Celebrities and social media influencers have flocked to the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, which kicked off April 14, to take in the latest in art and music. And some willingly have hooked up to IV drips in the name of health.
The drips are courtesy of California-based IV and injection therapy company the Hydration Room, which set up a pop-up clinic near Coachella. The Hydration Room has documented some of its patients receiving treatment on Instagram, and photos show festivalgoers casually perched in poolside loungers with IVs in their arms. Among other things, the captions said participants were “prepping” for the festival, “staying hydrated,” and “recovering” afterward.
According to its website, the Hydration Room offers a range of IV therapies to its clients, including “immune and liver support” ahead of festivals, vitamin C for skin health, “mood elevation and calming vitamins” for destressing, and hangover detoxes that contain a “potent anti-nausea medication.”
But the Hydration Room isn’t the only company touting the perks of IV therapy — Reviv and Australia’s Hangover Clinic have similar offerings. Of course, to get all these promised benefits, you have to sit with an IV drip in your arm for about 30 minutes. So is it really worth the hype?
Women’s health expert Jennifer Wider, M.D., tells Yahoo Beauty that the concept is “ridiculous,” largely because of the potential for complications. “Any time you put a needle into someone’s arm, there is a risk,” she explains. “There’s the potential for bruising, an infection, a clot forming in the arm, or inflammation of the vein.”
Although an IV drip will rehydrate you, Wider says it’s “much safer” to hydrate orally instead. She also has concerns about the implication: If you drink too much, the IV drip will help you recover. “It may encourage people to binge-drink,” Wider says. “If they don’t feel the full effect of a hangover, they may be more likely to overdrink, which comes along with its own set of risks.”
This form of therapy isn’t cheap: IV treatments start at around $150 and go up to about $200, depending on where you go and the type you choose.
If you want to make sure you’re staying hydrated in a festival atmosphere, Wider says, it’s better to simply increase your fluid intake and eat well. “If your body is healthy and everything is functioning normally, you can definitely rehydrate by drinking plenty of fluids and reap the benefits from a healthy diet with nutrients and vitamins,” she says.
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