There’s nothing worse than waking up the morning after one too many drinks with a raging headache, a parched mouth that feels like sandpaper is taking over it, and a lifeless body that can’t handle a tinge of light or the slightest sound. In years past, curing a debilitating hangover was all about downing copious amounts of Gatorade, water, or a freshly dispensed fountain soda chased by a greasy burger or egg-and-cheese bagel sandwich. And while those remedies are helpful, most are also pro-inflammatory and can increase the body’s toxic load — not to mention they’re not the healthiest option that modern medicine has to offer. That’s where the uber-trendy yet effective IV drip, which floods the body with vitamins, nutrients, and hydration to fight off dehydration, comes into play.
Why Hangovers Happen
According to Dr. Marcie A. Claybon, Medical Director at Chicago’s Bian, a social and wellness space, hangovers remain a bit of a medical mystery. “We know they are at least in part triggered by the toxic byproducts of alcohol metabolism,” she says. As alcohol breaks down within the body, it releases metabolites that quickly bring about the symptoms of a hangover — nausea, headaches, stomachaches, lack of energy, sweats, and even vomiting. But that’s not the only reason for the aftereffect of a but too much booze. Since alcohol acts as a diuretic, which forces the body to expel water via urine, it simultaneously imposes dehydration.
If you notice that your hangovers are more viscous when drinking dark-colored liquors and red wine, it’s not all in your head. Claybon explains that ‘congeners’ (byproducts of alcohol created during the fermentation and distillation processes) may be why hangovers are worse with red wine and whiskey than clear variants like tequila and vodka. “While any form of alcohol can result in next-day regret, those of us who savor a good bottle of Cabernet may be more prone to feel symptoms of sluggishness, headache, or even nausea the day after consumption,” she says.
Dehydration, notwithstanding its relation to alcohol intake, can dampen energy levels and make the skin look damaged. That’s why after a night of debaucherously drinking, it’s normal to wake to dry, red, inflamed, or dull-looking skin with more pronounced lines and wrinkles. Even drinking one or two glasses of wine is enough alcohol to start to dehydrate the skin.
Most IV therapies that help with hangovers contain saline, electrolytes, vitamins, glutathione, anti-nausea, and anti-inflammatory medications. “Due to the nature of their ability to deliver vitamins and nutrients directly and quickly into the bloodstream intravenously, the concept of IV drips for hangover cures have become wildly popular,” says Dr. Renée Moran. “Our bodies and brain need the energy to perform optimally, and IV therapy helps increase energy levels by providing cells with a high dose of energy-fueled vitamins at once,” she adds. However, those with high blood pressure should be careful when using IVs since they can contain a high amount of salt due to the saline fluid. Of course, proper use of an IV, including insertion, removal, and the duration of the treatment, should always be administered by a trained medical professional.
Drips that alleviate hangover symptoms often consist of saline water to help hydrate, which is the opposite of what alcohol does to the body, says Shushan Avetisyan, IV Drip Service Specialist for Luxbae Salon & Medspa in Los Angeles. Opt for one the day after drinking to make the most out of an IV. “You can also get one before a night of drinking to prevent that feeling of exhaustion and dehydration caused by alcohol,” she adds. As far as the effects of drinking on your skin go, Avetisyan adds that IV drips can help slow down the skin-aging effects of inflammation by hydrating the cells.
Common vitamins in a drip include water-soluble B vitamins, like B12 and B complex, and vitamin C. Avetisyan says these vitamins play a critical role in reducing anxiety and improving energy and overall well-being. Antioxidants, like glutathione, are also part of the cocktail, which helps the liver to detoxify itself and eliminate toxins.
Location, Location, Location
IV drips are readily available in just about every major city across the United States, and you don’t need to go to a doctor’s office and fess up to a night of overindulgences to get a drip. Instead, plenty of med-spas, spas, and specialty centers offer the treatment.
Luxbae, a hyper-curated luxury boutique for all things beauty, just launched a dedicated service menu for luxury IV Drips, including the Hangover Cure. For $400 for a 45-minute drip session, the body is flooded with antioxidants and vitamins to hydrate it and eliminate alcohol-induced nausea, headaches properly, and dizziness while helping to rehydrate the skin, which often shows signs of dehydration post-drinking.
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If throwing back one too many in Chicago leaves you feeling like crap the next day, hop over to BIAN and opt for their Revive IV blend. It offers a solid combination of hydrating fluid, electrolytes, detoxifying minerals (selenium, manganese, copper), magnesium to naturally improve headaches and inflammation, as well as Zofran and B-vitamins to combat nausea. Claybon calls it “a lifesaver when dealing with the after-effects of too much fun the night before.”
If venturing out to a medi-spa isn’t in the cards, at-home drips are an option, too. Companies like HealthIV, Drip Hydration, and The Hangover Club bring in-home infusion therapy straight to your front door. Or, try a hydration-boosting powder (no drip bag required!) like Liquid I.V. Hydration Multiplier or drinks such as Nextday Natural Recovery Beverage.
No matter which option you choose, they all tend to go to work fast — drinks and powders can take a little longer to kick in, but with an infusion, once it is complete, which can take 45 to 60 minutes, you’ll start to feel like a new person.
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