You Don’t Have to Be Hungover to Go to a Hangover IV Clinic
I don’t want to share the full details of the last time I had a terrible hangover, but let’s just say this: it started when I fell asleep in my bathroom, and no, I don’t have a bed in there. And it only got worse after that. (Until, slowly, it got better. Don’t worry, Mom, I’m not still hungover!)
So in the interest of avoiding future awfulness, I decided to research hangover IV clinics. They’ve been popping up everywhere over the past few years, ever since industry frontrunner Hangover Heaven opened in Las Vegas. Luckily, I didn’t have to hop on a plane to satisfy my curiosity, just over to Old Town to visit IVme Hydration Clinic (1347 N. Wells St.).
I went there earlier this week to meet medical director Dr. Scott Yilk and try out an IV for myself. I was a little nervous about it, because I wasn’t actually hungover, but it turned out that wasn’t a problem. Hangover IVs are only about 15% of their business; Dr. Yilk explained they also have IVs designed for general wellness, jet lag, and athletes. Former Chicago Bull Luol Deng was a big fan of the clinic before he got traded!
Since I was already feeling fresh, Dr. Yilk recommended that I try the Wellness and Vitality IV.
Here’s how it went down.
It started out like a regular doctor’s appointment. Until I got to watch TV.
First, Dr. Yilk took my medical history, and examined my heart and lungs to make sure everything was in order. Then, a nurse inserted my IV. It didn’t hurt much—just a pinprick. (I have a pretty high tolerance for needles, though.)
Once I was IV’d up, the nurse took me into a private lounge, where I sat on a mile-long white couch and just hung out. There were fuzzy blankets, a TV, and plenty of magazines. One had Channing Tatum on the cover. I was in heaven.
Then, I asked the doctor what exactly the IV was doing.
It was a little weird watching a liter of fluid just disappear into my body. But as Dr. Yilk explained, IVme’s treatments are basically hydration hacks. Everyone should be drinking a lot of water, but most people are too busy to stay fully hydrated—and, over time, that can leave them feeling rundown. By going straight to the bloodstream, an IV hydrates faster and more completely than a glass of water. As Dr. Yilk said, it “tops up your tank.”
He would know—he’s a full-time ER doctor, and “any of us in medicine, [when we] go out and have a bad night, or think we’re getting sick, we come right to work, drop a line in us…if you get an IV, you feel like a million bucks. But [IVs weren’t] available to the public.”
They are now, of course, thanks to clinics like IVme. “It’s concierge medicine,” Dr. Yilk said.
I also asked him what exactly was in my IV.
My wellness IV was the same as the hangover IV, except it didn’t have anti-nausea meds. It was spiked (no alcohol pun intended!) with three things:
- Vitamin B, to boost energy. (It’s also the reason the solution is yellow.)
- Vitamin C, to strengthen my immune system. Dr. Yilk explained that people absorb vitamin C better intravenously than orally. Even when injected, it only sticks around for about a day, but during that day, it can shut down a brewing cold.
- Anti-inflammatory medication, which Dr. Yilk said might even temporarily relieve my chronic back pain.
I also wore an oxygen mask for an hour. Dr. Yilk explained that it doesn’t have lasting health benefits, but it feels really good to breathe 50%–60% oxygen (regular air is only about 20% oxygen).
I definitely didn’t feel hungover afterward!
Which would have been weird, seeing as how I wasn’t hungover to begin with. I did have to pee, though, which Dr. Yilk said just meant my kidneys were working. (Good job, kidneys!) He also said if I weighed myself, I had probably gained a few pounds in water weight.
Other than that, I felt good, but it’s hard to quantify. I definitely slept like a baby that night, though—and found out that just because I’d had an IV, it didn’t mean I’d never get thirsty again. The next day, I drank a ton of water!