IV Therapy: The Runner’s Secret Weapon?
Every runner experiences it at some point in their life, especially if you run long distances. The discomfort and pain of overexertion. It’s not only the debilitating fatigue, but also the headaches, muscle aches, and the intensely uncomfortable gastrointestinal issues.
All you want to do is crash. You can’t move without every inch of your body hurting. Unfortunately, you also find yourself having to run for the bathroom as quickly as your worn-out body can go thanks to an incredibly painful upset stomach.
So, why does this happen? Basically, your body goes into fight or flight mode when you run for a longer distance. It diverts your blood away from your organ systems and redirects it to your muscles so that you can fight or run effectively. While this is essential for your muscles, it not at all good for your organs, including your stomach, which becomes almost paralyzed without proper blood flow. Blood flow is what stimulates digestion, and without it, digestion comes to a standstill. This is what causes the GI distress and it takes time for the body to recover. Unfortunately, drinking fluids at this point isn’t enough because you’re likely just to throw it up. It’s a vicious, uncomfortable, and potentially serious cycle.
Why Athletes Should Consider Trying IV Therapy for Runners
IV Therapy for Runners can be the runner’s secret weapon for preparing better before a race and recovering faster afterward. Intravenous fluids bypass the digestive system entirely, so you don’t have to worry about throwing them up before they can do you any good. Fluids given intravenously are absorbed directly into the bloodstream, going right to your cells and organs to help them recover quickly and function more effectively. IV fluids also rehydrate the body quickly, which restores your energy levels and relieves aches and pains in your muscles.
Getting adequately hydrated before a race is also crucial for proper body function. If you enter the race in a partially dehydrated state, your performance will suffer, and you will struggle to get through the race. You may try to gulp water or sports drinks as you run, but once you get to a certain point, they don’t do much good because you’re already too dehydrated and your body can’t recover quickly.
And, you don’t only have to worry about dehydration during a race. It can happen just as quickly during your daily runs or workouts, with the same uncomfortable results. Most of us know that we need to get adequately hydrated before a workout or race. However, what some don’t realize is that your body tends to get dehydrated during the night while you’re asleep. So, if you’re heading out for your run first thing in the morning before it gets too hot, you need to do more than just drink a few sips of water before you hit the pavement. You should never workout until your urine is 100% clear.
And, drinking water isn’t enough because your body must have electrolytes and micronutrients for proper function and recovery, too. IV fluids for runners include will include the extra nutrients and electrolytes your body needs, as well as the H2O. If you’re a serious runner, you really can’t afford to allow your body to get dehydrated in the first place. The process of recovery can be a long and agonizing one, preventing you from getting back to your regular workout routine for several days or more.
Potential Benefits of IV Therapy for Runners
Nutritional IV therapy can do more for runners than just provide adequate hydration. The potential benefits also include:
- A reduction in the oxidative stress within your body
- Enhanced cell repair
- Enhanced endurance
- Increased strength and tone in your muscles
- Fewer muscle cramps
- Better metabolism
- Improved muscle repair and growth
- More efficient use of energy
- Reduced inflammation
What’s in an IV Treatment for Runners?
According to Dr. Miriam Rahav and her IV specialists at Rahav Wellness, your doctor should create “a personalized IV cocktail that contains a combination of key nutrients, vitamins, and hydration to meet the unique needs of high-performance athletes.” Runners who receive IV therapy will find that they have more energy and perform better, and they are better equipped to tap into their body’s unique ability to heal itself. The treatments should be tailored for each individual patient, and a qualified clinic will even run lab work to see what your body needs.
Here are some of the nutrients that might be included in a runner’s IV cocktail:
- IV Fluids: The nutrients you will receive are delivered via a sterile saline solution that is absorbed directly into your bloodstream, giving your body instant access to the vitamins and other nutrients.
- Electrolytes: Electrolytes are the minerals that your body needs for the proper function of the muscles. They also help to repair damaged tissue and cells.
- B-Complex Vitamins: B Vitamins are often included in an IV treatment for athletes because they boost energy and support metabolism and cardiovascular function.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that enhances muscle growth, improves circulation, promotes wound healing and cellular repair, and supports bone health.
- Magnesium: This essential mineral enhances the function of muscles and nerves. Magnesium also plays a key role in cardiovascular health and the production of essential proteins.
- Glutathione: Glutathione is another powerful antioxidant. It helps the body remove free radicals after a workout and reduces oxidative stress so your body can recover more quickly between workouts.
- Amino Acids: Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Proteins are essential for cellular growth and repair, proper organ function, muscle growth, and the production of energy.
What to Expect During IV Therapy for Runners
When you go to a reputable IV nutrition therapy clinic for the first time, you will sit down with your practitioner to discuss your medical history and any concerns you have. Together with your practitioner, you will choose a combination of nutrients that will be most beneficial for your situation. The IV itself will be administered using the same medical grade equipment you would expect to receive at any hospital but in a more spa-like setting. Most treatments take about 30 minutes to administer.
Everyone walks away from a nutritional IV infusion, feeling energized, and replenished. Athletes will find that they recover much more quickly after a hard workout, and their performance, in general, is much better. IV therapy is the runner’s secret weapon for enhanced performance and fast recovery!
Last Updated on 22. May 2019 by Sabrina Wieser