Would You Try An IV Drip?

Rules introduced last week mean only medical professionals can administer an IV drip. With a wave of new clinics offering infusions to cure a hangover, boost the immune system and tackle tiredness, we went to the experts to find out more.
By Tor West /

What Exactly Is An IV Drip?

An intravenous (IV) drip is administered through the veins. Working in a similar way to the IV drips previously reserved for hospital patients, a vitamin drip claims to deliver a cocktail of nutrients directly to the bloodstream via a cannula. “A vitamin drip is exactly what it sounds like,” says Dr Yassine Bendiabdallah, functional medicine specialist and co-founder of ZEN Healthcare. “They are an increasingly popular way to boost your health, primarily because the nutrients bypass your stomach. A healthy adult only absorbs around 10% of nutrients from a typical supplement, but with an infusion 100% of the nutrients are delivered straight into the bloodstream.”

Who Are They For?

Chances are you’ve heard about a vitamin drip’s potential to knock a hangover on the head, but there’s more to it than just hydration, continues Yassine. “Conditions that respond positively to an IV drip include people suffering with asthma, migraines, chronic fatigue syndrome, muscle spasms, post-viral fatigue and respiratory tract infections. And when it comes to hydration, it’s not all about a hangover. Drips are popular with people experiencing significant dehydration, such as after running a marathon or those with jet lag.”

What’s In An Infusion?

There are many popular combinations of vitamins, and each clinic offers its own bespoke blends, but the most famous is called a Myers Cocktail, which is designed to provide an ideal blend of vitamins and minerals to aid everything from fatigue to colds and flu. “Dr John Myers was a doctor from Baltimore who pioneered the intravenous use of vitamins and minerals,” says Rebecca Baid, head nurse at Lanserhof at The Arts Club. “The majority of infusions available are based on his formula. For example, at the Lanserhof, all our infusions contain eight well-known vitamins and minerals. We then add specific amino acids to target specific concerns. Our Life Plus Infusion is our most comprehensive and most popular IV infusion. It combines a little bit of everything to help strengthen the immune system, increase energy levels, improve gut health and aid detoxification.”

What Does It Feel Like?

You’ll feel a small prick when the needle goes in – just like any other injection – but the treatment should never be painful. “In fact, some patients find the experience relaxing. Infusions take between 20 minutes and an hour, depending on the type of number of vitamins you have administered,” says Yassine.

With an infusion, 100% of the NUTRIENTS are delivered straight into the BLOODSTREAM.

Are The Results Instant?

They can be – it depends on the issue you are treating. As Dr Joshua Berkowitz – medical director at IV Boost UK – explains, if you’re treating a deficiency, such as a magnesium or iron deficiency, it may take a series of several infusions to reap the full benefits. “If, however, it’s a simple case of dehydration, you’ll see the results straight away.” If you’re having a drip for enhanced energy, Rebecca says you’ll feel the results within 24 hours. “You’ll probably notice you sleep better that night, too. However, we generally recommend a course of treatments based on your needs – this may vary from once a week to once a month.”

How Do You Know What Kind Of Infusion Is Right For You?

“As of last month, IV Nutritional Therapy is now regulated by the CQC (the regulator of health and social care services in England). This means you now need to see either a doctor or independent prescriber prior to having an IV,” says Rebecca. “It also means any decent CQC-regulated clinic will provide you with a high standard of care and a healthcare provider who will chat to you prior to your treatment.” If you want to get a drip because you suspect a particular vitamin deficiency, Joshua recommends speaking to your GP before you book in. “Don’t just speak to a nutritionist as they are not medically trained. Your GP is a good starting point as they can refer you for blood tests to find out if you actually need additional nutrients.”

Drips Can Contain Very High Levels Of Vitamins – Is This Safe?

Following a drip, it’s not uncommon for your urine to be a bright colour, so does this mean you’re effectively getting rid of the drip’s nutrients? As Joshua tells us, “There will be some excretion (via urine) of certain vitamins and minerals following a drip, but much will also be retained. It depends on your condition and vitamin levels prior to an infusion.” As for the safety of a high-strength drip, Rebecca says an infusion based on water-soluble vitamins is 100% safe, so be sure the clinic you are booking into offers this. “Fat-soluble vitamins – such as vitamins A, D, E and K – tend to gather in the body, so overdosing on these vitamins can cause issues. Water-soluble vitamins, on the other hand, have a high bioavailability and don’t cause problems. Anything that is deemed by the body to be in excess is removed by the kidneys. Any decent clinic will offer formulas that are designed for optimal absorption.”

Finally – Are There Any Risks Involved? 

Provided you are getting a treatment from a registered clinic and healthcare practitioner, IV therapy is safe. However, standards of treatment vary between clinics, so always do your research and if in doubt, speak to your doctor about any medication you are taking, so they can be sure the IV treatment won’t cause a reaction. “You may experience some temporary side effects when having an infusion, such as light-headedness, but these tend to resolve once the drip has finished,” says Rebecca. “Any high-end, registered clinic will also not offer IVs to under-18s and pregnant women.”

Want to try an IV drip? Here’s where to go…

IV Boost

Whether you’re looking to improve digestion, stress levels or aid muscle recovery, a hangover or immunity, the IV Boost team know what they’re doing.

Visit IVBoost.uk

Beaverbrook

For an anti-ageing boost, try a NAD infusion. Vitamin infusions, immunity boosters and anti-fatigue drips are also on offer.

Visit Beaverbrook.co.uk

REVIV London

One of the first IV brands to come to London, book in for its signature Vitaglow infusion to kickstart cellular repair. You can also find it in Harvey Nichols.

Visit GB.REVIVMe.com

Effect Doctors

Effect’s doctors will come to your home and offer bespoke infusions following a consultation. You can also find them in Sloane Square and Bodyism in Westbourne Grove.

Visit EffectDoctors.com

Lanserhof At The Arts Club

Membership to the private gym starts at £4k a year, but the medical facility is open to all. Specialising in preventative medicine, there’s a drip for jet lag, liver cleansing and more.

Visit LHTAC.com

The Ned

The menu at The Ned’s Elixir Clinic includes drips for anti-ageing, detoxing, hydration and immunity.

Visit TheNed.com

 

For more, head to LHTAC.com, ZENHealthcare.co.uk & IVBoost.uk

 

DISCLAIMER: Features published by SheerLuxe are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. Always seek the advice of your GP or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health-related programme.

DISCLAIMER: We endeavour to always credit the correct original source of every image we use. If you think a credit may be incorrect, please contact us at info@sheerluxe.com.

Fashion. Beauty. Culture. Life. Home
Delivered to your inbox, daily