Main menu Open search menu

IV Hydration: An Almost-Perfect Hangover Cure

BY: Editors | Jan 26, 2018

We've long been in search for a hangover cure—a failsafe fix for the effects of a long night of revelry. A greasy sandwich to combat queasiness, a sports drink to replenish lost electrolytes, regular doses of ibuprofen to ward off achiness, and lots and lots of coffee—these age-old remedies only provide half-measures of relief.

According to the experts at Chicago's IVme Wellness + Performance, a hangover's symptoms are mostly due to dehydration and the loss of certain vitamins. IVme—and other clinics around the country—are touting what they believe is the perfect hangover cure: a hydration drip containing IV fluids for hangovers. In less than 90 minutes, you could erase the effects of last night.

What is a hydration IV?

Hydration IVs deliver fluids, electrolytes, and vitamins to the body via an IV drip—a bag of fluids connected to a tube that goes straight to your bloodstream. The procedures are typically performed at what are dubbed "hydration clinics," though some providers even offer to deliver the service.

What's in the IV bag?

The IV fluid's base is saline, but the real magic comes from a combination of electrolytes, vitamins, and meds. IVme's "Recovery IV" is boosted with Vitamin B for energy and Vitamin C to bolster the immune system. To address achiness and queasiness, the fluid also includes anti-inflammatory and anti-nausea medicines.

How does it work?

According to IVme cofounder and general surgeon Dr. Scott Yilk, IV treatments are basically "hydration hacks"—bypassing the digestive system and going straight to the bloodstream, an IV hydrates the body more efficiently than a glass of water. "It tops up your tank."

This, apparently, is a remedy that those in the medical field have long been privy to: "[If we need to hydrate], we come right to work, drop a line in us . . . and feel like a million bucks." And now these benefits are available to the public. "It's concierge medicine," he says.

What will happen during the appointment?

After a quick assessment to make sure everything is in order, a nurse or other medical practitioner will insert the IV. In most clinics, you'll get to relax while your body takes in the IV fluid. According to our editor, who tried the procedure for herself, the lounge at IVme has fuzzy blankets, a cozy couch, and plenty of magazines. "I was in heaven," says our editor Favin.

Do I need to be hungover to benefit?

Nope. IV treatments at IVme are more than a hangover cure. They are also favored by athletes and business travelers, virtually anyone who needs to boost their hydration. You'll be able to find special IV concoctions that target, for example, anti-aging, colds and flu, migraines, and jetlag.

How will I feel afterwards?

While the site where the needle enters might feel, as one would expect, a little bruised, the procedure promises more energy and less achiness, nausea, and fatigue—exactly what you're looking for when you pick up the Gatorade and coffee. All in less than two hours!

This article was previously published in a slightly different form, and has been updated by Groupon Editors.