You were severely dehydrated once as a child and had to go to the hospital, where nurses and other staff hooked you up to an IV drip to replenish vital fluids in your body. The process took about an hour, and you felt much better afterward. But what exactly was pumped into your body, and how long did it stay in your system?
What Is IV Vitamin Therapy?
IV vitamin therapy is a process that was developed by Dr. John Myers, MD, in the late 1950s and perfected over the next three decades. Dr. Myers sought a way to quickly replenish vitamins and nutrients in many of his patients and touched upon the idea of repurposing the simple saline drip into something that could improve the health of people experiencing different medical and mental health problems. Today, Dr. Myers’ creation is sometimes referred to as the Myers’ Cocktail.
What Kind Of Vitamins Can You Get?
Times have changed since Dr. Myers began tinkering with the idea of delivering key vitamins and minerals intravenously. If you visit a specialty clinic for IV vitamin therapy, the solution you receive will be tailored to your specific health needs and existing medical conditions. According to the United States National Institute of Health, the standard Myers’ Cocktail includes:
- 5 mL of magnesium chloride hexahydrate, critical for building proteins and strong bones, regulating blood sugar, blood pressure, and how muscles and nerves work
- 3 mL of calcium gluconate, which is needed to grow healthy bones and teeth and is vital in the prevention of blood clotting
- 1 mL B vitamins to help the body convert food to energy
- 1 mL of hydroxocobalamin
- 1 mL of pyridoxine hydrochloride
- 1 mL of DE panthenol
You may also receive other vitamins during IV vitamin therapy, including vitamins C and D, both helpful for healing wounds, controlling infections, and absorbing and holding onto calcium.
IV Vitamins Get Absorbed By The Positive Effects Remain
In most cases, it’s reasonable to expect fluids from an intravenous drip session to stay in your system for a few hours after the process is complete and the nutrient mix has been fully absorbed. Certain factors can influence the length of time the fluids are present, but most intravenous solutions only stay in your system for several hours.
What affects how long the nutrients stay in your system?
- Hydration levels. If you are well hydrated, some fluids may pass faster than others. Keeping fluids in your body – water, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients – is critical for cell, tissue, and organ function. It’s crucial to stay hydrated, as research suggests that even mild dehydration – losing 1 or 2% of body water – can lead to poor physical and cognitive performance. For some people, regular IV vitamin therapy is the perfect way to keep bodily fluids at the proper levels.
- Urination, which is controlled by your kidneys. Someone who hasn’t urinated recently may pass fluids more quickly than if the opposite is true.
- Dietary intake. Some people have dietary habits which are bad for hydration and fluid levels in their body. It’s important to drink water and other nutritious fluids, and limit your consumption of alcohol, caffeine, and sugary drinks.
- Other factors, such as physical activity, age, and the environment.
IV vitamin therapy has positive benefits related to hydration. By getting vitamin infusion, you can regulate body temperature, ensure joints are lubricated and cushioned, protect the spinal cord and sensitive tissues, and help pass waste regularly through bowel movements, urination, and perspiration.
By undergoing IV vitamin therapy, you can help your body maintain a natural process known as renal reabsorption. This is the mechanism used by your kidneys to regulate the absorption of fluids and nutrients. Dialysis is another critical function that can be maintained through healthy fluid absorption – a process where water and other nutrients are separated from pre-urine and reintroduced into the bloodstream. If your kidneys aren’t working as they should, the process of homeostasis becomes unstable – where your body can no longer maintain a healthy balance of minerals, salts, and vitamins for healthy tissue and organ function.
Vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients given during IV vitamin therapy will remain in your body for several days or longer, though the fluids themselves will be absorbed or passed within hours. Ask your healthcare provider if IV vitamin therapy is right for your health concerns. A specialty clinic with expertise in IV vitamin therapy may be your best option for rehydration when needed the most.