Can an IV drip really cure a hangover?
As the celeb trend for revitalising intravenous treatments arrives in Ireland, Deirdre Reynolds is first in the queue to roll up her sleeve
Published 29/05/2015 | 00:00
You know you can't party like you used to when you find yourself attached to an IV drip the morning after the night before.
Watching a litre of vitamin-laced liquid slowly trickle into my vein in a South Dublin clinic earlier this week, that's the lesson I learned, anyway.
Three years after being made famous by Rihanna, the so-called 'party girl drip' has just arrived to these shores. And after three consecutive nights on the tiles, the latest in A-list recovery couldn't come soon enough for me.
Now I'm not exactly a Good Girl Gone Bad like Ri-Ri, who famously sent Google into overdrive when she requested a 'Duck Fart' cocktail on Alan Carr's Chatty Man last year. But tottering up to Venus Medical last Monday morning, there's no denying I was definitely suffering some of the classic symptoms of veisalgia - or a hangover, as it's more commonly known - having all but drained a bottle of Malbec the night before. The Dundrum-based clinic has just added celeb drip du jour REVIV to its menu of non-surgical cosmetic treatments. And promising to cure headache, tiredness and nausea in minutes, as well as replenish skin, hair and nails, all with zero calories, it's little wonder that the intravenous vitamin drip has replaced bacon butties and Bloody Marys as the Hollywood hangover cure of choice.
"We only started a few weeks ago and loads of clients have already had it done," says Dr Peter Prendergast, Medical Director of the clinic. "Everybody who sees it enquires about it."
Buzz about drips has been building since 2008 when Tokyo clinic Tenteki10 first began offering a ten-minute drip, where for just €15, Japan's famously hardworking businessmen and women could get a quick vit hit before dashing back to the office. By the time Rihanna tweeted a snap of her punctured forearm being pumped full of vitamins after the Met Ball four years later, officially to treat a bad case of the flu, IV infusions had officially become 'a thing'.
"Up until now, I would always advocate healthy eating and supplements such as vitamin C to complement the cosmetic treatments from the outside," says Dr Prendergast. "One of the problems with oral supplements is that they're not fully bioavailable," he adds. "In other words, they're not fully absorbed. By delivering them intravenously, the bioavailability is 100pc - you're injecting it directly into the veins."
'Royal Flush' and 'Vitaglow' are just two of the glamorously entitled infusions on offer from €199.
Burning the candle at both ends, but not yet completely burnt out, I plump for the most popular 'Megaboost' drip - a mix of vitamins and antioxidants that promises to "restore radiance to the body". Meanwhile, as the numbing agent sets to work on my arm, I also get a €45 B-12 Energy Booster Shot jabbed into my left shoulder - just in case.
Despite the dramatic snaps posted by celeb fans like Cara Delevingne, Kelly Osbourne and Rita Ora, having the IV drip plugged into my arm was happily pain-free.
Nonetheless, needle-phobes may want to look away as a small cannula is slotted into place and hooked up to the type of IV stand more usually seen in hospitals. Wheeling the stand to the relaxation room, my hangover instantly felt more VIP. But does the rehydrating drip actually work - or is it money down the vein?
Maybe it was the soothing piano music playing in the background or the stiff coffee I was slurping, but as the golden liquid drizzled down a clear tube and straight into my blood stream over the course of about an hour, there's no doubt that I began to feel better.
Two hours after entering the clinic with a dull head and heavy limbs, I left with a spring in my step - and a tell-tale plaster on my arm.
And while I didn't immediately morph into the multitasking Superwoman I had hoped, within about twenty-four hours, I also noticed that my skin felt softer and hair looked shinier, for a start.
Although there's no fear of overdoing it on the drip, which contains only water-soluble vitamins, Dr Prendergast warns against using it to sustain a party girl lifestyle.
"I don't recommend that," insists the medic. "The fact that it does very quickly alleviate the symptoms of a hangover - dehydration, headache, nausea, tiredness - isn't to say that we would want to promote alcohol abuse. If anything, the opposite."
Prevention may be better than cure, but as I spring out of bed the next morning after a sound night's sleep, with just a small bruise to show for my experience, ahead of the June Bank Holiday weekend, I'm not making any promises that I won't do it all over again.