DOSE columnist Rosie gets to grips with a wellness trend that pumps nutrients intravenously into your blood stream, but at what cost?
When I think of IV drips, I envisage celebrities hooked up to bizarre concoctions to absolve them of their rock-and-roll lifestyles and enable them to still emit an envy-inducing glow.
I’m rather curious, if a little sceptical, as to what effect one of these cocktails will have on me. I figure I have nothing to lose – best case scenario I’ll emerge looking ten years younger and ready to run a marathon, and worst case I’ll have just wasted an hour or so of my time being hooked up to a big bag of god-knows-what. I have high hopes for the former.
It starts well: a nurse talks me through the benefits of the treatment I’m about to have, and the list goes on and on: better skin, stronger nails, healthier hair, more defined abs (hell yes!), increased energy levels, improved metabolism… I nod with great anticipation and roll up my sleeve to present my arm for the initial injection (a mere pinprick, by the way).
At Get a Drip’s clinic in East London, once they’ve hooked you up, nurses will switch on your massage chair – could this get any better? – and offer to get you a coffee from the shop next door. Then it’s time to let the drip do its magic, which takes around 45 minutes to an hour, during which time you’re being massaged to a blissful state – plenty of time to envisage that post-drip glow.
The treatment itself was totally painless – the only slightly strange thing was a cold feeling as the liquid worked its way up my arm. Blankets are of course provided – the clinic leaves no detail untouched.
The nurse warned me that due to the high volume of liquid I’d had flushed through me I might need to go to the bathroom more regularly, although as a serial coffee drinker it actually felt great to be so hydrated for once. No wonder so many people swear by these drips for hangover cures.
Back to the million-dollar question – did it change anything? Honestly, it’s difficult to say. My energy levels and general health remained high at a time of year when we tend to slump, but it’s impossible to know if that would have been the case without the drip.
In need of more convincing, I went to Nosh Infusion Clinic a couple of months later to give it, if you’ll excuse the pun, another shot. A big name in the business among celebs and the wealthy, it runs a busy home visits practice – my nurse squeezed me in between routine trips to two actresses, neither of whose names she would disclose. Nonetheless, the ‘routine’ element of her trips made me think there had to be something worthwhile in my return visit.
This time, as I already knew the drill, I paid more attention to the contents of my drip and what I might experience afterwards, so I would be better placed to compare before and after. And this time I did notice a difference – nothing life-changing, but certainly a pleasant improvement to certain things: my brittle nails were no longer breaking all the time, my hair regained some of its lustre, and my skin retained a dewy glow despite the cold outside.
The verdict? I wouldn’t say an IV drip must become an essential part of your lifestyle, but it’s certainly a beneficial addition if you can afford it. Unlike many health treatments which tend to be specific to certain areas of the body, this really does cover the full works – so looked at that way, it’s not a bad investment at all. And if you’re having one of those hangovers where you’ll give pretty much anything to alleviate the pain, here’s a cure that lasts far longer than a couple of aspirin ever could.
Hettie is the editor and co-founder of DOSE. A keen runner, she’s also partial to a blast of high-intensity and hot yoga. A country girl at heart, she divides her time between London and the lush rolling hills of North Devon. When she’s not jetting off on her next adventure, Hettie can be found in a candle-lit alcove with a laptop, a spaniel and a full bodied Malbec.