When I heard celebs including Rihanna, Kelly Osbourne, and Cara Delevigne were all using drip therapy to perk themselves up from jet lag, exhaustion, and just being generally overworked — a little lightbulb went off in the back of my head. I live and work in the heart of Manhattan, and I'm also a mom to a bunch of smallish, wild kids, so fatigue is something I basically wear on my sleeve at this point. I've had my fair share of IVs in the past between childbirth, a generally adventurous spirit that inevitably lands me in a hospital bed every few years, or even a particularly bad bout of food poisoning from eating street food in Colombia a few years ago. (Note to self: Street food seems cool, but it's a bad idea when vendors have no place to wash their hands properly).
But a recreational IV? Never, and while I'm not one for needles usually, the idea of perking up this currently exhausted and very-pregnant NYC mom (baby number four on board!) was instantly appealing. So I headed into The Alchemist's Kitchen in the city, the only place where IVs are set up in an inviting, spa-like way, to load up on some happy hydration the way Rihanna is known to do.
According to Alain Palinsky, The Alchemist Kitchen's designer, "Long flights dehydrate you and IVs offer you a great hydration boost. Ours also offer vitamin C to activate your immune system to protect against catching colds from long flights, and B vitamins to give a clean energy boost."
At a little over seven months pregnant I haven't gotten off any long flights this week, but the idea of an immune boost and some clean energy (frankly, any energy, since coffee can only be had sparingly in pregnancy) was something I really wanted to get involved with. I obviously called my doc first and read her the ingredients one by one to see if it was safe for me — and that's something you should do, too. Don't be the person who just blindly injects their veins because Rihanna and Cara are doing it, OK?
I opted for the NutriCLEANSE drip bag with some of the more "active" ingredients removed (like the stimulant taurine, which my doctor and the registered nurse at the drip bar both suggested I leave out), and loaded up on the some vitamin C, B-complex vitamins, and a Glutathione boost at the end. I had no idea before asking my doc and the RN that Glutathione is actually a really important supplement to consider during pregnancy, especially for placental health. Win, win, win.
The scene is certainly celeb-friendly — gorgeous plant-covered walls, somewhat dim lighting, a private setting, live-edge tables, and an actual bar (yes, really, a bar) to set your IV bag on so you can enjoy vegan juices and herbal teas while letting the good stuff soak into your veins for 30 or so minutes. I won't lie to you, though, the needle part is awkward at first because you have this tranquil spa-meets-juice shop setting that suddenly turns clinical with rubber gloves, sterilization, and an actual ICU nurse, but within a few minutes it all sort of floats away and you're left wondering why other juice bars don't have the good sense to offer you a needle from time to time.
Yes, that's a shot glass of vegan watermelon and red pepper gazpacho beneath my IV bag, because that's just how these celeb dripperies roll — they want you to feel like a jet-set health nut during each drip experience versus the fatigued, overworked human you really are. Successful strategy, I say, because after I got my final "push" of Glutathione at the end (which basically is a needle right into the butterfly instead of a casual, slow drip), I genguinely felt like I had some some pep in my step that I hadn't seen since the middle of my second trimester. High five for that! I'm not totally sure how long this good feeling will last, but I can completely see why it's a celeb fave now, and at around $200 per drip, feels pretty exclusive, too.
For celebs and those ashamed to sit with needles in their arms publicly, they also offer an in-home IV option, which is apparently super popular for A-listers unable to handle being in public. Fortunately I'm not quite at that level, so I got to enjoy my juice and injections in tandem, and would totally recommend the experience to jet-lagged friends with cash to spare.
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