What Is IV Hydration Therapy?

You try to keep up your fluid levels by drinking plenty of water daily, but what about electrolytes, antioxidants, and vitamins? If you’re unsure whether you’re getting enough, you might be a candidate for IV hydration therapy. What exactly is this form of treatment?

IV hydration therapy involves inserting an IV into your veins to send water, antioxidants, electrolytes, vitamins, and sometimes medication directly into the bloodstream. Consider hydration therapy if you’re dehydrated from spending too long in the sun or athletic endeavors.

This guide will fully explain IV hydration therapy, including how it works, who needs it, its benefits, and if drinking water is the same.

What Is IV Hydration Therapy?

First, let’s delve deeper into IV hydration therapy. 

When patients visit a hospital or a hydration bar for hydration therapy, they’ll receive an IV in their arm. A doctor or nurse can connect the IV tube to a machine that pumps fluids into the patient.

The range of fluids administered during IV hydration therapy varies. While water is a primary fluid, this therapy can also deliver vitamins, electrolytes, medications, and antioxidants to the patient. 

The micronutrients often used in IV hydration therapy include calcium, magnesium, B vitamins, and more. 

Electrolytes are an essential part of hydration. When you sweat or expel urine, you lose more than water but also electrolytes. The lack of electrolytes can lead to mild dehydration symptoms like headaches and muscle cramps. 

Although water is the healthiest beverage, it doesn’t contain electrolytes. You should drink water infused with electrolytes, sports drinks, or electrolyte products like Pedialyte when ill or after sweating it out during a workout. The problem with these is that they also contain a lot of sugar. 

Electrolytes rehydrate you, not water alone. This is part of what gives IV hydration therapy such a high efficacy rate. 

Who Needs IV Hydration Therapy?

This section will prove that nearly anyone is a good candidate for IV hydration therapy. The treatment can occur in hydration bars throughout the country (as mentioned) and thus isn’t exclusive to the ill in a hospital setting. 

Here are the parties that seek this therapy most often. 

If the Body Doesn’t Absorb Enough Water

Did you know that according to the National Institute of Health, 75% of people are dehydrated? That number is astounding. Even if you believe you drink the recommended ounces of water daily, your body isn’t absorbing all of it. 

Water needs to be absorbed into your cells for your body to reap the benefits. Unfortunately, much of our water is excreted as urine by our digestive system.

But, with an IV drip of fluids, this isn’t the case. Because the fluid and nutrients bypass the digestive system and go directly into the bloodstream, the body absorbs 100% of the fluid and vitamins. 

This is why IV hydration therapy is so essential to most people.

Women should ingest 2.7 liters or 11.5 cups of fluids per day, and men 3.7 liters or 15.5 cups. Some people struggle to consume that much water daily and are at a consistent risk of dehydration.

IV hydration therapy can ward off the symptoms of dehydration. Those symptoms start as mild initially, as dehydration causes dry skin, reduced sweating and urination, headache, muscle cramps, dizziness, dark-colored urine, dry mouth, and a thirsty feeling.

However, without intervention, the symptom severity of dehydration can worsen. You may require medical attention if you experience fainting, a fast heart rate, shock, delirium, unconsciousness, rapid breathing, and irritability and/or confusion from dehydration.

After a Hangover

A night out drinking with friends can be fun, but the aftereffects are anything but. Consuming alcohol can lead to mild dehydration and accompanying symptoms like a pounding headache, exhaustion, and intense thirst. 

We’re sure you’ve heard of countless home remedies that quickly treat hangovers. You can try those and potentially suffer all day or quickly rehydrate with IV hydration therapy.

Not only will you be given fluids, but you can also add essential vitamins and anti-nausea medication to boost your recovery. 

Plus, if you can find a company like Mobile IV Stat, they will come to wherever you are! Receiving treatment in the comfort of your own home or place of business is just what you need when dealing with a hangover. 


Athletes make physical fitness more than a part of their regular routines but their whole lives. Between their training and performing, athletes can lose a lot of fluid through sweat, which depletes electrolyte levels.

An athlete must sufficiently rehydrate after an incredibly intense workout, training session, or marathon game. IV hydration therapy can help them do that. 

IV treatments have also been shown to decrease inflammation commonly found in athletes’ bodies. By providing the body with anti-inflammatory medicines, like vitamin C, Zinc, and glutathione, the body can recover quickly so you can return to training.

In a Hot Environment or After a Sunburn

Did you spend too long in a hot environment? If you engage in strenuous physical activity in the heat, you’ll lose more electrolytes than usual, necessitating IV hydration therapy.

Being sunburnt does more than scorch your skin, leading to painful redness and peeling. The effects of a sunburn mean your body can lose moisture for hours after you get out of the sun. 

Although your skin will be your biggest priority, rehydrating with IV therapy can keep you from suffering further as you prevent muscle pain, headaches, and other symptoms that ramp up the discomfort. 

After Jetlag

Jetlag can leave you feeling tired, constipated, and not performing at your best. Refilling your hydration levels will put some pep in your step so you don’t lose the next several days feeling out of sorts. 

In Need of an Immunity Boost (Before or During an Illness)

If you’ve been sick, consider IV hydration therapy, even if your illness wasn’t severe enough to require hospitalization. 

Lengthy bouts of vomiting and/or diarrhea can suck away fluids from the body, increasing your risk of dehydration. When you consider that you barely want to eat and drink when under the weather, this, too, raises the risk. 

You will feel back to your old self once you rehydrate. 

Not only will this therapy help you recover quicker, but it will boost your immune system when done routinely. You will get sick less often with less severity. 

Those with Chronic Illnesses, Including Migraines

As part of chronic care, your doctor or nurse may recommend IV hydration therapy for conditions like chronic fatigue syndrome or migraines. You’d be surprised what rehydrating can do for your pain and discomfort levels.

Is IV Hydration Therapy the Same as Drinking Water?

You’re now aware of the benefits of hydration therapy, but can’t you just drink water to top off your fluid levels rather than undergo IV hydration therapy?

You could, but you’re not going to get the same benefits.

You’ll recall that water does not contain electrolytes. No matter how much water you drink, you won’t reintroduce lost electrolytes. 

Further, IV hydration therapy can restore your minerals and antioxidants and send medicines through the bloodstream. Drinking water won’t do the same. 

And remember, your body will only absorb so much when consumed orally, as mentioned earlier. 

The Benefits of IV Hydration Therapy

As IV hydration therapy has become all the rage, boutique therapy lounges have made claims that hydration therapy can cure just about anything that ails you. More so, it’s also used to detox your body and help you lose weight.

While the medications you receive might be able to do those things, it’s all relative. Let’s instead focus on the proven benefits of IV hydration therapy.

Increases Your Focus & Energy Levels

Even mild dehydration can cause your focus and concentration to plummet. According to The Brain & Spine Institute of North Houston, being one percent dehydrated may cause your cognitive function to drop by as much as five percent. 

Thus, by hydrating yourself with IV therapy, you will feel better able to focus on the tasks in front of you. 

A standard IV treatment is called a Myer’s Cocktail. This combination of ingredients, including B-Complex, is an effective way to increase your energy and help you feel your best.

Lessons Some Chronic Pain

We already explained the connection between headaches, muscle pain, and dehydration. While these pains and chronic pain differ, IV hydration therapy may help with chronic pain as one treatment modality of several. 

Reduces Hangover Intensity

Part of what makes a hangover so unbearable is the pain and sluggishness. Those symptoms occur because you’re dehydrated. You’ll begin feeling better from your hangover once you rehydrate your body to adequate levels and get those electrolytes up. 

Improves Athletic Performance

According to a 2021 study published in the Journal of Human Kinetics, “Hydration plays an important role in performance, injury prevention, and recovery for athletes engaged in competitive sports. 

Therefore, strength and conditioning coaches must understand an athlete’s hydration needs to prevent illness and enhance performance.” 

Drinking water alone won’t make you a better athlete, as that takes years of training and conditioning your body and perfecting your craft.

However, hydrating your body will put you in the best physical frame to perform well. 

Improves the Health of Your Skin

If you suffer from skin maladies such as acne, you should stay hydrated. Consuming water can rebalance your water/oil levels, shrinking your pores and reducing your blemishes. 

Drinking water alone isn’t an acne cure, of course, but it does improve skin suppleness and elasticity and can impact acne. 

How Long Does IV Hydration Therapy Last?

After receiving IV hydration therapy, it’s not like the benefits stop when the IV is taken out of your body. The fluids, minerals, and medications within your system can remain there. 

As for how long, that depends on the duration of your treatment. At the very least, you’ll have elevated electrolyte and antioxidant levels for several hours. In some instances, the effects of hydration therapy can last for days and even weeks. 

How Often Do You Need IV Hydration Therapy?

This depends on what you’re using it for!

If you only need hydration therapy after a night of drinking, a bad sunburn, or after a long flight, you’ll wait until those instances to receive an IV. 

Those who regularly engage in IV hydration therapy should receive an infusion of nutrients and electrolytes on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. 

Final Thoughts

IV hydration therapy is a treatment that reintroduces water, electrolytes, minerals, and antioxidants into the body. Some forms of hydration therapy use medication but not all. 

Dehydration can affect you more than you realize, causing cognitive decline, aches and pains, and fatigue. Those are the symptoms of only mild dehydration, while severe dehydration can sometimes be life-threatening. 

While some of the purported benefits of IV hydration therapy are overblown, what’s clear is that maintaining hydration benefits your body in many ways. You’ll feel more focused, perform better, and possibly look better, too, with healthier skin. 

If you’re interested in IV hydration therapy, we hope the information in this guide helps you decide whether this treatment is right for you!