I Tried IV Vitamin Therapy to Help My Hangover

I love TIFF for a few different reasons. For one, it puts Canadian talent in the much-deserved spotlight. Secondly, it’s a fashion lover’s paradise. (Did you see Lupita’s headpiece?) TIFF is also a time when even the most health-conscious homebodies, such as myself, come out to play. And, though it’s fun to play party girl for a few days (I’m talking late nights and lots of wine), it comes at a price—which is looking and feeling rough AF the next day.

This year, I decided to do something about the TIFF-induced lethargy (and headache and bloating and dehydration) and try IV vitamin therapy—a celeb-approved method of re-energizing. In a nutshell, it costs $100 (give or take) and delivers vitamins, minerals and amino acids directly into the bloodstream intravenously. It is a faster, more efficient way to get a boatload of nutrients into the body than drinking a 12-pack of juice—and you don’t have to worry about malabsorption or digestive issues (for those who have taken too much vitamin C, you get what I’m saying).

Though IV vitamin therapy is often used to treat a variety of different health issues (think: chronic illness, muscle repair, immune deficiencies, etc.), the therapy has been highly publicized as a revitalizing post-bender detox method. Sold.

Rolling into the VitaminDrip clinic, located in Toronto’s Adelaide Health Club clinic, on Monday morning after the first TIFF weekend, I looked like the perfect candidate for a “before photo”: My skin was grey, my eyes puffy and my body bloated. Dr. Cristina Allen, the bright-eyed naturopathic doctor who administered my treatment, assured me that I wasn’t the worst patient she’s ever seen. (Bless)

After a thorough health assessment and a discussion about my goals, Dr. Allen put together a special cocktail with more than 10 different vitamins and minerals for my drip. In the mix: B complex and B12 to help with my extreme fatigue; magnesium to calm my nerves; vitamin C to protect my immune system and plump up the collagen in my skin; glutathione to detoxify the body; lots of fluids to flush out the system and rehydrate; and B5 to help metabolize carbs. (Who knew?!) As I sat in a leather recliner, she carefully administered the IV. Thankfully, my throbbing headache distracted me and it really didn’t hurt at all. Seconds later, I could feel the cool fluids rushing through my veins. Although I didn’t feel immediate relief from the drip, according to Dr. Allen she’s seen patients respond to the therapy almost instantly.

Less than 25 minutes later, I was done—fast, easy, painless. I rushed back to the office for more TIFF madness. I don’t know if it was my fourth espresso kicking in or the vitamins taking effect, but about halfway through the day I felt a fog lift. Everything from my cognitive function to my mood improved drastically and by the time I hit the evening TIFF function, I was feeling more energized than I had felt in days.

The next morning, though, I was back to my tired self. It’s not really surprising, though, because Dr. Allen did warn me during the treatment that to have long-term improvements, you have to receive the IV therapy consistently. She recommends following up once a week for four weeks to fully allow the body to restore its nutrient levels. So, while I can’t speak for it’s long-term effects (yet), I can say that it did help me feel better after my crazy weekend at TIFF. I’ll keep this in mind for future benders.