergogenic aid are severely lacking.


The inclusion of Agmatine Sulfate may also support this very same nitric oxide pathway, perhaps via stimulation of nitric oxide synthase.


Tingle Much?

Beta-Alanine for Muscle Carnosine

Beta-Alanine is another one of those ubiquitous pre-workout ingredients, along with caffeine and citrulline, often to the exclusion of creatine. Though this should not detract from creatine’s unequivocally solid evidence-base and ergogenic potency!


Each serving of Ghost Legend contains 2 grams of beta-alanine, the rate-limiting precursor to carnosine. The term rate-limiting is applied to a substrate (building block) than typically limits our ability to synthesize the end molecule.


In this case, a lack of beta-alanine typically leads to less muscle carnosine synthesis, which is composed of beta-alanine and histidine.  


This has been proven by beta-alanine supplementation research showing that carnosine levels do indeed increase, by around 20-80% 9.


The hard part is finding out which exercises benefit from this increased carnosine level, as there are so many forms of sports and exercise to assess. And given the unpredictability of the human body, it can be near impossible applying theories to what will and won’t work.


The Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition is one of the best journals to look at for practical information, having published numerous studies examining the effects of Beta-Alanine supplementation on a range of exercises.


At this stage, research on beta-alanine as an ergogenic aid is pointing more towards high intensity interval training and endurance exercise, with more benefit for exercises that last between 1 to 4 minutes 10.


A study examining collegiate wrestlers and football players indicated that 4 grams supplemented daily enhanced performance and actually increased lean body mass 11.


Another clinical trials showed that Beta-Alanine supplementation could significantly increase high intensity interval training performance. The supplementation protocol in this study was 1.5g beta alanine four times daily taken with 15g dextrose for 21 days, followed by twice daily supplementation for another 21 days 12.


Cycling exercise capacity performed at 70% VO2 peak has also been put to the test, at 2.4g beta-alanine daily. Results indicated a significant increase in performance 13.




These benefits of Beta-Alanine are believed to be primarily due to the hydrogen ion buffering capacity of Carnosine.


Worried about a Ghost Pre-Workout tingle? It’s been well documented that Beta-Alanine causes temporary tingling and/or itching of the skin, medically referred to as skin paresthesia.


This is a harmless and reversible (histamine-independent) reaction in the nerves. However, in a small percentage of people it can be a strong response. So if you’ve never taken Beta-Alanine before and you want to play it safe, start with a ¼ scoop.


Ghost Pre-Workout Cycle?

You might be wondering at this point, is this one of those products that needs to be cycled? And to be perfectly confusing, you can cycle with it, but there’s no need to cycle it.


That is, you can take a tub of Ghost Legend for a ride on your bicycle, but there’s no need to stop and start your supplementation. This is a pre-workout that you can take for as long as you want.


Many believe cycling on and off products helps to improve sensitivity to the ingredients. However, this may only be true for caffeine and other types of stimulants, and not necessarily amino acids, herbs or other nutrients.


Of course, having a break from caffeine can be a great thing, especially if your intake from all sources is becoming too high or you are feeling highly strung.



 Ever wonder why Pacman was so hard?


All stimulants wind-up the sympathetic nervous system, increase fat-burning, and deliver extra focus, concentration and a mood boost.


And this can be a welcome prospect, particularly for the tired, stressed and overweight.


Just remember, it’s important to look after your overall health, not just your body fat percentage and lean muscle mass. And if you’re really struggling with fatigue or a low mood, there may be some underlying reasons that need your attention and consideration.


For instance, poor nutrition (enough macronutrients, but not enough micronutrients), inadequate sleep quality or quantity, no stress management techniques up your sleeve (like meditation or yoga) or dehydration.


Other Ingredients

If you though the Ghost Legend fun stopped there, then you’d be underestimating the power of the apparition. This pre-workout packs some more interesting ingredients, some of which are a market-first for Australia.


A nutrient you may not of heard of before is Alpha-GPC, or Alpha-Glyceryl Phosphorylcholine. This supplement has been shown to improve exercise performance, as well as offering nootropic effects.


silhouette-person-reading.jpgMore specifically, Alpha-GPC can increase brain levels of dopamine and acetylcholine, therefore supporting mood, learning ability and memory 14.


And then there’s the herbal medicine aspect to Ghost Legend Pre-Workout.  Rhodiola rosea root, Rauwolfia vomitoria and Olea europaea.


Rhodiola is a well-known Russian herb, commonly prescribed by Naturopaths and Herbal Medicine Practitioners as an adaptogenic. This puts Rhodiola uniquely suited to supporting physical adaptation to sports and exercise.


Rauwolfia is a less common herbal medicine. However, it contains an indole alkaloid called yohimbane that has some demonstrated fat-loss properties 15.


Finally, Olea europaea, commonly known as Olive Leaf Extract, contains a phytochemical called oleuropein, with long list of benefits associated with its use.


Olive leaf extract has demonstrated some remarkable benefits, such as increased insulin sensitivity, antioxidant, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory 16,17,18. This makes Olive Leaf extract helpful for accessing fat stores for energy, and supports optimal health in the process.


Final Verdict

Ghost Legend puts an interesting spin on a pre-trainer, offering support for a range of body systems, including mitochondrial, mood and cognition, energy, peripheral circulation to muscle tissue and lactate buffering.


These benefits all converge to ensure that your training session is well supported. If you’re double scooping, you might find the bottom of the tub sooner than you’d hope. However, sometimes top up nutrients, like pure Citrulline Malate 2:1 or caffeine anhydrous powder (be super-careful with dosage), can be a solid investment.


If you’re into pre-workouts for more than their nutritional benefit, then this product is an absolute no-brainer. The flavours make for some cool experimentation, which can even come with a touch of nostalgia.



  1. Agarwal U et al. Supplemental citrulline is more efficient than arginine in increasing systemic arginine availability in mice. The Journal of Nutrition. 2017 Vol 147;4 p.596-602
  2. Rogers JM et al. Acute effects of Nitrosigine and citrulline malate on vasodilation in young adults. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2020 Vol 17;12
  3. Gonzales J.U., et al. Does L-citrulline supplementation improve exercise blood flow in older adults? Exp Physiol 2017 Vol 102;12 p.1661-1671
  4. Ashley J et al. Impact of L-citrulline supplementation on oxygen uptake kinetics during walking. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2018 Vol 43;6 p.631-637. 
  5. Perez-Guisado J and Jakeman P. Citrulline malate enhances athletic anaerobic performance and relieves muscle soreness. The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 2012 Vol 24;5 p.1215-1222
  6. Glenn J.M. et al. Acute citrulline malate supplementation improves upper- and lower-body submaximal weightlifting exercise performance in resistance-trained females. European Journal of Nutrition. 2017 Vol 56;2 p.775-784
  7. Suzuki T et al. Oral L-citrulline supplementation enhances cycling time trial performance in healthy trained men: Double-blind randomised placebo-controlled 2-way crossover study. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2016 Vol 13;6
  8. Chappell AJ et al. Citrulline malate supplementation does not improve German Volume Training performance or reduce muscle soreness in moderately trained males and females. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2018 Vol 15;42
  9. Culbertson JY et al. Effects of Beta-Alanine on Muscle Carnosine and Exercise Performance: A Review of the Current Literature. Nutrients. 2010 Vol 2 p. 75-98
  10. Trexler E T., et al. International society of sports nutrition position stand: Beta-Alanine. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2015
  11. Effects of beta-alanine supplementation on performance and body composition in collegiate wrestlers and football players. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2009 Vol 6;2
  12. Smith AE et al. Effects of B-Alanine supplementation and high-intensity interval training on endurance performance and body composition in men; a double-blind trial. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2009 Vol 6;5
  13. B-Alanine supplementation increased physical performance and improved executive function following endurance exercise in middle aged individuals. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2018 Vol 15;32
  14. Marcus L et al. Evaluation of the effects of two doses of alpha glycerophosphorylcholine on physical and psychomotor performance. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2017 Vol 14 p.39
  15. Ostojic SM. Yohimbine: the effects on body composition and exercise performance in soccer players. Research in Sports Medicine 2006 Vol 14;4 p.289-99
  16. Fujiwara Y et al. Oleuropein improves insulin resistance in skeletal muscle by promoting the translocation of GLUT-4
  17. Barbaro B et al. Effects of the Olive-Derived Polyphenol Oleuropein on Human Health. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 2014 Vol 15 p.18508-18524
  18. Hayes J.E., et al. Phenolic composition and in vitro antioxidant capacity of four commercial phytochemical products: olive leaf extract (Olea europea L.), lutein, sesamol and ellagic acid. Food Chemistry, 2011 Vol 126;3 p.948-955


Header Image Created by, Courtesy of FreePik.

Frustrated Scientist image Created by luis_molinero, Courtesy of FreePik.