Hydration therapy is a new health craze popular among overworked urbanites which involves pumping water, minerals, and vitamins directly into the bloodstream using an IV. While the treatment may sound healthy at first, a closer examination suggests that the health risks far outweigh the benefits when it comes to this fad.

The treatment infuses people with a combination of water and nutrients, and proponents claim it helps with everything from athletic performance to hangover relief and general fatigue. While it’s true that the IV infusion delivers the nutrients faster than ever, the real question is, do we need them? As reported by NPR, our bodies are perfectly capable of getting hydration and nutrition the old fashioned way, through drinking and eating. As long as you eat and drink enough, there should be no reason for you to suffer deficits.

What’s more, hydration treatment may also come with particular health risks. For example, as with any IV procedure, hydration therapy comes with the risk of infection, bruising and pain, and in more serious cases, can even result in a blood clot or inflammation of the vein, NPR reported. If the IV contains an unequal amount of electrolytes, it could create a nutrient imbalance, Healthline reported.

Due to these risks, the treatment is only given by a trained health professional. In addition, according to IV Ology, those requesting the procedure are given a medical assessment first.

Despite the mixed reviews from experts, one study suggested that hydration therapy’s noted healing power may actually be a result of the placebo effect. For example, in the 2009 study, researchers gave fibromyalgia patients either hydration therapy consisting of a cocktail of vitamins and minerals for eight weeks, or a standard saline solution. At the end of the study, all patients admitted to feeling better, regardless to what was actually in their IV.

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