Why Nutritional IVs Are The Hottest Thing In Athlete Recovery Right Now
I used to be old-school with my workout recovery: A post-workout shake and a few quick stretches, if I had time.
That worked in my 20s when I was curling a few dumbbells. But when the training became more intense during my SEALFIT Kokoro 42 and Mill Gym Cadre Camp preparation, my performance suffered. The weights and run times were stagnating. I was struggling to concentrate during the day from brain fog, and I felt tired and irritable.
So I paid careful attention to my recovery. A former high-level athlete and retired cop recommended nutritional IVs, and upon looking into it further I learned that what had started as a hangover cure in L.A., New York, and London a few years ago had morphed into the latest frontier of wellness treatments.
I visited The Drip Club, Adelaide, which treats local CrossFit stars like Amanda Allen and James Newbury, CEOs, stressed professionals, and everyday people, included those suffering from chronic illnesses like cancer.
Founder Kim Papp—a former firefighter and Gladiators contestant—offered me a probiotic drink and green tea before I completed a comprehensive health history sheet. From this, I had a medical consultation with the clinic doctor, Nicole Lloyd, and she recommended a megadose combination of vitamins (C and B complex), minerals (iron, magnesium, zinc), and antioxidants (glutathione and alpha-lipoic acid) in their most potent form, directly into my bloodstream and bypassing my digestive system.
Lloyd explained, "As we age, our ability to absorb vitamins, minerals, and nutrients decreases, especially if you're overtrained or your diet is not optimal. Nutritional IVs give you a jump-start, especially when you need to train a lot."
I had an open leg wound from a mistimed box jump, so I was dosed up with extra vitamin C—it limits free-radical damage and provides collagen, which is critical for skin health. The British Journal of Surgery found that World War II physicians who routinely gave surgical patients 1,000 mg of vitamin C daily for three days before surgery, followed by 100 mg daily during recovery, reduced the failure of wounds to heal properly by 76 percent.
Papp painlessly inserted a cannula into my arm, which slowly dripped goodness into my broken body via a saline solution for 45 minutes. I chatted with other people being treated—a business owner who had contracted food poisoning, a young mother suffering from the flu, and a semi-professional fighter.
Papp explained that it's important to stay hydrated, as we lose a lot of water from being in and out of our heated home and work environments. And I was sweating a lot from training outside in the height of the Australian summer.
For the first 24 hours, I felt exhausted. The heavy dose of magnesium forced my body to relax. Within two days, I was back to the punishing SealFit workouts or hiking up a mountain, which gave me the fitness to survive Kokoro and the Cadre Camps.
The verdict? I highly recommend nutritional IVs for athletes, weekend warriors, or anyone who needs a boost. If you're a professional athlete, ask for a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)–approved IV combination, which has to be less than 50ml.