Can An IV Drip Cure Your Hangover? We Put It To The Test.
By GEORGE EMBIRICOS, Food Republic December 04, 2014
I’ve never heard of Lactated Ringer’s solution before. But, here’s what I do know: after being injected with roughly 2,000 milliliters of the bizarre-sounding liquid, I am finally beginning to feel like a real person again. It’s Sunday afternoon. I’m sprawled out on my couch. There’s a large needle protruding from a vein in my right arm. And, there’s a strange woman by my side — a good-looking strange woman, I might add — who is wearing rubber gloves. How did I get to this point?
I try and slowly piece together events from the previous night:
I recall trying furiously to light a cigarette, oblivious to the dirty looks I'm getting from those around me and unconcerned with the fact that the bar I'm at — like every bar in New York City — strictly prohibits smoking. It's the law. One more thing: I don’t even smoke cigarettes. Yes, it was one of those nights that we’ve all been through at some point or another. (Or, one of those nights that I’d like to think that we’ve all been through at some point or another.) The nights in which an excess of alcohol is consumed, a number of questionable decisions are made and an abundance of actions — at least, the ones that can be remembered — are regretted the following day. It’s over the course of this day that the inevitable massive amounts of physical pain begin to creep in and accompany the mental anguish. I am, of course, talking about that dreaded three-syllable word that incites cringing at its mere mention: the hangover.
I’ve had the misfortune of dealing with some hangovers of epic proportions. In the few years since I’ve graduated college (where I performed admirably in my capacity as a “frat star”), the combination of a rapidly declining physique and an uncanny penchant for dark liqueurs has been the downfall of many, many weekend mornings after and likely a main reason for the severity of said hangovers. Somehow, being dragged to go through the motions of a FlyWheel class every other month has yet to offset the stiff pours of Patron Café that I enjoy guzzling on a regular basis. Go figure.
So, how exactly to beat a hangover? That has always been the big question, and it has led to some serious experimentation on my end. Some try to counter alcohol’s effects by remaining hydrated throughout the course of a night out or by downing a Gatorade immediately before going to bed. Others swear by eating certain foods upon waking up. (In America, the most common choice seems to be anything of the overly greasy variety.) An increasing number of companies market liquid or tablet supplements — packed mostly with B-vitamins, alertness aids and/or other “natural ingredients” — that are sold over-the-counter at drugstores and online as “cures.” During a particularly odd phase in college, I was somehow convinced that the solution was to squirt exactly 40 drops from a bottle of trace mineral liquid into a glass of ultra-purified water before chugging it. Imagine practicing this routine plastered at 3 a.m. Odd, indeed. The sad truth is, however, that none of these remedies has ever resulted in a significant improvement to my self-inflicted ailments. The closest I’ve ever come to successfully combatting the misery is by paying a visit to the East Village’s venerable Russian & Turkish Bathhouse to sweat it all out. But going that route involves having to leave the confines of your apartment — a daunting task in prime hungover condition. Not to mention a frightening amount of fully naked European men smacking each other with dried oak leaves.
And that’s where The I.V. Doctor comes in. The brainchild of general surgeon Dr. Adam Nadelson, the months-old company dispatches board-certified physicians and medical professionals directly to clients’ (patients'?) apartments or houses in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles and, naturally, the Hamptons. Clients are hooked up to an IV and can choose additions from a menu that includes anti-nausea, anti-heartburn and anti-inflammatory medications. Appointments can be arranged online as late as the morning of, and are set up in the comfort of clients’ own homes. Yes, it’s even possible to get it done while lying in bed! With the stated goal of helping hungover, jetlagged and/or dehydrated patients feel and look refreshed almost immediately, Dr. Nadelson’s service is the first to offer these types of treatments outside of Las Vegas. As you might imagine, it comes at quite a premium: individual packages start at around $200. As you might also imagine, a large percentage of his clients work in finance and rely on the IV Doctor as part of a “work hard, play hard” lifestyle.
But back to my couch. The morning after my ill-fated, aforementioned cigarette night (we’ll refer to it as “CN” from here on out), the IV Doctor was kind enough to send over one of its nurses to administer its most popular and complete service — aptly titled “Revive” — free of charge. I was hooked up in a matter of minutes as I sat on my couch with some friends who had assembled to mock me watch football.
Quick sidenotes: this nurse was remarkably attractive and I momentarily debated the chances of striking up a little doctor-patient-workplace-type romance before the fluids kicked in and snapped me back to my sweatpants-wearing, slob-of-a-self reality. She also appeared to greatly enjoy our group’s dynamic, which consisted of these so-called “friends” alternating between recounting my drunken antics and taking gut shots at me as I groaned in pain — partly from a splitting headache and partly from watching my beloved New York Jets' beleaguered quarterback, Geno Smith, throw his third interception... of the first quarter.
But, does it work? The short answer is yes. The 40-minute session eliminated the jitteriness and disorientation that often results from nights like CN. All traces of nausea were quickly gone. Sure, I may have not felt quite like running a marathon, but that would also have required my running 25.2 more miles than I ever had in a single day to that point. There was no longer a need to cancel a planned family outing later in the day, a far-too-common weekend occurrence for which I had begun to run out of excuses. In the span of less than an hour, the IV Doctor made me a functional person once again… until the next CN, at least.