Although IV therapy was mostly used in hospitals for alleviating dehydration, it has now entered the world of sports. It’s a popular way for athletes to enhance their athletic performance and improve their recovery after intense gameplay.
The therapy treatment includes injecting electrolytes, fluids, and other important nutrients directly into their bloodstream for the best results.
Giving athletes the necessary fluids, vitamins, electrolytes, and minerals benefits them with quick recovery, which supports their overall well-being. In this blog, we will further discuss the types of IV treatments, their benefits to athletes, and some possible side effects.
The Best IV Therapy Treatments for Athletes
IV therapy offers multiple advantages to upscale athletic performance while helping in recovery. Although hydration IV therapy is the most popular treatment, other IV therapy treatments could also be used to increase athletic performance.
Let’s take a look at some IV treatments below:
- Hydration Therapy
This therapy hopes to tackle dehydration by injecting electrolytes and fluids into the athletes’ bloodstream.
It works especially well for athletes who are often involved in physically intense sports and work out in hot conditions, with higher chances of dehydration.
- Detoxification Therapy
This type of therapy can improve the overall well-being of athletes by helping them reduce toxins from their bodies and reduce inflammation.
For example, glutathione is a potent antioxidant that helps protect against oxidative stress and even helps reduce inflammation levels.
- Nutrient Therapy
Nutrient therapy drips a blend of the necessary minerals and vitamins directly into the body. This therapy can support muscle recovery and growth while also increasing the energy levels of the athletes.
For instance, magnesium is important for muscle function and energy metabolism, whereas amino acids are required for repairing muscle tissue. Plus, vitamin B12 helps to lessen fatigue and replenish your energy levels.
- Vitamin IV Therapy
An intravenous line uses multiple vitamins, nutrients, and other minerals in the bloodstream of the athletes during vitamin IV therapy. This type of therapy aims to give an immediate way to transfer particular vitamins directly to the cells.
Athletes commonly use vitamin IV therapy to increase the process of recovery and improve their performance. Plus, along with boosting energy, the treatment helps to lessen fatigue, improves mental health, and increases the process of healing after a possible injury.
Benefits of IV Therapy in Recovery and Performance
Now that we know the different types of IV therapy available for athletes, let’s learn about the benefits of these treatments:
- Improves Recovery Time
When athletes engage in high-intensity exercise, they could have micro-tears in their muscles, which may lead to fatigue.
IV therapy treatments may decrease this inflammation by providing the body with anti-inflammatory agents, including zinc, glutathione, and vitamin C. These can help athletes recover faster and work out without disruptions.
- Boosts Healing
IV therapy can help athletes experiencing illnesses or who have incurred injuries. For example, athletes who recently had surgery or are recovering from an illness may need more nutrients to support their recovery process.
The treatment can directly provide nutrients into the bloodstream of the athletes, which is the best approach for speeding up the healing process.
- Provides Hydrating Fluids
IV therapy involves using intravenous fluid bags to restore lost electrolytes and fluids. This prevents dehydration and improves athletic performance.
Plus, the therapy also provides athletes with all the necessary minerals and vitamins needed for muscle recovery and growth, including amino acids and magnesium. This helps them recover faster and increase their endurance.
Side Effects of IV Therapy Treatment for Athletes
Athletes often see IV therapy treatments as procedures that only lead to benefits. However, they should consider some potential side effects before going for these treatments. Let’s check out some examples:
- Imbalance of Electrolytes
Electrolytes like potassium, sodium, and calcium minerals can help improve athletes’ bodily functions. However, vitamin IV therapy may change the electrolyte balance in the body and result in unsteady heart rhythms and dehydration.
To prevent that from happening, athletes should get a checkup for electrolyte imbalances and get proper treatment if required.
- Risk of Infections
IV therapy requires a professional to insert a needle into your vein. If the needle isn’t sterilized before use, it can increase the chances of infection by a significant margin.
And these infections can range anywhere from barely-there skin infections like cystic acne to more severe ones like sepsis, which could be life-threatening.
- Blood Clots
Blood clots typically occur when an IV catheter is left for a long period. They can block the blood flow of athletes to vital tissues and organs. This may result in critical health complications like strokes or pulmonary embolisms.
So, medical professionals should carefully evaluate athletes for possible blood clot signs when giving IV treatments, and the IV catheter must be removed as soon as possible if any signs manifest.
- Allergic Reactions
Athletes could react badly to the substances used in the therapy treatments. They could develop symptoms like swelling, itching, and even difficulty in breathing. In some cases, these allergic reactions could threaten their lives and may require quick medical attention.
For this reason, athletes should always disclose their allergies before choosing any IV therapy treatment.
The scope of IV therapy has changed. Now, not only is it used for tackling dehydration, but it also works well for athletes looking to improve their performance.
And although many treatments are available — each having its own benefits, athletes must always discuss IV therapy treatments with a medical professional to evaluate possible side effects.
Healthcare professionals can help athletes find a safe treatment that could take their athletic performance to the next level with minimal risk of any side effects.
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