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Staying healthy and maximizing your performance is top of mind if you’re looking to live your best life. Fortunately, there are many new strategies and treatments available to help achieve these goals. 

One treatment that has been gaining popularity is intravenous therapy, commonly referred to as IV therapy. This modality has actually been used by integrative and functional medicine doctors for years. 

Before deciding if IV therapy is right for you, you should know exactly what this treatment strategy is all about and what it entails so you can find the right clinic and medical provider for you. 

Here’s a quick overview of what you’ll discover

What is IV Therapy? 

Intravenous (IV) therapy is the process of administering fluids and/or nutrients into a vein so they can bypass the digestive system and directly enter the bloodstream. IV fluids can be administered on their own to rehydrate the body, or they can be given with vitamins, minerals, and amino acids to allow for 100% absorption of these nutrients.

What Nutrients Can You Get in an IV? 

Commonly used ingredients in an IV are magnesium, B vitamins, and vitamin C. IV therapy may also include niacinamide (or NAD+), zinc, amino acids, and glutathione, a powerful antioxidant that plays a role in delaying and preventing cell damage.

Amino Acids via IV

Amino acids transport nutrients, aid digestion, and accelerate the synthesis of connective, skin, and muscle tissue, hormones, and enzymes. The use of hypocaloric solutions via IV is an effective, fast, and safe way to deliver amino acids into the circulation system, replenish reserves, and maintain optimal body function.

B Vitamins via IV

B vitamins support normal digestion, healthy brain function, red blood cell, cholesterol, and hormone production, and cell health. Delivering B vitamins through IV infusion therapy benefits individuals with anemia who have trouble absorbing vitamins from food. IV therapy also helps with anemia prevention, improves bone health, and boosts cognitive performance

Vitamin C via IV Drips

Vitamin C helps maintain healthy bones, cartilage, and skin, contributes to immune defense and prevents clots in the arteries and veins, high blood pressure, stroke, and heart attack. Vitamin C given by infusion boosts collagen synthesis for healthy blood vessels and bones, protects cells from free radicals, and strengthens immunity.

Glutathione via IV Treatment 

A powerful antioxidant, glutathione supports the immune function, prevents inflammation, and can help reduce symptoms of health conditions like Parkinson’s disease, cystic fibrosis, and asthma. Administering glutathione via IV drips replenishes the body’s antioxidant capacity, eliminates free radicals, and strengthens immunity.

Magnesium via IV

Magnesium plays several key roles such as regulating blood pressure, supporting normal nerve and muscle function, and preventing chronic inflammation which is the main driver of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and aging. Magnesium sulfate administered by IV aids the management of conditions such as electrolyte disturbance, hypomagnesemia (magnesium deficiency), convulsions, and seizures in pregnant women with toxemia, eclampsia, and pre-eclampsia.

Niacinamide (NAD) via IV

An essential nutrient, niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3 which has anti-inflammatory properties, boosts the immune system, and improves overall wellness. IV therapy can help significantly improve the body’s immune response and free fatty acid metabolism. Metabolic abnormalities contribute to conditions such as dyslipidemia, type 2 diabetes, and insulin resistance that require medication intake.

Zinc via IV 

Administering zinc via IV drip therapy can help boost the metabolism and immune function and reduce the risk of age-related diseases. People with zinc deficiency also benefit from IV treatment which prevents depletion and deficiency symptoms.

What Are the Pros and Cons of IV Therapy? 

The main benefits of IV therapy are quick absorption, convenience, and better overall wellness. IV therapy can help with age management and is beneficial for patients looking to get their metabolism back on track. 

IV hydration therapy is also more effective than oral medications and offers immediate benefits. Those who need to feel better fast will find this method quite effective as the nutrients are delivered directly into the circulation system and are available for immediate use. An IV cocktail infusion of multiple vitamins helps improve wellness, fight dehydration, and maintain normal body function.

Potential risks are vein inflammation, vitamin overdose, and bruising around the IV catheter site. Experienced medical professionals will know how to prevent these complications.

Question: How long does a typical IV drip take?

The average IV therapy takes 45 minutes to an hour. Fluids that contain vitamins and amino acids are administered via IV so they can quickly move through a patient’s bloodstream. Be cautious if you encounter an IV drip taking less than 45 minutes – this could be dangerous for your health if the concentration of vitamins and nutrients has not been decreased within the fluids. 

Question: How long do the effects of an IV last?

While this varies by patient, the beneficial effects of IV vitamin therapy can last up to a few days after administering the treatment. 

Question: How often should you get an IV infusion?

This varies according to what your needs are and should be discussed with the medical doctor who develops your treatment plan. A lot of people who set up routine IV hydration therapy treatments choose once a week to once a month. If you’re suffering from something like morning sickness, you may want to make more frequent IV appointments.

Question: What are the side effects of IV drips?

Side effects are quite rare with IV therapy, and they are usually minor. The most common is a little bit of bruising and soreness in the injection area. Other side effects include a cool feeling in the arm, a somewhat metallic taste in the mouth, and feeling flushed. Most of these side effects are minimized with a skilled medical team who’s well trained in administering IV therapy. 

Question: How much does IV therapy cost?

IV therapy treatments typically cost between $100 and $200. Clinics run by medical doctors may cost more as they work to customize treatment to the patient’s unique needs. Some clinics will bill your insurance for an IV, which can be a major cost savings and allow you to receive more frequent IV treatments. 

Final Thoughts on IV Vitamin Therapy

IV treatment offers a number of benefits to patients who need an energy boost and hydration. The blend of vitamins, amino acids, and fluids the treatment delivers leaves patients feeling refreshed and energized. 

As IV therapy can be customized to provide individuals with the nutrients and vitamins their body needs, patients experience immediate improvement and a sudden boost in energy. Essentially, this eliminates the need for OTC medications, supplements, and energy enhancers like soda and coffee.

In addition to giving patients more energy, IV infusions can help improve allergies, symptoms of respiratory disease, anxiety and depression, and cognitive function. IV therapy can also combat dehydration, detoxify the body, and slow the aging process. 

Many people choose to get treatment simply because they don’t get all the essential nutrients they need. IV therapy is also a valuable option for chronic dehydration, migraines, and fatigue when provided by an experienced medical professional. 

To Life Enhanced, 

Dr. Will Haas, MD, MBA