Go Girl: Another Reason to Re-think the Pink Drink

In the world of energy drinks, it’s hard to know which one is right for you, but as a woman, it can be especially intimidating. Maybe you’re not trying to Amp up. Maybe you don’t want to party like a Rockstar. Red Bull is so unfeminine and Monster, a little scary. But before you go running back to boring old coffee, take a second look at that one, there–in the magenta can. It seems to be calling out reassuringly; Go Girl. Finally, a sigh of relief because this is the “beautiful energy” you’ve been seeking.

Yes, Go Girl is the energy drink made just for women, with marketing strategies undoubtedly developed by a team of experts. The ridiculous pink drink caught the eye of Feministing when it hit the market, so let’s recap what we already know.

First, it uses patronizing language. Go Girl has commandeered the empowerment slogan of the ’90s and turned it around to sell women dangerous diet products only five calories at a time. Second, it’s color-coded to be gender specific. While Go Girl Glo is blue, and Go Girl Bliss is orange, it’s obvious which 12-ounce can is the favorite. (Just check out the truck.)

But wait! This isn’t your average, everyday pink-washing. There’s also a pink ribbon snuggled up against their logo. While the company brags “a portion of the proceeds are donated to breast cancer research and awareness,” only 50 cents from the sale of every case are sent to the cause. Let’s do the math. Say you purchase a double case online for 70 dollars, maybe one dollar will help fight breast cancer. Awesome.

Besides re-inventing Oprah’s favorite phrase, shoving pink down our throats and making a pitiful pledge to save the boobies, Go Girl further insults women by “diet-ing” their drinks. Our pink friend’s full name is Go Girl Sugar-Free and only has one carb. Why?  To be healthy, of course. Go Girl cares about your weight/health and proudly displays the ingredients that will help you manage your weight/health. And wouldn’t you know what’s fueling all that girl power?

Super-Citrimax® aka Garcinia Cambogia is extracted from the South American garcinia cambogia, it contains standardized levels of hydroxycitric acid (HCA), which has been clinically shown to suppress appetite and inhibit fat production.

Oddly enough, hydroxycitric acid is the mysterious ingredient suspected of causing liver damage, leading to a recall of Hydroxycut products in 2009 after 23 deaths were reported by the FDA. Several lawyers are ready and willing to represent anyone who may have ingested the substance. While the FDA doesn’t test diet products and has yet to confirm which ingredient got Hydroxycut yanked from the shelves, many believe it was the HCA that inspired the name. Ironically, the Go Girl website boasts that consumers think it “tastes great with vodka,” which would keep that liver failure moving right along.

You can thank Nor-Cal Beverage Co., Inc. for the energy drink, aimed at “active women,” or visit the Go Girl website to share your feelings about their product. But don’t get taken in by their enticing offer; buy a case, get an antenna ball, take a photo of yourself traveling with said antenna ball, enter the contest to win a year’s supply of  Go Girl, drink for a year, get a new liver. Just kidding. They’re not going to replace your liver.

Photo by Kate Noftsinger.



Kate Noftsinger is currently an intern for Ms. Magazine, making the move from the Heartland to LA. She is a Journalism major and a Women’s Studies minor at Bowling Green State University where she writes a weekly column for the BG News. She’s a Pisces. And a Feminist.