A leading-edge research firm focused on digital transformation.
Subscriber Account active since
IV drips are the latest health trend to move from hospitals to boutique wellness clinics.
Though hospitals have used intravenous drips to hydrate patients and quickly administer drugs since the 1970s, today’s wellness brands popularized using IV drips to cure hangovers and give health-obsessed clients a quick boost of vitamins, minerals, and supplements.
Analysts at BCC Research expect the global market for IV therapy to reach $54.5 billion by 2023.
I sought to find out if IV drip therapy is worth the hype. I visited Restore, a wellness brand that offers a variety of IV drip therapies it says can help with , hydration, energy, inflammation, and aging.
I went to Restore’s location in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City at 12:45 p..m. Two others were receiving IV drip therapies while on their laptops, and a third received compression therapy meant to reduce muscle pain.
When I got to the wellness center, I had to fill out a few forms that asked about my medical history. The forms had extensive questions about history of complications related to my brain, heart, lungs, eyes, mental health, liver, kidneys, and more.
After filling out the forms, a nurse set me up on a call with a nurse practitioner to review my forms. The wait to talk to a nurse practitioner only took about five minutes, and the call lasted about another five because I had no history of medical conditions.
I then selected which supplements, acids, and vitamins I wanted in my IV. I chose the “Recharge” drip that Restore claimed would restore energy, promote collagen production, help with muscle repair, and aid in the excretion of metabolic waste.
The drip cost $209 for non-members. Drips ranged between $139 to $339 for non-members, and patients can choose to add extra shots and supplement boosts for $35 to $39.
The “Recharge” recovery drip therapy I selected included four ingredients: proline, an amino acid used as the building block of proteins; taurine, an amino acid the body uses as an antioxidant and a metabolite; vitamin C, which controls infections and helps heal wounds; and glutathione, which helps form and maintain disulfide bonds in proteins.
I chose Recharge to help me recover from a high intensity workout from the morning. Even though I usually feel the most soreness in my muscles the day after a heavy weight exercises — due to a phenomenon called delayed onset muscle soreness — I could already feel weakness in my muscles a couple hours after leaving the gym.
After selecting my drip, I got to select to sit on either a massage chair or a recliner. After sitting down, Kierstin Wood, a nurse at the center, brought over the IV and needle.
Though I used to be good with needles, the last time I got my blood drawn I had to get poked four times because the nurse could not find my veins. I was nervous the same might happen this time around, but Wood inserted the needle with ease within a couple seconds.
As I got my IV drip placed, Darren Mota, the general manager at Restore’s Chelsea location, talked about other therapies offered at Restore, including cryotherapy, compression therapy, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, and infrared saunas.
Miriam Rammal, a Restore nurse, said customers have used hyperbaric chambers, which increases air pressure to allow your lungs to breath more oxygen, for recovering from surgery, treating COVID-19 brain fog, and sleeping.
Mota, a former Nike coach, said Restore’s various therapies have helped him recover from exercise much faster than before he started using them. Mota said he can work out everyday, and sometimes twice a day, due to decreased time he spends in recovery.
The IV therapy took about 35 minutes total. After the drip, I felt slightly lightheaded and nauseous, so the nurses recommended I sit for five minutes.
As I recovered, I asked Rammal and Wood about working at Restore. The nurses spend most their time working at Lennox Hill helping long-term intensive care patients and work at Restore part-time.
The two had both treated COVID-19 patients during the height of the pandemic, when New York City was the epicenter of the new disease. Rammal and Wood said helping healthy, fit people at Restore offered a welcome break from treating severely sick patients.
As I was recovering from the drip, I started to feel more alert, like after having a cup of coffee. Importantly, my muscle soreness was gone entirely — it was like I hadn’t even worked out that day.
I was curious to see if Restore could help with my DOMS the next day, but unfortunately my muscle soreness came back. It would be nice to get another IV drip to relieve my soreness, but I can’t afford another $200 treatment.
‘This too shall pass away’ this famous Persian adage seems to be defeating us again and again in the case of COVID-19. Despite every effort