Feeling jet lagged and exhausted after 2 weeks looking after 4 kids (with no helper – travesty!), a 12 hour flight and a teething baby with a virus (such fun) I was feeling run down and in need of a pick me up….fast.
We all know there are no short cuts to health but if there were to be one ‘quick fix’ then IV vitamin shots would be it.
Intravenous vitamin infusions are said to help with fatigue, boost your immune system, sharpen your mental performance and even help get rid of your hangover.
I remember back in 2014 reading about how celebrities such as Rhianna, Rita Ora and Katy Perry were using IV vitamin shots to keep up with their hectic schedules and partying. Even earlier than that in 2012 the ‘Hangover Heaven” bus started trawling Las Vegas and hooking partygoers up with drips containing IV rehydration (saline solution and electrolyte replacement fluid) and a vitamin and mineral blend. Dr Burke, founder of Hangover Heaven said “To treat a Las Vegas level hangover, the only real cure is IV”
Fair enough, but I don’t have a hangover and I also know a lot of people who use IV vitamin therapy whilst training for marathons, or as a way of maintaining their already high level of health. So it seems IV vitamin therapy has two types of customers…heavy drinkers and health nuts!
A quick phone call in the morning to Dr Laura Bramley and Partners in Central and I was booked in for a lunchtime appointment. I was expecting to have to wait till at least the next day, but was told on the phone that they can usually book in for this treatment with very little notice….perfect for those who’s morning flat white hasn’t quite hit the spot and want a little something extra on their lunch break!
I’d had a look online before booking and had decided on the Meyers Cocktail, a blend of vitamin B complex, vitamin C, magnesium, vitamin B5, B6, B12 and calcium. Fifty years ago a physician named John Meyers invented the Meyers cocktail. Also on the ‘menu’ was a vitamin B12 shot.
I arrived on what must have been some kind of baby check up morning as during the 5 minutes I spent in the waiting room I must have seen around 10 extremely cute babies going in and out. They must have all been around 4-8 weeks old and had the whole waiting room ooooing and ahhhhing!
First was the consultation with the doctor to check there were no contraindications. We talked about my general health, my immune system and supplements I take. He gave me some advice on how to help my back pain and we spoke a little on the benefits of IV vitamin injections. Once he had ensured the treatment was safe to proceed with I was taken to a separate room where a nurse explained the procedure. The first surprise was that the ‘shot’ would take 10 minutes to do. Most injections are over and done within seconds so I presumed this would be the same. The second surprise was the size of the needle. Sorry, syringe! Don’t worry, the needle is the normal size! The syringe holds 50ml of liquid which over the course of 10 minutes the nurse very slowly injects into my bloodstream. She checks that there is no pain. Sometimes the vitamin C can give an unpleasant sensation in the arm (I know when I have used vitamin C on my face there can be a slight burning sensation) but all I feel is a mild tingling. I tell her about the Hangover Heaven bus in Vegas and she says she has heard there is going to be something similar opening up in Lan Kwai Fong!
So why are IV vitamins superior to supplements? Supplements are taken on the presumption that our bodies will be able to absorb 100% of the active ingredient when in actual fact lots of different factors come into play. Lack of dietary fat, decreased bile production, intestinal disorders such as celiac disease or IBS, bioavailabilty (does the vitamin require a conversion?), toxicity (from alcohol/caffeine), delivery system of the supplement (eg some supplements can be damaged as they pass through the acidic environment of the stomach) and the quality of the supplement are just some of the things we need to take into account.
Vitamin injections bypasses all of these. They’re not cheap, and at $1200 a shot they might not end up replacing your jar of multi vitamins, but during times when you know your body is under extra stress and needs that something extra they can be exactly what it needs.
So how did I feel after? I can’t say I felt any different (no cartwheels out of the surgery!). With most supplements we know the benefits are there without seeing overnight results. However, what we do see is that if we are consistent in what we do, then 6 months down the line our health can look very different from where it is today.