By the time 4 pm strikes in my office, a relentless sense of lethargy has usually swept over me. The two hours left of my working day yawn before me and all I want to do is lie my head on the desk and, well, give up.
Coffee rarely cuts it at times like this, so when I heard there was a way to potentially escape this afternoon slump I jumped at the opportunity. And so, on a grey Wednesday afternoon, I found myself with a needle in my arm, a drip looming above me and all manner of vitamins and nutrients flooding into my system at REVIV, a clinic specializing in intravenous vitamin hydration and wellness therapy.
The global brand was originally founded in Las Vegas by four accident and emergency doctors and today attracts anyone in search of revitalization, from successful city workers to Tinseltown’s elite.
The body is only able to digest and absorb 50% of vitamins and benefits via oral methods – such as drinking water, energy drinks, vitamin supplements and tablets – so delivering fluids and wellness agents via IV is the most efficient way to rehydrate and revitalize the body as they are administered straight into the bloodstream.
Delivering fluids via IV is the most efficient way to rehydrate the body as they are administered straight into the bloodstream.
I’m at the Harvey Nichols branch in London with one of REVIV’s medical practitioners, Gary Sanderson, who, like many of the staff, used to be in the ambulance service. One of the first things he impresses upon me is the importance of hydration. “You should be drinking two liters a day,” he insists. I picture the half-filled water bottle back on my desk and fear I have let him down.
It’s dehydration, fatigue and a lack of proper nutrition that leads to most clients attending REVIV’s clinics in search of a much-needed boost. “A lot of people who come here are high-flying businessmen and women, celebrities and people in the film and music industry,” says Gary. “They’re exhausted, they’re not eating correctly and they’re not hydrating correctly.” I think of my late-night Netflix binges and cheesy pasta diet. Surely, I’m a prime candidate for this treatment?
REVIV’s IV hydration and booster shots are designed to replenish and restore hydration levels and bring your health back to optimum performance. They offer five different methods of IV hydration.
Ultraviv IV is, whisper it, their unofficial hangover cure and is a recovery infusion packed with Vitamin B12, anti-nausea medication, pain reliever and an energy booster. “We’re quite busy doing them at weekend, as you can imagine,” Gary quips.
Then there’s Hydromax IV, dubbed “an athlete’s best friend.” This saline and magnesium formula delivers pure hydration following physical exertion. “It’s great for muscle cramps,” says Gary, “A lot of tennis players come in for this one, as well as squash players and footballers.”
The Royal Flush IV is REVIV’s deluxe treatment and is best suited for those feeling completely run down and physically drained. It contains vitamins B and C, magnesium and antioxidant glutathione; the latter is good your skin and complexion, I’m told. I think of my blotchy visage and initially feel this could be the boy for me.
However, when Gary hold up the necessary two bags, each holding a liter of saline solution, amounting to the same size as my entire torso, I feel slightly queasy at the sheer amount of fluid that would be injected into my 5ft frame. “This one might leave you feeling a bit bloated,” points out Gary, tactfully.
REVIV’s IV hydration and booster shots are designed to replenish and restore hydration levels and bring your health back to optimum performance.
And so, we plump for the Megaboost, a comprehensive vitamin wellness cleanse containing a host of vitamins and detoxifying and anti-ageing glutathione. Gary informs me this formula helps boost the immune system. That said, it mustn’t be thought of as a cure for a cold. “It’s just nipping it in the bud,” he insists. “I’ll often have one at about 3-4pm in the afternoon,” he continues, “and I always feel better the next day and wake up alert and focused at 6 am.” So, definitely something I could do with, then.
Once the treatment is all set up and the saline is chugging into my veins, I’m keen to find out how long I have to wait to feel the effects.
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“Everybody feels different,” Gary warns me. “Some people get the benefits within a couple of hours, others feel them in six hours and some only have them the next day. So, don’t be alarmed if you don’t feel any different tonight. If I could guarantee you’ll feel a massive buzz in an hour I’d be a billionaire,” he jokes.
It can, however, not affect you at all, but there’s no knowing until afterwards.
Celebrities such as Cara Delevigne, Boris Becker, Alexandra Burke and the cast of Made In Chelsea certainly keep coming back for more, although the hefty price tag for the treatments does somewhat require a celeb’s bank balance. The Hydromax is the cheapest IV therapy at £99 while the Royal Flush leaves you anything but flush at £349. If you’re after something cheaper, though, there are the three booster ‘energy’ shots, which take just seconds to administer and start at £29.
Celebrities such as Cara Delevigne (pictured), Boris Becker, Alexandra Burke and the cast of Made In Chelsea are in the IV league.
One thing’s for sure, it’s totally safe. The treatment is carried out in a sterile environment with hygiene as top priority. The trained staff will always assess the client first to make sure they’re fit to continue and they have a strict age limit of between and 18 and 65 years old.
Thirty-three minutes later, the treatment is over… and I’m ready for a trip to the ladies. I then spend my evening eagerly anticipating the stuff kicking in.
Unfortunately, it seems I am only of the unlucky few to whom the IV injection makes no difference. Then again, I was in fairly good nick when I went in and Gary did say that the effects are particularly noticeable when you have more obvious symptoms of ill health. Curse my stoic immune system.
Nevertheless, it is undeniable that such IV treatments have been gaining in popularity over the decades. REVIV is now located across five continents with three flagship clinics in London, Cheshire and Leeds and worldwide flagship locations in Las Vegas, Miami and Johannesburg, plus numerous express salons. In party capital Vegas, they do 150-250 drips a day, according to Gary.
With many regular clients popping in for a lunchtime treatment, will we all soon be swinging by IV clinics as we would coffee shops as REVIV’s reputation grows even more? Personally, I rather like the idea of rows of people hooked up to IV drips chatting to their neighbors and flicking through OK! magazine, just like at the hairdressers. Gary, however, soon squashes that mental image and tells me he doesn’t see it becoming quite that mainstream anytime soon.
Nonetheless, some predict that the vitamin therapy industry could soon eclipse Botox in fame, so we should rule nothing out yet. Perhaps it could be second time lucky for me in the not too distant future? For now, though, I’ll start by drinking more water.
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