Being truly groundbreaking in the creatine / natural muscle-builders niche of the market isn’t the easiest feat to accomplish. Simple creatine monohydrate is the most well-studied form of creatine, so it takes more for us to get excited about yet another creatine supplement entering the market space.
Up to the challenge is Ghost, who dropped their newest all-natural muscle and strength-boosting supplement, which includes an ingredient we’ve been discussing for years, but isn’t (yet) a household name.
Ghost SIZE is a surprisingly novel spin on the traditional creatine supplement that furthers the ergogenic benefits of the delicious-tasting Legend Pre Workout.
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You can also check out Ghost Size on Ghost’s website at GhostLifestyle.com!
Ghost SizeWhat the heck does “Full Yield” even mean. Basically, any form of creatine you take isn’t 100% pure creatine, even monohydrate is still only 99% pure creatine. What Ghost has done, has included creatine doses so that the total creatine yield your body encounters is a full 5 grams.
If you’re familiar with Ghost, you know they’re anything but ordinary. For Size, they’ve created the first full 5g yield of creatine in their rather innovative natty muscle builder. But, there’s plenty more to Size than just creatine… and they’re doing something new with the flavor:
Full Yield Creatine (5g)
That means, each scoop contains 3.21g of Creatine HCl and 2.84g Creatine Monohydrate, with each yielding 2.5g creatine for a total of 5g pure creatine per serving of Ghost Size.
New School and Old School Creatine
”It’s admittedly tough to be innovative in the creatine category. Creatine Monohydrate is tried, true and clinically proven. Creatine Hydrochloride is more soluble, and has shown promise for increased absorption. Although Creatine Monohydrate has beaten a host of other buffered, etc. Creatine forms in head to head trials, it’s interesting that Creatine Monohydrate was never tested (that I could find) against another form of Creatine that delivered a comparable yield of actual Creatine (and ironically, there’s never been a creatine product before GHOST Size to actually transparently show actual yielded Creatine like we do with protein on GHOST Whey).
GHOST Size combines both new school meets old school combination of Creatine Hydrochloride and Creatine Monohydrate with each delivering 2.5g of actual yielded Creatine (we’ve dubbed it ‘Full Yield Creatine’). Again, to my knowledge there’s never been a creatine product before GHOST Size to actually transparently show actual yielded Creatine.
I highly doubt most Creatine users out there realize that when they take Creatine HCl, say in the recently popular 2G dose, they’re only getting 1.56g of actual Creatine! With GHOST Size, users are getting 5G actual yielded Creatine, and the split forms allow for maximized product solubility and increased absorption, and really eliminating the need for a loading phase” — Dan Lourenco
Amen to that.
First off, why do all of these other supplements have 2g of creatine HCl? What happened to our 3-5g of creatine?
Second, why are so few companies adjusting for the “wasted space” of the monohydrate or hydrochloride molecules? Yes, studies perform well with 3g creatine monohydrate, but is it that hard to give us a full 5g of actual creatine?
Well, the Lourenco-led Ghost finally answered that call.
Also known as trimethylglycine (TMG), betaine is a choline metabolite that is another well-studied muscle-building ingredient in Size. Betaine is plentiful in sugar beets, and serves to enhance creatine production in the body, further enhancing the effectiveness of the previous ingredient.
Additionally, betaine also has been shown to effectively enhance power, strength, and endurance.[1,2,3] Plus, betaine can reduce soreness, something not often mentioned when discussing betaine’s benefits.
There’s A LOT more we could go into surrounding betaine, but so we don’t detract from the point of this post, check our betaine mega-post for all of your betaine inquiries!
CarnoSyn® Beta Alanine (2g)
Size provides the 2nd half of your daily clinical dose of Beta Alanine, the first half found in the 2g dose included in Ghost Legend. Why the split dose?
Well for starters, doing so helps avoid the sometimes unpleasant “tingles” many users get, when mega-doing beta alanine. More importantly, in the clinical trials documenting beta alanine’s endurance enhancing effects, the doses are split throughout the day for maximum nutrient absorption. Taking it all at once can “over saturate” the BA receptors and lead to you not absorbing all of it.
As for effects, it’s well known that Beta Alanine boosts endurance, but it also increases work capacity, strength, and time to exhaustion.[4,5,6] In other words, Beta Alanine allows you to workout more intensely for longer periods of time without succumbing to fatigue. This ultimately lets you get more work done, yielding more gains!
Epicatechin 90% (200mg)
Here’s the secret weapon that most of the creatine users finding this at GNC will not have as much experience with. Thankfully, we do, and it’s an ingredient natural supplement users need to try:
Found prevalently in dark chocolate, (-)-epicatechin is a potent flavonol that’s gained popularity for its ability to enhance lean mass gains and performance. Most notably, epicatechin has the ability to
- Enhance strength and muscle growth[7,8]
- Improve glucose tolerance
- Increase endurance
- Blunt fatigue
- Elevate nitric oxide production
Part of what makes (-)-epicatechin a prime-time muscle builder is that it’s a rather powerful inhibitor of Myostatin by way of increasing levels of Follistatin, Myostatin’s “archenemy.” Basically, Myostatin prohibits muscle growth, and Follistatin inhibits myostatin signaling, which ultimately results in less myostatin and more muscle growth!
There’s no underdosing here either, which is fairly common in supplements incorporating epicatechin as it’s particularly pricey. Founder of Ghost, Dan Lourenco, had this interesting tidbit to add about Epicatechin’s inclusion in Size:
”EPI has solid leading edge research of course for myostatin inhibition and muscular endurance (and a host of other more holistic health benefits). Most brands sell EPI standalone for $60+ which truly shows either how insane I am/how big of a deal GHOST Size is going to be at our price point ($39.99)! ” — Dan Lourenco
AstraGin® is an all-natural absorption-boosting ingredient derived from Astragalus membranaceus and panax ginseng extracts, both staples of traditional Chinese medicine. AstraGin enhances the rate at which certain compounds and nutrients are absorbed within the intestinal wall.
NuLiv, the company who developed AstraGin, has conducted several research trials showing that the novel compound effectively improves uptake of creatine, beta alanine, citrulline (found in Ghost Legend), amino acids, and several other compounds. Size contains the full research-backed 50mg dose of AstraGin to increase the effectiveness of all its ergogenics even further.
Becoming a Legend
Dan had a few other tidbits about Ghost Size and specifically in regards to the brand’s pre workout, Legend, that we felt would behoove our readers to see:
”Last, unlike our pre-workout where we recommend 1-2 scoops to give users easy flexibility to flavor their stimulant and other doses, GHOST Size is a 1 scoop, fully clinical, packed to the nines, no cost spared muscle builder. It’s launching in a neutral, natural flavor and contains no artificial sweeteners or colors. Get ready to make some gains legends!” — Dan Lourenco
If you happened to catch our Ghost Size unveiling video on YouTube, you saw that it comes in only the neutral flavor, which makes it easy to add to whatever pre, intra, or post workout supplement you may be consuming with minimal impact of flavor.
But let’s not beat around the bush – the creatine hydrochloride does not taste good in here, and while you can drink this solo, you probably wouldn’t look forward to it. So add it to your favorite pre workout.
Ghost’s LEGEND, especially Sour Warheads flavor, has a very strong flavor system, which can annihilate this no problem.
Leave it to Ghost to go and completely one-up the traditional creatine supplement. We should have expected as much given how they put such a unique spin on beta-test releases when the sent out “Ghost’s Secret Stuff”.
Make no mistake – Ghost sells a lot through GNC, both online and in retail. It’s catchy and flashy. But inside the tub, we’re happy to see that someone’s going to be pushing epicatechin to the masses, since it’s mostly been in supplements from medium-sized brands that are most popular in the online world.
So when Ghost’s users are interested in this “new” ingredient, they can see that it’s actually been around for a while, there’s a growing amount of research on it, it works well for most users, and prices are finally becoming reasonable.
Ghost Size has the constitution of an effective creatine supplement that also serves to cover the rest of your “daily essentials” for maximum natural muscle gains.
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- Lee EC, et al. Ergogenic effects of betaine supplementation on strength and power performance. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. (2010)
- holewa, J; Effects of betaine on body composition, performance, and homocysteine thiolactone.; Department of Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sport Studies, Coastal Carolina University; 2013
- Effect of betaine supplementation on power performance and fatigue
- Roger C. Harris; et al.; “The effect of a supplement containing β-alanine on muscle carnosine synthesis, ventilatory threshold and exercise capacity in Korean cyclists, during 12 weeks combined endurance and weight training“
- Hill, CA et al.; Amino Acids; “Influence of beta-alanine supplementation on skeletal muscle carnosine concentrations and high intensity cycling capacity ;” February 2007
- Kendrick IP, et al. The effects of 10 weeks of resistance training combined with beta-alanine supplementation on whole body strength, force production, muscular endurance and body composition. Amino Acids. (2008)
- Gutierrez-Salmean G, Ciaraldi TP, Nogueira L, et al. Effects of (−)-epicatechin on molecular modulators of skeletal muscle growth and differentiation. The Journal of nutritional biochemistry. 2014;25(1):10.1016/j.jnutbio.2013.09.007. doi:10.1016/j.jnutbio.2013.09.007. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3857584/
- Grassi, D; Short-term administration of dark chocolate is followed by a significant increase in insulin sensitivity and a decrease in blood pressure in healthy persons.; Department of Internal Medicine and Public Health, University of L’Aquila; 2005 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15755830
- Nogueira, L., Ramirez-Sanchez, I., Perkins, G. A., Murphy, A., Taub, P. R., Ceballos, G., Villarreal, F. J., Hogan, M. C. and Malek, M. H. (2011), (–)-Epicatechin enhances fatigue resistance and oxidative capacity in mouse muscle. The Journal of Physiology, 589: 4615–4631. doi:10.1113/jphysiol.2011.209924. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1113/jphysiol.2011.209924/full
- Fraga CG, Litterio MC, Prince PD, Calabró V, Piotrkowski B, Galleano M. Cocoa flavanols: effects on vascular nitric oxide and blood pressure. Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition. 2011;48(1):63-67. doi:10.3164/jcbn.11-010FR. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3022066/