Hydration Strategy: Intravenous


Summer climates make people prone to dehydration, not only when spending long periods outdoors, but also from going about daily activities in the heat. Travel, strenuous physical activity and compromised immune systems exacerbate the risk.

If you are drinking the recommended amount of water (aim for 3 liters daily) and replenishing lost minerals by using an electrolyte product but still feel lethargic, consider I.V. hydration to get you back to feeling better.

I.V. stands for intravenous. It is the process of introducing fluids directly into a vein using a small tube called a catheter. Nutrients or medications can be diluted in the fluid. Hydration I.V.s contain electrolytes, which are minerals that help maintain fluid balance in the body.

A hydration I.V. provides sodium, potassium and calcium. All of these minerals are necessary for muscle contraction and nerve conduction and help prevent muscle cramps that accompany overexertion on a hot day.

Advantages of receiving nutrients intravenously are faster circulation and resulting well-being, higher concentration than can be achieved through oral consumption, and avoidance of gastrointestinal side effects, such as loose stools when taking too much vitamin C or magnesium.

Additionally, your body can absorb up to 70 times the nutrients intravenously compared to taking a pill!

B vitamins can be added to hydration I.V. solutions. Benefits of B vitamins include improved energy, enhanced cognitive function, and immune system support. B vitamins lower homocysteine (a marker of inflammation), treat nerve pain, and may help lessen depression and other mood disorders.

If you are dealing with an acute bout of illness or dehydration, one to two I.V.s on consecutive days or within the same week will often be an effective remedy. For maintenance, you may receive I.V. therapy as often as you wish. The intravenous route is just another way to feed your body the fluids, vitamins and minerals that it needs daily. And as with any treatment, the more consistent you are, the better results you’ll get.

Jessica Needle, ND practices at Optimal Health Center


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