IV Therapy 101: What Is It, and What Can It Do?

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Recreational IV drips are growing in popularity, among celebrities and regular people alike. What do these treatments promise to do?

What if I told you that you could boost your immune system, relieve pain, and reverse dehydration – and get it done in an hour or less?

It’s possible, and you might not even need to leave home to get it done.

IV therapy is an exciting wellness treatment that has been growing in popularity in recent years. It promises to treat a variety of conditions and ailments, replenish the body with hydration and nutrients, and make us feel healthier and younger.

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What Is IV Therapy?

Let’s first cover the basics. Intravenous therapy, or IV therapy, is a method of delivering fluids directly into veins in the body. It can be done by injection with a syringe, or via infusion with a catheter and drip bag. The fluids will have vitamins, minerals, or medications to hydrate or relieve symptoms.

IV therapy is the fastest way possible to deliver essential nutrients to your body. That’s because it supplies those essential nutrients and fluids directly into the bloodstream, bypassing the digestive tract. Our cells can absorb nutrients much faster. This means no wait time, with the fluids instantly available to remedy health and wellness needs. Many people experience symptom relief in just minutes.

The idea of receiving fluids through an IV is obviously not new. If you have ever stayed in the hospital or been treated in the emergency room, you have likely already experienced this.

However, the ability to choose to have an IV treatment on an outpatient basis – especially to boost hydration or energy! – is a pretty new concept. You can literally schedule IV therapy whenever you feel like it, it without even needing a doctor’s referral. On top of that, you might not even need to physically visit a clinic for treatment. Many places also offer mobile IV therapy, bringing services directly to patients.

What Can IV Therapy Do?

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IV therapy can be used to relieve pain, fatigue, inflammation, nausea, and other unpleasant symptoms. It can help reverse nutrient deficiencies, boost immunity, or address dehydration. IV therapy can also address symptoms related to the cold or flu, hangovers, migraines and headaches, food poisoning, and even side effects of medication.

Related: Here’s Why You Feel Tired All the Time

Under the large umbrella of IV therapy, there are many different kinds of treatments available to address different concerns. With an endless combination of nutrients, it’s impossible to list every kind of IV therapy available out there. However, there are a few very common treatments that many people seek out.

Hydration IV Drip

This is probably the first IV therapy you think of, and it’s just what it sounds like. This simple treatment delivers fluids directly into your bloodstream. It can be used to alleviate symptoms related to a loss of fluids, which can be caused by vomiting, diarrhea, hangovers, and more.

You don’t have to be dehydrated to benefit from a hydration IV treatment. Athletes sometimes opt for this treatment to maximize performance, as well. Proper hydration helps boost mood, promotes energy production, boosts concentration, cushions joints, and more. That’s because staying hydrated is essential to just about every system in our bodies.

Hydration therapy fluids make use of the saline solution, a sterile solution made of sodium chloride and water. This is also the liquid foundation of every other IV solution. Hydration IV drips may also include other electrolytes and antioxidants.

Related: What Happens When You Don’t Drink Enough Water

The Myers Cocktail

The late John Myers, MD, was the first to introduce this kind of treatment. Although vitamins and minerals were already available in IV form, no one had thought to combine them into a singular IV “cocktail” for treatment.

Created by Dr. Myers in the ‘60s, this mix contains magnesium, B vitamins, vitamin C, and calcium. It’s purported to treat a wide range of conditions, strengthen immunity, and boost energy levels. He designed this formula in an effort to treat clinical conditions, like fibromyalgia, fatigue, migraines, muscle spasms, and more.

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IV Nutrition Therapy

The IV treatments that Dr. Myers was administering eventually led to the IV nutritional therapy that we have today. You can still get the Myers Cocktail, but there are also a lot of other options for IV nutrition therapy, too. Sometimes called IV micronutrient therapy, these treatments aim to boost the essential nutrients we need to be healthy.

This can be vital for people who have deficiencies. This IV therapy is also beneficial for speeding up recovery, managing certain medical conditions, or just providing supplemental nutrients to improve the body’s health.

When we ingest vitamins and nutrients the traditional way, they are broken down by the digestive system. Plenty of factors, like metabolism or age, affect how much of those vitamins are absorbed by the body. But because nutrients delivered through a drip bypass the digestive system, the body gets more of them.

Immunity Booster IV

Although an IV therapy booster may include some of the same ingredients, you can also opt for a treatment specifically targeted at helping your immune system. This kind of treatment may help protect against infections, provide anti-inflammatory benefits, and help with illness recovery.

These treatments include a blend of vitamins and antioxidants that are known for supporting the immune system. The specific mix will vary depending on the clinic, but they often include ingredients such as vitamin B12 and other B vitamins, vitamin C, glutathione, and zinc.

NAD+ Therapy

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NAD+ IV Therapy is growing in popularity. NAD stands for Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, which is an essential enzyme in human cells. This enzyme’s primary function is to repair damaged cells and reverse the effects of oxidization in the body. It was first discovered and studied in the early 1900s, but its full potential wasn’t realized until recently.

People are flocking to NAD therapy as a way to supplement that NAD+ in the body. It purportedly helps the body fight against aging and illness, leaving you feeling healthier and more youthful. It may also help slow cognitive decline, promote healthy brain function, and help with concentration. All in all, NAD+ IV therapy promises to treat a wide range of age-related conditions, although further trials are needed.

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