Energy Drink of the Month – November 2013: Go Girl

There’s something magical about the color pink. Just the word “pink” brings to mind several connotations from princesses and Victoria’s Secret merchandise to breast cancer. Unfortunately, the football players have ditched their pink attire and the yogurt lids will soon return to their normal colors, but there is an easy way to support breast cancer research and awareness year-round.

The energy drink “her” (“healthy energy revolution”) was the first energy drink I came across that indicated a charitable donation on their label. The label indicates, “5% of net proceeds will be donated to charity” but it’s unclear exactly which charity. If we trust Wikipedia (and I never let my students use this free encyclopedia as their primary source), her energy donated to numerous organizations including the Susan G Komen foundation and MADD. Then again, they also tried to get Lindsay Lohan out of jail using signs that stated “Free her“. I almost want to give them points for being clever. Almost.

H.E.R. on Wikipedia

The whole scenario is a bit sketchy and since that drink’s website has been replaced by a site that reminds me how much Japanese I can still read, let’s discuss a different energy drink.

Go Girl trumps h.e.r.
Go Girl trumps h.e.r. energy drink

You’ll get another one. A better one. That one.

[Ten points and a free gift if you can tell me what movie that quote is from.]

Green-Eyed Insight on Go Girl Energy Drink

There are some women who aren’t so pleased with this energy drink, like this sarcastic blogger here (Ms Magazine’s sarcastic blogger) but allow me to address some of the points of contention and highlight why I’ve chosen Go Girl Energy Drink as the Energy Drink of the Month for November 2013.

1 – Caffeine Content

This is the first energy drink I’ve ever come across that includes not just the warning label, not just the amount of caffeine per serving (100 mg), but a warning about the maximum dose of caffeine one can consume safely in one day: 400 milligrams. To put Go Girl’s dose in proper perspective, see the blog from October’s pick of the month, or consult Energy Fiend’s expert breakdown on caffeine safety by consumer demographic:

http://www.energyfiend.com/caffeine-safe-limits

2 – Charitable Donations

As the sarcastic blogger pointed out, $0.50 from every case of Go Girl energy drink sold is donated to breast cancer research, awareness and prevention. This fact is corroborated by Go Girl’s website: Go Girl Energy – The Cause.

While the sarcastic blogger does not seem thrilled at that donation, I am personally thrilled when any pennies are donated at all. Fifty cents isn’t much, no, but it’s better than nothing and those donations aren’t the only way Go Girl contributes. The company’s website lists several charity events they participate in and offers several links and resources to explore. For those who wish to do/donate more, I’ve outlined several more effective ideas in another blog:

When ‘Like’ or ‘Share’ Isn’t Enough.

3 – Ingredients

Sometimes marketed as “Super-citrimax”, garcinia cambogia contains hydroxycitric acid (HCA) and was one of the suspected ingredients behind the Hydroxycut recalls in 2009. Those recalls were due to the threat of liver damage linked to Hydroxycut products, but it’s critical to note the difference between linking an ingredient with a side effect and linking the finished product with the side effect.

Though the FDA did issue warning letters urging consumers to stop using Hydroxycut, neither that warning nor the letter to the manufacturer specifically cited HCA as the culprit behind the liver toxicity reports [1-2]. In fact there is strong evidence to suggest that the chromium was the culprit in these side effects. According to a paper published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology,

“Each Hydroxycut serving contains 133 mg of Chromium, which is taken three times daily, resulting in a cumulative daily consumption greater than twice the NAS [National Academy of Sciences] safe maximum dose [3].”

Toxicology studies indicate up to 2,800 mg HCA per day is safe for consumption; Go Girl only contains 200 mg. [4].

Go Girl ED of Nov 2013

Bottom Line

With a reasonable but not overpowering caffeine dosage, no added sugars, no over-zealous vitamin contents and only 1 serving per container, Go Girl is one of the better alternatives for the energy drink consumer. Like its caffeine content, the charitable contributions are not overwhelming, but not negligible. This product is a Level 3 in the 5 Levels of Fatigue from the book Are You a Monster or a Rock Star: A Guide to Energy Drinks.

Guide to Energy Drinks – on Amazon

References:

[1] FDA Letter to Hydroxycut manufacturer;

http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/PublicHealthFocus/ucm155683.htm

[2] FDA announcement to consumers:

http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/2009/ucm149575.htm

[3] Dara L, Hewett J, Lim JK. Hydroxycut hepatotoxicity: A case series and review of liver toxicity from herbal weight loss supplements. World J Gastroenterology. 2008; 14(45): 6999-7004. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2773866/pdf/WJG-14-6999.pdf

[4]: Safety assessment of (−)-hydroxycitric acid and Super CitriMax®, a novel calcium/potassium salt. Food and Chemical Toxicology. 2004. 42(9):1513-1529.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S027869150400153X

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