IV hydration: What is it, and what you should know before trying it

Local Health Alert

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – IV hydration drip bars been popular on the east and west coast for years but now hydration bars are popping up here in the Mid-South.

Essentially, you go to a spa or a clinic and they put an IV in your arm. It can be filled with a variety of stuff, but before you go, experts say educate yourself.

“I’ve never had anything like this,” said first-time hydration bar customer Zach Scott.

We found Scott at Pro Health Wellness Clinic in East Memphis. He was getting a basic hydration drip the day before a long-distance obstacle race.

“An IV fluid bag supercharged with vitamins is the fastest, most direct way to perk back up, ” said Estes Folk.

Folk owns the East Memphis clinic. He says demand for the IV hydration has increased every year since he began offering it three years ago. It ranges from plain hydration bags, to vitamin infused bags, to special bags to help boost immunity, fight migraines, even cure hangovers.

“A lot of people are familiar with the hangover cure, IV, that’s probably the one that’s gotten the most publicity,” said Folk.

While Folk says his clinic makes no promises of what IV therapy can do, the Federal Trade Commission says consumers do need to watch out for companies that do.

Last year, it charged a Texas company, A and O Enterprises and Aaron Roberts – doing business as IV Bars Incorporated. The FTC says it made deceptive and unsupported health claims. According to court records, THE FTC says the company claimed it could treat diseases such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, and congestive heart failure. Court records show the list of medical IV treatments and conditions the company claimed it could help.

The company reached a settlement with the FTC and can no longer make such claims.

“If they are claiming they are treating things, I would stay away,” said dietitian Hannah Osterndorf.

St. Francis Hospital registered dietitian Hannah Osterndorf is skeptical when it comes to IV hydration bars. She says there is no clinical evidence that IV therapy really works, “these vitamins, unless you are actually deficient in the vitamin and you had your labs tested, it’s not going to be doing anything.”

These bags are expensive, running from $75 to a couple hundred dollars.

“The skeptic would say just drink more water. We would say they’re is a time and place in hydration can be really useful,” said Folk.

If you are going to do this, Osterndorf offers these tips.

“Just making sure you are doing your research and going to a reputable place is going to be a big thing,” said Osterndorf. “You want to make sure where you are getting that bag is from a good place, and where they’re getting those bags are also going to be from a good place.”

As for Scott, he hadn’t heard about the action the Federal Trade Commission took against the company in Texas. This first time drip user just came in after his friends suggested he to so to hydrate for the big race.

“I’m excited to see if it makes a difference,” said Scott.

©TEGNA Inc. 2019. All Rights Reserved.

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