For those committed to staying fit and healthy and feeling their very best, the wellness lifestyle space continues to expand to include a wealth of options, treatments and classes to diversify your routine—and they keep getting more and more enticing. In 2012, when Rihanna tweeted a photograph of herself reportedly getting a vitamin IV treatment, the practice was something you only heard of A-listers enjoying.
Fast-forward to 2019 and wellness clinics are setting up shop all over the country, offering full menus of energy-boosting and detoxing vitamin IV cocktails and shots for people to have at home, in the office or inside the comfort of a relaxing private suite. If you’ve seen them around and are intrigued, we know you have some questions: Is it safe? Does it work? What are the health benefits? Two intrepid ESSENCE editors booked appointments to get poked with a dose of natural goodness to find out. Read on for their assessments.
The Wellness Hook Up
As a busy magazine editor, I work a lot, and I’m guilty of forgoing a full night’s sleep in favor of getting my in-box to zero. I often feel tired and rely heavily on coffee to keep me going. I read that fans of vitamin IV therapy do it to cure hangovers and reset after traveling and to detox overall. When you take vitamins orally, you absorb a much smaller percentage of the nutrients through your gastrointestinal tract, but when bioavailable vitamins and minerals are distributed intravenously, they go straight into your bloodstream and you absorb nearly 100 percent of them.
I paid a visit to Clean Market, a wellness store and spa in New York City that offers food, products and services for purposeful nutrition. Inside there’s a NutriDrip and Booster Shot Lounge. A wellness IV drip should always be administered by a nurse or doctor, who will go over your medical history first to ensure that the treatment is safe for you.
After my consultation, I decided to try the spa’s most popular drip, the NutriCLEANSE ($249)—which is loaded with glutathione (known as the master antioxidant), selenium and vitamin C—to help with detoxifying and replenishing the body. I felt only a pinch from the needle, similar to when you give blood. The drip takes about 45 minutes, and you can lie back and listen to music or watch television. There wasn’t any pain, but I did feel a cooling sensation as the fluid began entering my bloodstream, which the nurse assured me was normal. About halfway through, I could actually taste the vitamins on my tongue. After my bag emptied, I was given an extra dose of glutathione intravenously and went on my way.
The results were instantaneous. I immediately felt lighter, as if I had a boost of natural energy and brainpower to get through the day. In addition to feeling revived, I was more relaxed at work and slept like a baby for the next four nights. My natural high lasted about six days, and I didn’t even think about stepping into a Starbucks. The nurse warned me that there would be a slight amount of soreness in my arm, which I felt two days later but barely even noticed. I’d do it again, especially after a hectic stretch in the office or a bachelorette weekend. The treatment is definitely Black Girl approved. — Charli Penn
Booster Shot, Anyone?
After experiencing some jet lag from a cross-country work trip, I paid a visit to a REVIV IV Wellness Spa in New York City to check out the wellness booster shots menu. I went with the vitamin B12 to address my fatigue. Although the process can feel clinical, it was very different from a doctor’s visit. Upon arrival, I was greeted by staff and given a waiver to sign explaining the risks. The nurse began with an ethyl chloride spray to numb the injection site, and when the needle went in, I didn’t feel a thing! The therapy was virtually pain-free, and I was in and out in under three minutes.
Unlike IVs, which act more rapidly, vitamin shots are injected into the muscle and the nutrients slowly release over the course of a few days. When the full effects kicked in about 24 hours later, I experienced a noticeable uptick in energy and more restful sleep. The booster shot method is a marathon, not a sprint. So get the injections regularly. Thankfully, at only $29 per shot, this treatment won’t break the bank. — Jasmine Grant
Black-Owned Business Alert
If you’re in the Chicago area, you can road test this wellness trend and support a Black-owned business too. In 2018 best friends and physicians Gameli Dekayie and Chantale Stephens-Archer opened Quench Wellness in the city’s South Loop. The center offers a variety of services, including IV vitamin infusions, vaginal laser therapy, and hormone replacement. (We see you, ladies!) .
This article originally appeared in the October 2019 issue of ESSENCE Magazine, on newsstands now.