For you to feel your best, every cell in your body needs water. But achieving that optimal level of hydration by simply drinking more water isn’t always the most efficient route to well-being.
Intravenous or IV infusion therapy offers a fast and effective way to restore your body’s proper fluid balance and deliver the crucial nutrients your body needs to thrive. And it’s not just about water balance! Beyond hydration, IV therapy is also helping people feel more energized, resilient, and revived. From high-performing athletes to queasy pregnant women to wellness warriors, people around the country are gaining these and many other health benefits with the help of IV therapy.
So, could IV therapy help you live a healthier life? Read on to learn more about IV nutrient and hydration therapy in the Twin Cities and meet the local practitioners helping us stay hydrated and healthy.
What is IV therapy?
While IV lines have been used for decades in emergency rooms, they’re becoming a popular elective therapy in wellness clinics around the country. Why? Because IV therapy restores healthy hydration levels much faster and replenishes tissue with fluids more effectively than drinking water alone.
IV therapy, also known as infusions or hydration, IV vitamin, or nutrient therapy, infuses fluid directly into your bloodstream via a small IV line. The fluid typically contains water as well as electrolytes, vitamins, antioxidants, or other healing substances.
Are there different types of IV therapy?
When deciding on the most appropriate IV therapy for you, you have a choice between two different categories of treatment, each tailored to meet specific needs:
- Hydration Therapy – Hydration therapy is mostly focused on replenishing water and electrolytes. This type of IV therapy is most often chosen by those looking to get quick relief from dehydration, nurse a hangover, relieve stress, enhance athletic performance, or improve overall wellness.
- Nutrient Infusion (IV Vitamin Therapy) – Nutrient infusion therapy also promotes healthy hydration, but includes a mix of healthful, restorative ingredients (often vitamins, antioxidants, or other healing compounds). This treatment is most often chosen to address a nutrient deficiency or manage various health conditions.
What’s in an IV solution?
Hydration infusions typically contain water and electrolytes to match the fluids found in our bodies. In a nutrient infusion, however, a practitioner formulates an individualized “cocktail” of nutrients to address certain symptoms or replenish deficiencies.
- Salt – Sodium is an electrolyte the body needs to absorb water and maintain a healthy fluid balance.
- Vitamins and minerals – In a nutrient infusion, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants are added to the solution to reverse a nutrient deficiency or improve a health condition (like jet lag, digestive issues, or chronic fatigue). Some commonly used nutrients include B vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium, calcium, amino acids, and glutathione (a powerful antioxidant).
- Medications – Some medications are best absorbed directly into the bloodstream through an infusion, rather than in pill form through the digestive tract. This method of administration is typically used during surgery and emergency care.
- Blood products – IV therapy is also used for blood and blood plasma transfusions in hospital settings.
Note, not all IV solutions are created equal. Ask about and compare nutrient dosing to ensure you’re getting a therapeutic dose of the vitamins and minerals.
What’s IV therapy used for?
Infusion therapy is most often used to combat dehydration. Dehydration occurs when you lose more fluids (and electrolytes) than you absorb. This can happen just by forgetting to drink enough water throughout the day, but other issues can cause dehydration as well. Excessive sweating, for instance, can result in dehydration in athletes or after spending too much time in the sun. You can also get dehydrated when you’re sick or after an operation.
If you have these symptoms, there’s a chance you might be dehydrated. And if so, you could benefit from IV hydration therapy. Possible symptoms include
- extreme thirst,
- dry skin,
- dry mouth,
- low blood pressure,
- lethargy, or
Aside from dehydration, IV vitamin therapy and nutrient infusions are also used for a wide range of symptoms.
For instance, some marathon runners choose to use IV hydration therapy during their training programs or post-marathon to support recovery. Pregnant women may find IV therapies supportive during the nauseous first trimester. Others use IV therapy to therapeutically deliver high levels of nutrients and vitamins to the bloodstream to maximize autoimmune and other chronic illness treatments. And for some people, IV and nutrient therapy is one way they practice regular self-care to stay energized and well. You may benefit from IV hydration therapy if you want support for
- jet lag,
- pain and arthritis,
- athletic recovery and performance,
- psoriasis and other skin conditions,
- wrinkles and aging skin,
- digestive disorders,
- infertility disorders,
- reproductive disorders, or
- general wellness.
What are the benefits of IV therapy?
- Fast, effective hydration – IV hydration therapy can quickly help alleviate the effects of dehydration, such as fatigue, headache, hangover, brain fog, disrupted sleep, or dry skin.
- Customizable to your needs – Infusion therapy solutions can be completely customized to meet your body’s needs and health goals.
- May help manage chronic conditions – Improving overall hydration and nutrient balance can help patients who need support for chronic conditions like migraines, asthma, sinus infections, chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic pain, digestive disorders, infertility, and more.
- Enhances athletic performance – Infusions help athletes and active people keep their bodies in optimal shape by replenishing lost fluids, enhancing tissue repair, and boosting energy.
- Reduces signs of aging and skin irritation – Hydrated skin is healthy skin. With hydration and nutrient infusions, you can reduce the signs of aging, clear inflammatory conditions like acne and psoriasis, and give your complexion an almost instant glow.
- Improves overall wellness and mood – When you have the right balance of fluids, electrolytes, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, your body is able to function at its best. That results in fewer illnesses, a boost in energy, and a better mood for you (and for those around you).
When should you consider IV therapy?
Dehydration and nutrient deficiencies are often sneaky culprits that cause or trigger our health symptoms—without us even knowing it. For that reason, IV therapy can be helpful nearly anytime you’re feeling less than 100%. Even if you’re feeling well, IV therapy is a useful self-care practice that keeps you in good shape and prevents future issues. You should consider IV therapy when
- you’ve lost a great deal of fluid through intense exercise, working outside, or illness,
- you’re exhausted,
- you have pain or have recurring headaches,
- your stress levels are through the roof,
- stubborn symptoms of illness aren’t going away,
- you’re managing a chronic health condition,
- you want to enhance your mental or physical performance,
- you feel not quite yourself, or
- you simply want to give your body a boost
Are there side effects to IV therapy?
Whether you’re considering hydration or nutrient infusion therapy, both options are safe when performed by a trained practitioner. In rare cases, patients have reported these mild side effects:
- muscle stiffness, or
- itching or tenderness at the injection site.
While extremely rare, any type of IV treatment can pose a serious risk for infection or thrombophlebitis. Reach out to your practitioner if you experience a fever, swelling, or shortness of breath.
There may be other potential side effects based on your health history, lifestyle, or other medications you’re taking that will be reviewed by your health practitioner at your appointment.
What’s an IV therapy session like?
Curious about trying IV therapy for the first time? Here’s what to expect.
Your appointment can be at a doctor’s office, a specialized IV clinic, or even at your home or office. The infusion therapy will take place in a private or semi-private space where you’re able to sit or lie down comfortably. A qualified practitioner will disinfect a small area on your arm where the IV catheter will go. As the IV is inserted, you may feel a slight pinch that quickly disappears. After that, you’ll relax for anywhere from 15–60 minutes while the fluids flow into your bloodstream.
During the session, most people feel relaxed and may feel some immediate benefits like pain relief, clearer thinking, and a boost in energy. Others feel the full effects of the treatment over the following day or two.
What does IV therapy cost?
The price for IV therapy treatment varies based on the clinic, the amount of the solution, the dosage of nutrients, and other factors. In most cases, an IV session is priced between $135–$225.
Most clinics don’t take insurance for IV therapy, but they often accept health savings accounts (HSAs) or flexible spending accounts (FSAs). Check with your practitioner for available payment options.
What are some similar therapies to IV therapy?
If you’re interested in the benefits of IV therapy but aren’t ready to try it for yourself just yet, you have a few options:
- Nutrition Counseling – When a nutrient deficiency is at the root of your health condition, a nutritionist can help you determine the best diet to follow to restore balance and relieve your symptoms. Rather than receiving your vitamins and nutrients through an infusion, you may be given oral supplements or a meal plan rich in the necessary nutrients your body needs.
- Oral Rehydration Solutions – Oral rehydration solutions are beverages that prevent and treat dehydration. Along with water, they contain electrolytes to help the body retain fluids.
Questions to ask your practitioner
Considering IV therapy? Here are some questions you might want to ask your practitioner:
- What is the dosing in your solutions?
Not all IV therapy solutions are the same, as they can vary widely in the amount of fluid and ingredients. Ask your practitioner about the solutions they use and why they’ve chosen a specific solution for you.
- Who is administering the IV? What’s their experience with IVs?
As with any medical treatment, it’s important to know that your practitioner is fully trained and licensed to provide IV therapy.
- Are you able to help me choose which solution is right for me?
The best solution for you is not necessarily the one you think you need. Share your health goals with your practitioner so they can help you decide which solution is best for you.
- Are there any contraindications with the solution I should be aware of?
IV therapy is safe for most people. But there are times when this therapy may not be recommended based on your health condition, medications, or other factors. Play it safe by answering your practitioner’s questions honestly and asking about possible contraindications.
- Do your solutions contain any preservatives?
Some IV therapy clinics use solutions that contain preservatives to extend their shelf life. Unfortunately, preservatives may weaken the effectiveness of a solution and may cause health complications. Consider finding a practitioner that uses fresh, preservative-free solutions for each individual.
- How often will I need to get IV therapy for my concerns?
Every person’s needs are different. That’s why it’s important to ask your practitioner how often you should expect to get IV therapy to reach your health goals.
Meet your local IV therapy practitioners
We met with four IV therapy practitioners to learn more about this unique treatment. Here’s what they think you should know about IV nutrient and hydration therapy in the Twin Cities.
Meet Melissa Pillsbury, R.N., IV Minnesota
IV Minnesota is a concierge IV hydration and vitamin therapy mobile clinic bringing IV therapy to the western suburbs.
Why do we need IV therapy?
Seventy percent of Americans are chronically dehydrated, so your body’s not functioning at an optimal level. Think of the oil in your car. You change your oil, you make sure your oil levels are good, right? You would never drive a car without any oil in it. Well, when you’re dehydrated, the same thing is happening to your body. You’re making your body work harder for normal daily function.
You also offer vitamin infusions. What makes that any different from taking a vitamin pill?
Patients always tell me, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m super healthy, because I take vitamins.’ And I say, great. I’m so happy to hear that you’re taking vitamins. But what is the quality of your vitamin? How good is your gut absorption? And most people have no idea what I’m talking about. The truth is, at best, you’re absorbing 40% of what you actually take in. But if you use IV hydration and vitamin therapy, 95% of those vitamins are bioavailable to your body. We’re able to optimize your health in a shorter period of time so it’s more efficient and more effective.
What do you wish more people knew when it comes to IV therapy?
I think it’s important for people to know that this is safe. You’re working with well-trained healthcare professionals, it’s safe to do, and it’s not scary. Everyone’s super anxious about “the poke,” but we’re not putting big needles in you like they do in the emergency room. We’re using much smaller needles.
A lot of people also wonder, what happens if something happens during their visit. Well, you have a critically trained nurse right there that can help assist you and get you the care that you need. We’ve done hundreds of IV infusions, and we’ve never had a bad outcome. Plus, you’re in the comfort of your own home, so it’s going to be a calmer experience for you and you’re not going to feel as anxious and worried.
Meet Lisa Gabriel, Operations Manager, Twin Cities IV
Twin Cities IV is an on-demand, mobile IV hydration company that serves Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Rochester, Saint Cloud, and the surrounding areas.
What are the key symptoms or experiences that IV therapy is really effective in supporting?
Migraines, food poisoning, cold and flu symptoms, COVID. Anytime you’re feeling depleted or fatigued, not taking in the proper nutrition and fluids you need to. If you or a loved one (like a grandparent) is struggling to hydrate themselves because of age or mobility, IV therapy is a great option.
Athletes that are wiped out (like marathon runners) and those with physically demanding careers can benefit. Anytime you’re doing something where it’s really easy to get dehydrated, it’s gonna lead to fatigue and bigger issues because when your hydration is diminished, it’s almost like a domino effect. IV therapy can help stop that before it happens, and that’s where we come in.
Tell me a little bit about how mobile IV therapy works. If somebody’s feeling under the weather and gives you a call, what’s the process like?
If someone calls, say around 8:30 in the morning, we can probably get to them in under two hours, and that’s a testament to our amazing team. Sometimes that’s not the case if we’re really busy, but that’s our goal—to try and get to somebody in under two hours.
Once you’re booked, the first thing we do is discuss your symptoms and medical history. When it’s time for your appointment, one of our experienced registered nurses comes to the house, does a basic assessment, and makes sure IV therapy is a smart option for you. Your safety is of the utmost importance to us, of course. Then, based on the symptoms, we create a care plan to help you feel better as soon as possible.
If I’m shopping around for this service, what’s important for me to know so I can make the best decision for me?
I think it’s important to know who’s making the determination of the care plan. For us, we are supervised by a medical doctor who has so much experience, and everyone who is coming out to see you is a registered nurse. We’re very diligent about safety, which is why we make sure we have a team in place that can respond appropriately and think on their feet in any situation. We have a smaller menu than a lot of companies because we follow all the recommended guidelines and are strict with our protocols. And that’s because we want what’s best for the patient. So, we want to keep things very, very simple, straightforward, and streamlined.
Meet Dr. Jessica Sabrowsky, DNP, RN, FNP-BC, Secoya Health
Secoya Health is an integrative wellness practice offering IV drip nutrition therapy.
IV therapy, IV hydration, infusions, drips, nutrient therapy…there are so many names for this service. How would you best describe it?
I would call the overall treatment IV therapy because there are different categories. There is hydration therapy, there’s nutrition therapy, and there’s also supportive therapy. What type to use depends on the individual.
Hydration therapy is for when people are actually dehydrated, and they can become dehydrated for a lot of reasons. It could be just that they’re taking in water, but they’re not getting enough. It could be that their bodies are just not absorbing like and pushing the hydration into the cells, so their cells are dehydrated. This happens to a lot of people, actually, if they’re not feeling well—if they’re athletes, if they’re working hard. Maybe they’re not getting the minerals that they need to help push the nutrients into the cells. Viruses, fever, or drinking alcohol, can also be reasons.
Nutrition therapy blends will have minerals, vitamins like vitamin C and B complex vitamins, and amino acids. These help on a cellular level to build muscle and things like that. And the beauty of adding these nutrients in the IV form is that your body is able to take those nutrients right into the blood vessels and they’re more bioavailable.
Then supportive therapies are like boosters. There’s something called a NAD drip, for example (nickel, tin amide, adenine dinucleotide), which we call a brain booster because it really helps you with brain fog.
What do we need to know about preservatives and IV therapies?
I would always ask your IV provider, do you use preservatives? And do you use multi-dose vials? How long? What is the shelf life of your product? How many doses do you usually use? And how long do you hold on to it?
All of the products that we use in our clinic are free of any probes or preservatives. We use fresh products for each individual, and I would highly recommend that anybody getting an IV infusion uses preservative-free products. Otherwise, what happens is that the clinic may reuse that same vial with multiple participants or patients, and there is no guarantee of the quality after that bottle has been opened. In some places that use preservatives, they can store the solutions for up to 30 days, which is too long a time.
Do you get IV therapy yourself?
Personally, I am a huge fan of IV therapy. To be honest, before I started here at the clinic, I was really skeptical. I found out I was moderately dehydrated, so I did a couple of IVs every other week for five weeks and afterward, I felt so much better. I mean, you just feel like your skin is glowing, and you have more bounce in your step. You mentally feel more clear. I was like the Energizer Bunny. I mean, I love it! So ever since then, I’m like a huge proponent. It definitely has a place in health care.
Meet Dr. Cassie Wilder, Minneapolis Integrative Medicine Center
Minneapolis Integrative Medicine Center is a modern integrative medical practice offering lab testing and nutrient infusions.
What’s the history of IV hydration? Is it new? Or have we just not been aware of it?
No, it’s a very old therapy. IVs historically have been used therapeutically in very high doses, very strategic doses, and potentially even like multiple IV bags in a row to get some sort of therapeutic output from the IV. It’s been used in cancer treatment for a long time. And now we’re starting to see it show up in different places—for wellness, hydration, and “glow.”
I think one big aspect that we try to get from people is, why do you want this? What are you trying to get it for? Are you post-COVID and you just want some immune system support? Great, a wellness drip with a lower dosage or not-so-complicated formulation is just fine.
But someone who’s trying to treat their Parkinson’s disease or get mold out of their body or treat Lyme or something like that will need a more extensive protocol.
What makes an infusion different from taking vitamins?
Infusions bypass any sort of GI or gut metabolism, the liver, and any of the organs that would traditionally take the first hit when it comes to oral absorption of a supplement. The result is that you’re getting 100% of the vitamins that we’re putting into your body, guaranteed. Your body is not having to assimilate them or it’s not having to process or uptake those vitamins.
You run an integrative practice—what’s the biggest reason you’ll refer a patient to your infusion room?
The biggest reason is actually for iron deficiencies. For patients who have iron deficiency due to things like heavy periods or difficulty eating enough iron to hit their daily goals, we’ll give them a series of iron infusions. That gets their levels back up to normal and they can start to see positive benefits within a couple of weeks.
Then, reason number two is usually for some sort of detoxification mechanism, whether they’re looking to improve their estrogen metabolism, detoxify from mold or heavy metals or environmental toxins, or whatever is in our crappy food and products. A lot of the infusion nutrients and high-dose glutathione will help detox that out.
But we also get people who already know they need an infusion. The most common reasons people reach out about infusions are probably anxiety and fatigue. Maybe before or after a stressful event, patients will come in and get an infusion of vitamins for support. For people with anxiety, they’ll come in because they just need their nervous system to calm down in general. Magnesium and other nutrients will really calm down your nervous system and make you feel a little bit more zen. Then obviously, for immunity, if people get sick or are post-COVID, they come in and get a little bit of support.
What questions should someone ask before getting an infusion at a clinic?
I want people to start asking how much they’re getting, and being able to compare because honestly, two milliliters of glutathione is like licking the side of an aspirin. You’re not gonna get much benefit from that. And yes, getting a lot of fluids is going to help anyone feel rehydrated. But you don’t need to be paying $200 for a 500-milliliter salt bag because that’s what normal saline is. It’s just salt water. And so, I want people to start asking, ‘What dose am I getting?’ and then compare that with different clinics because you’re not going to feel the benefits that you’re wanting unless you’re getting a reasonable dose of nutrients.
Interested in IV nutrient and hydration therapy in the Twin Cities?
IV therapy is a safe and effective treatment for anything from dehydration and nutrient deficiencies to athletic or prenatal support to general well-being. From visiting a wellness clinic to having a trained practitioner show up at your home or office, there are many ways to experience the benefits of IV therapy.
Are you interested in learning more about IV nutrient and hydration therapy in the Twin Cities? Search our directory to find the right IV therapy practitioner for you or contact us at email@example.com with any questions.
Editor’s note: Interviews have been edited for length and clarity.