The IV Bar Guide

Written by: the Editors of goop


Updated on: January 11, 2018


Reviewed by: Robin Berzin, M.D.


Update: There is currently a saline and IV bag shortage because one of the US’s largest suppliers—whose manufacturing facilities are located in Puerto Rico—was crippled by Hurricane Maria. The limited supplies are vital for hospitals and patients undergoing chemo; we will update this story as the supply chain opens up again. Puerto Rico still desperately needs our help, thoughts on where to donate to relief organizations here.

We’re pretty into exploring different approaches to hangover cures—or, more realistically, figuring out the best ways to alleviate side effects—which is why IV hydration services first piqued our interest as a super-charged way to hydrate the morning after. As they’ve grown more popular (and readily available) in recent years, they’re also becoming known for a broader spectrum of benefits. “IV hydration is known as a quick hangover treatment, but now clinics are marketing a range of indications, from migraines and altitude sickness to skin health to IV nutrition to infusions of anti-aging molecules,” says functional medicine physician Robin Berzin, M.D., who helms the holistic medicine practice Parsley Health, with locations in LA, SF, and NYC. “Nutritional IVs usually focus on vitamins and compounds that are poorly bioavailable when ingested orally (like glutathione and Vitamin C).”

For a bit of guidance in choosing whether or not hitting the IV bar is right for you, and what to consider if you do, we asked Dr. Berzin for a few pointers. Below, her helpful tips, along with our picks for options in major cities.

Dr. Berzin’s Advice

WHAT TO LOOK FOR: “The main things to look for are experience and credentials, in both the medical director of the service and the individual administering the IV. Even with something as simple as an IV, practices can vary significantly from provider to provider based on experience—for example, do they let a metal needle sit in your arm for the duration of the drip or use a soft plastic catheter? Do they use local anesthesia at the IV site? Do they use inexpensive supplies or spring for nicer ones?”

“Another thing to consider is the provider’s ability to handle emergency situations. IVs are certainly low-risk, but they aren’t risk-free. Adding any compound to a sterile drip carries some (very little, but some) risk of severe allergic reaction, and just because a provider is experienced in placing IVs doesn’t mean they have experience troubleshooting side effects or bad outcomes.”

WHAT TO ASK YOUR DOCTOR: “Before you go, ask about side effects that may take effect in the next day and how to contact them if you feel there is anything wrong (like an infection or clot at the site of the IV). Be aware of signs of dehydration as not all providers are careful about calculating how to dilute or how concentrated the IV solution may be.”

WHAT YOU’RE PAYING FOR: “Usually the cost of IVs depends on the price of the additives going into the IV and the cost of the particular provider’s time. It’s worth it to pay a bit more for providers who know how to handle bad situations, from emergencies to suboptimal side effects.”

Get Your Fix

  • The I.V. Doc <br><em>United States, London, and Ibiza</em>

    The I.V. Doc
    United States, London, and Ibiza

    The I.V. Doc is in nineteen different cities, and fully mobile, so they bring the hangover concoction to you. (We partnered with The I.V. Doc to bring liquid hydration to our first In goop Health summit in LA.) Because it’s managed by physicians, they’re able to review your medical history and prescribe meds for top treatment efficacy. They’ve expanded overseas; you can now get a refreshment sesh in London or a much-needed hangover fix in Ibiza.

  • VIVAMAYR London <br><em>Marylebone, London</em>

    VIVAMAYR London
    Marylebone, London

    Like their no-nonsense center on Lake Wörth in Austria, VIVAMAYR’s London location focuses on resetting the digestive system with a clinical approach to health and a reputation for glowing results. Their medical team offers a spectrum of care—from diagnostic blood tests to oxygen therapy–but you can book just an IV infusion, too. The space itself is blissfully quiet despite its urban setting, with a home-like office overlooking a private courtyard.

  • NutriDrip <br><em>New York City</em>

    New York City

    Book at either their Flatiron or East Village location (the latter happens to sit under the gorgeous Alchemist’s Kitchen herbal remedy shop) for a liquid boost. Here, you have the option to choose from IV bags under four categories—detox, immunity, beauty and performance, and hangover recovery—with a medical professional to help you navigate your specific needs and goals. Plus, they have an on-call service called Hangover Club, which gets an RN to your door in under an hour.

  • House Call Aesthetics <br><em>New York City</em>

    House Call Aesthetics
    New York City

    From founder Dr. Alexandra Palma, MD, a Harvard- and Columbia-educated functional medicine doctor and clinical aesthetician, House Call offers super-flexible scheduling and personalized services, all easily arranged online. You can schedule IV treatments for a big group of people, too—plus, they’ll go anywhere in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Westchester County, and Greenwich, Connecticut.

  • Be Hive of Healing <br><em>Agoura Hills, California</em>

    Be Hive of Healing
    Agoura Hills, California

    Be Hive of Healing employs a mix of conventional and alternative medicine to achieve the ultimate goal of restoring the body’s natural equilibrium—often by removing its dependence on artificial substances or medications. Dr. Habib Sadeghi achieves this through a number of methods, from integrative bioregulatory medicine (iBm), a practice that identifies imbalances in the body that lead to illness, to prolotherapy, a natural treatment for inflammation. They also offer concentrated IV nutrition therapy, and if needed, patients can schedule a house call.

  • Infuse Wellness <br><em>Santa Monica, LA</em>

    Infuse Wellness
    Santa Monica, LA

    Infuse Wellness offers IV remedies for a range of ailments as well as athletic performance and recovery. Renee Magaña, M.D., administers the IVs herself when in-office, and her trusted RNs are under specific instructions on how to best meet medical needs when not. Plus, their popular Jet Set drip is a nice option after a trip across time zones—it has vitamin C, glutathione, and magnesium, which are all thought to relax tense muscles and aid sleep.

  • IV Vitamin Therapy <br><em>Beverly Hills, LA</em>

    IV Vitamin Therapy
    Beverly Hills, LA

    This husband-and-wife operation is outfitted with flatscreen TVs and a small library of books and magazines to keep you entertained during your 30-minute drip. And, whether you go for a Myers cocktail or custom bag from their on-site lab, they follow super-strict IV quality standards.

  • The Hydration Room <br><em>Orange County, California</em>

    The Hydration Room
    Orange County, California

    The Hydration Room’s several OC locations—in Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, and Corona Del Mar—offer drips which aid in recovery from jet lag, fatigue, and B-12 deficiency. Registered nurses attend to your needs in an all-around luxury experience complete with contemporary, beach-house-esque treatment rooms.

The views expressed in this article intend to highlight alternative studies and induce conversation. They are the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of goop, and are for informational purposes only, even if and to the extent that this article features the advice of physicians and medical practitioners. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.