It’s the secret elixir for athletes like Ryan Lochte, partiers and people with glowing skin. Is intravenous hydration just another health craze or the ultimate quick fix for our health and beauty goals?
It’s a health and beauty treatment that slid under the radar for many of us until Ryan Lochte made it overnight news with his latest Olympic committee gaffe. In case you missed it, Twitter photos of Lochte and a female friend getting hydration IV’s caused him to be banned from competition for 14 months because of a clause in Olympic guidelines limiting use of IV fluids.
Who knew? (Not Lochte.) But now we all know that IV hydration is becoming part of the health and beauty regimens of everyone from Olympic swimmers to their non-athlete friends. In fact, an IV hydration company, Mojo Hydration, just began here this summer and already has an impressive client list, including our own hometown athletes, the Louisville City FC soccer team.
IV hydration therapy may be garnering more and more attention, but there’s still a lot of confusion about how it works. Basically, it is a treatment that pumps water, minerals, and vitamins directly into the bloodstream using an IV and it provides fast relief from a number of ailments. The notion emerged five to seven years ago in large cities like Las Vegas, Miami, and New York City. Since then, the health trend has continued to grow and offers a wide range of beauty and wellness remedies.
Hydration Hits Home
In May of 2018, Louisville entrepreneur, Chad Donegan started Mojo Hydration to offer our city easy access to these treatments. “We looked at other companies offering these services in the Midwest at an affordable price point. Most (larger) cities sell their base service at $200,” Chad shares. “We felt Louisville would be a great fit due to the amount of athletic participation, social life and commitment to improved wellbeing.”
There are a variety of treatments that Mojo Hydration (www.mojohydration.com) offers. By visiting the website or downloading the Mojo app, clients can pick the day, time, and particular package they are interested in receiving. Packages include athletic performance enhancement, athletic performance recovery, beauty and wellness, and they even have packages that can ease the aftereffects of that “too much fun” night out with friends, along with four different types of booster shots. Prices range from $99 to $119. An average treatment, administered in the comfort of your own home, takes 45-60 minutes. “There are protocols established by our medical director, which our RNs follow. Each customer will have an assessment done by the RN prior to administering the IV treatment consisting of taking the customer’s blood pressure, heart rate, and a few other questions,” Chad explains. “Upon the first visit, they are also required to fill out a one-time medical history and waiver before the treatment begins.”
Pros and Cons
With any health and wellness treatment, there are pros and cons to consider, so I caught up with Dr. Chris McClellan with OneMD in St. Matthews for his thoughts on this emerging trend. “From a positive standpoint, these treatments do help with clinical hydration,” says Dr. McClellan.
“They replenish fluid balance, leading to faster resolution of symptoms like headaches, muscle cramps, and fatigue that are associated with dehydration. Also, it provides a rapid resolution of electrolyte abnormalities.”
However, there are possible downsides. “IV hydration (improperly administered) can expand circulating volume too quickly and lead to fluid in the lungs, causing acute shortness of breath and an increase in blood pressure,” he says. “There is a risk of swelling in the lower extremities (legs). If a patient has underlying heart, kidney, or liver disorders, IV hydration can exacerbate fluid retention and produce heart failure.” (This is why Mojo Hydration’s nurses take a medical history before administering treatment.) Placement of the IV can produce vein irritation called superficial thrombophlebitis or if fluid leaks out of the cannula (this is the thin tube inserted into the vein to administer the treatment), it can produce what is called an infiltrated IV when fluid is inadvertently put into the soft tissue.”
Louisville City FC has been using Mojo Hydration since mid-May once the U.S. Open Cup started and have continually used it off and on since then to help cope with the additional games on their schedule. According to their trainer, Scott Ritter, they use it to give their players a chance to rehydrate between games. It is a valuable service as they have a small roster, so it enables them to recover and be ready to play for their next match. “Between regular season and the Open Cup, there are weeks where we play three games in seven days or five games in thirteen days,” he says. “We typically have Mojo Hydration set up for the morning after we play when all the guys are coming in to train. While there is no way to prove it, I feel that our muscular injuries have been limited.”
Chad sees this trend expanding quite rapidly, “People are seeking more and more medical service on-demand and out of the normal medical system, which can be quite expensive and time consuming. We are planning pop-up shop treatments with Fleet Feet at their stores prior to and after large races held in Louisville.”