Go Girl Glo

Although I’m normally not a huge energy drink fan, I’ve chosen another energy drink to review this week. Go Girl Glo was another free giveaway, this week from the Nike Women’s Run here in Sacramento. The drink is the second from Nor-Cal Beverages’ Go Girl line. The original Go Girl comes in a pink can and tastes wonderfully like strawberry starbursts. I’ve always been a huge fan of these drinks (even though I never drink them) because they’re made right here in my hometown. I’m the kind of girl who loves to support local businesses, but as you’ll see later on, I have my reasons for not doing so with this product. But first, a word from the makers …

From the Web site:
GLO is a unique energy drink that is lighter in caffeine and calories. This naturally flavored energy drink provides an uplifting yet relaxing experience.

GLO’s ingredients promote healthy skin, heart, body and mind. It’s taste is derived from a refreshing combination of pomegranate and star fruit. GLO also contains Super Citrimax (a mild herbal appetite suppressant).

Let Your Beauty Glo! A portion of the proceeds is donated to Ovarian Cancer research and awareness.

My take:
Before I get to my ranting, let’s first talk about the good points with this drink.

1. It tastes delicious. Go Girl Glo is starfruit flavored, which I’ve never actually tried, but based on the taste of this drink I’m guessing I’d really enjoy starfruit. The drink is sweet, but not mouthpuckeringly sweet, which I like. And it has no trace of that typical energy drink medicinal flavor. Love that.

2. It’s low calorie: Only 35 calories per can.

3. They give money to Ovarian Cancer research (Breast Cancer research for the original Go Girls) for each purchase.

Now for the issues I have with this drink, which are more or less because of its name and marketing than anything else. This drink is marketed toward healthy, active women and gives the impression that it will make us more healthy and active, yet it contains few major vitamins or minerals that active women look for in their diet. While they do include some calcium and iron, they are in small doses (10 percent and 6 percent of daily value respectively). In the meantime, they advertise the drink as having “lower caffeine,” but they don’t say what the caffeine is lower than. Well, I’ll tell you: It’s lower than the amount of caffeine in their first energy drink (150 mg in the pink Go Girl). But it’s still a high dose at 75 mg, almost twice what was in the drink I reviewed last week. As I understand it, nutritionists still aren’t sure exactly what the consequences are to women drinking caffeine, but most are fairly certain that it inhibits calcium absorption (however, some studies show that this is only because caffeine drinks are replacing calcium rich drinks, making for lower calcium overall).

I don’t get how a drink that’s made for women can then go and put a warning on its label that says it may not be safe for pregnant women and young children. If it’s not good for pregnant women, I have to wonder how good it is for me. Maybe I’m getting a little paranoid in my old age though. Perhaps there is nothing wrong with any of this at all. For me though, I just don’t see the benefits of this to women per se. Aside from the appetite suppressant, the additives to “promote healthy skin” and the low calories, I don’t really see how this is specifically for women.

But it tastes good. And when I spoke to a nutritionist about it (energy drinks in general), she said they aren’t necessarily bad for you as long as they aren’t replacing all other healthy drinks in your diet (milk, water, fresh juice). She said it can actually be a step up for women who have been drinking mostly soda as a part of their beverage diet, unfortunately this is not the case for me.

One last note before I go: The appetite suppressant didn’t really work for me. I drank the can before my run and I was starving when I got in my car to drive home. Maybe the suppressant only works if you use the drink as a midday buffer for your office job (instead of coffee). Or maybe I didn’t give it enough time to settle in before I headed out for a 3-mile run. I don’t know.

Anyway, I feel guilty for being so negative. Really, if this drink didn’t have the caffeine in it, I’d be a huge fan. I love that it’s from my hometown and it does taste great. It just irks me that a drink for women doesn’t really seem to benefit women in ways I think it should. But it’s a great marketing scheme for those women who don’t care about things like caffeine and actual health benefits.