Hydration therapy services are popping up all over America, offering luxury intravenous hangover recovery services on demand. In Las Vegas, you can order an IV hangover recovery drip right to your hotel room, freshening you up for another night on the town in as little as 40 minutes. But do these services actually work, or are they just a fad?
To find out, let's look at what's happening in the body when we experience a hangover:
- Poor sleep. Drinking alcohol suppresses the normal production of glutamine, a natural stimulant. It's one of the reasons that drinking makes people sleepy. However, when you stop drinking, the body compensates by overproducing glutamine, making you wakeful even when you are tired.
- Alcohol increases secretions of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, eventually prompting nausea or vomiting.
- It takes nearly 4 times as much water volume to metabolize alcohol, which causes all those trips to the bathroom while you are in the bar. This severe dehydration causes the organs to hoard water, reducing hydration in the brain. The dehydrated brain actually reduces in size, which stretches the membranes that hold it in place, causing headaches and pain. Headaches and nausea are also caused by depleted electrolytes lost in urination.
- Dizziness and weakness. Overconsumption of alcohol causes low blood sugar, which can manifest as dizziness and fatigue.
- Shaking and sweating. Believe it or not, tremors and sweats are symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. Even in the course of a night of drinking, the brain adapts to alcohol, and then experiences mild symptoms of withdrawal for up to 24 hours afterward. This is one of the reasons why the “hair of the dog” can alleviate hangover symptoms (but still isn't a good idea).
- Low mood. Alcohol is a depressant, and one of the lingering effects of overconsumption is emotional self-doubt and anxiety.
- Yet another reason that alcohol leaves us so tired is that it depletes glycogen in the liver, reducing energy levels.
- Metabolizing alcohol releases toxins into the body, and interferes with the natural breakdown of lactic acid in the muscles, both of which can cause feelings of stiffness and soreness.
There are plenty of reasons to feel physically and mentally depleted the morning after—even if you didn't send any regrettable text messages!
So how does an IV treatment help cure your hangover?
First and foremost, IV hydration delivers the fluids your body and brain are craving. Delivering hydration intravenously speeds recovery in two ways:
- A drip can deliver a high volume of fluids faster than you could drink it, particularly if you are tired and shaky.
- A drip gets hydration directly into your bloodstream, without relying on your already-fragile digestive system. Fluids taken orally may trigger or worsen nausea.
IV fluids can also be customized with electrolytes and vitamins that have been depleted by a night of drinking, as well as restoring energy and reducing soreness.Ultimately, the only real cure for a hangover is time, but there is definitively a reason why IV hangover cures are popping up all over the country. IV hydration therapy is proven to speed recovery and reduce the pain and suffering of your over-indulgence!