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Why you should try IV therapy, the newest health trend

BY Jemma Patton

7th Apr 2023 Wellbeing

Why you should try IV therapy, the newest health trend

IV therapy isn't just for hospitals any more. More and more of us are using IV drips to top up vital nutrients. We unpack the benefits of this new health trend

Gone are the days when the only place you saw an IV drip was in a hospital.  These days everyone from A-list celebs to hungover office workers are choosing to use IV drips as a treatment to try to improve their health.

We take a look at what IV therapy drips offer, where you can get one, and why this treatment is growing in popularity.

What is IV therapy?

Energy drip IV therapy from Get A DripCourtesy of Get A Drip: IV therapy uses an intravenous drip to transfer vitamins and minerals into your body

IV, short for intravenous vein, is a process of administering fluid into the body via a vein. The fluid, often called an infusion, can contain medication and/or nutrients. An IV, or "drip", allows fluid to enter the body via a vein, bypassing the stomach and gut, which means it absorbs much faster.

These treatments are now available to the public, and a range of vitamins and minerals can be chosen to create the perfect “cocktail” for you.

"A range of vitamins and minerals can be chosen to create the perfect 'cocktail' for you"

An IV is usually inserted into your forearm. Once a vein is identified the area will be sterilised and a needle inserted and secured into place. The needle is then connected via a tube to a bag of fluid.

You’ll be monitored while the IV is in place to make sure it doesn’t hurt or cause swelling, and in most cases the machine delivering the drip will alarm if there’s a problem.

Why would I choose IV therapy?

Thousands of happy customers are extolling the virtues of these treatments to help them boost their vitamin levels, clear their heads due to a hangover, increase their energy levels and even fight the ageing process.

However, IV therapy does have its critics. Using a medical procedure designed to help the sick as a quick boost doesn’t sit comfortably with everyone and some medics are sceptical that anyone healthy genuinely “needs” an IV drip. That said fans of the treatment tend to book repeat sessions as they’re certain they feel the benefit.

"IV therapy can help relieve hangovers, boost immunity, and help with energy levels"

Ben Maher, a 45-year-old commercial director from London, has had four treatments over the past few years. He explains: “I’ve used IV therapy as preparation for the Christmas season where there’s lot of work socialising and my immune system is likely to be low. I felt they built up my energy levels.

“The treatments I’ve had have contained magnesium, zinc and B12—and have all been really good experiences. Personally, I’ve really felt the benefit.”

IV therapy can help relieve hangovers, boost immunity, and help with energy levels. It’s also been claimed that it can help athletes maintain optimum fitness as well as improve inflammation and digestion.

Where can I go for IV therapy?

People receiving IV drip therapy and shopping mall in Canary WharfCourtesy of Get A Drip. IV therapy is increasingly available in non-medical settings like shopping malls

IV therapy is now a very accessible treatment. Get A Drip is one of the largest providers, and now has four clinics across London, and 13 mobile clinics covering much of the rest of the UK.

Rather than go for the traditional medical or spa setting, Get A Drip have treatment centres in large shopping malls, such as London’s Westfield centres.

Alternatively, Secret Spa organise IV treatments in the comfort of your own home by working with the medical concierge company Effect Doctors.

Who’s choosing to have these treatments?

You must be over 18-years-old to get an IV treatment, and Get A Drip’s CEO Richard Chambers tells us that it’s hard to pin down their “average” customer, as their clients range from 18 to 70 plus. 

“We have people from all walks of life coming in to see us but we do spot key groups such as tired mothers, city workers, gymgoers, hangover sufferers and the overall health conscious.”

While Dr Will Turner of Effect Doctors tells us that patients range from “young professionals to busy parents, high performance sports stars and world-famous recording artists, and everyone in-between.”

What can I have in my IV treatment?

Energy Drip IV therapy by Get A DripCourtesy of Get A Drip: Energy Drip, which uses vitamin B12 to give an energy boost, is one of Get A Drip's more popular treatments

The most popular choices at Get A Drip include the Energy Drip, which contains vitamin B12, magnesium, B-complex and amino acids in a fluid which also contains the electrolytes sodium chloride, calcium, potassium and bicarbonate.

Get A Drip’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Matthew Calcasola tell us that: “B12 and magnesium work hand-in-hand to ensure you get that much needed energy boost. B12 also helps to keep your blood and nerve cells healthy while it simultaneously turns the food that we eat into energy.

“On the other hand,” Dr Calcasola continues, “magnesium aids our sleep cycles by relaxing our central nervous system. So, our Energy Drip gives you that boost of energy during the day and helps you sleep better at night.”

"IV treatments can help those of us whose diet choices may leave us deficient in some vitamins"

For Effects Doctors the most popular treatment, which is only offered following a medical consultation, is the Deluxe Recovery drip. As Dr Turner explains: “This treatment is aimed at those who overdid it the night before.

“It blends anti-sickness, anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving medications with a rehydrating balanced electrolyte solution and a vitamin infusion.”

As well as treating the tired and hungover, IV treatments can help those of us whose diet choices may leave us deficient in some vitamins. Get A Drip tell us that their drips containing B12 are particularly popular among vegans and vegetarians.

How much does it cost?

The cost of treatment varies according to which infusion you choose, but a basic hydration drip starts at around £100.

How many treatments can I have?

Many people choose to have a treatment as and when they feel the need. Get A Drip recommends no more than two treatments in any given week, and no more than nine in a six-month period.

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