Getting the Intravenous Drip 

IV Drips have arrived in the Gables

The idea of the health-giving IV drip is straightforward: If you administer a concentrated cocktail of vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, and other trace nutrients directly into the bloodstream, they will bypass the digestive track and go right to work, delivering a concentrated blast of health. 

First pioneered by a Baltimore physician named John Myers, as well as noble-prize winning Vitamin-C champion Linus Pauling, the idea of instantly rectifying vitamin and nutrient deficits with an intravenous drip first went viral in Las Vegas as a cure for hangovers. It gained steam with celebrities, from Madonna to Rhianna, turning to IV drips to recover from exhaustion during tours.

Today the “treatment” remains controversial. Even Wikipedia declares that “Meyers’ cocktail is an intravenous (IV) vitamin therapy that lacks scientific evidence to support its use as a medical treatment.”

That may be so. But after my first drip at the IV Bars on Ponce de Leon Boulevard, you’ll have to convince me otherwise. Did I get a boost? You mean, beyond the feeling of well being that suffused me afterwards as I listened to a Mainly Mozart concert at the Sanctuary of the Arts? Or beyond finding myself that Saturday night at a Home Depot buying tools at 9 pm? Or later that night, pouring my second vodka at 11 pm while listening to the soundtrack of Hamilton? Or the next morning when, clipping hedges at 8 am, noticing I was hangover free?

The formula that I tried was the Myers Plus, a 500 ml cocktail containing vitamin C, magnesium, B-12, B complex, manganese, zinc, copper, and selenium. It cost more than the regular Myers Cocktail because it has those last three trace minerals, plus five times the saline, for hydration.

Andrew Magarino, the manager of iV Bars Coral Gables, with a customer

“Ninety-nine percent of the people who walk in, like the average American, are dehydrated,” says Andrew Magarino, the manager of the Gables’ IV Bars, which is part of a national chain based in Dallas, Texas. Usually, rehydrating alone makes people feel better, but then there’s the vitamin-mineral boost that bypasses your digestive system, which typically prevents 70 to 85 percent of vitamins you take orally from reaching your bloodstream.  

“When [new] customers come in, I like to ask them what they’re looking for, the benefits,” says Magarino, who worked as a paramedic for more than a decade before joining IV Bars. “Nobody comes in here if they are feeling great. They are looking for something –for energy, or to boost their immune system, or for weight loss, or for fertility” (yes, they do have a libido enhancing formula). Magarino says he is especially amazed by the impact of high doses of Vitamin C. “I’ve actually had people come in post-Covid and tell me they still don’t have their taste and smell. We’ll give them a high dose Vitamin C…  I’ve had three people call me the next day, to say ‘Thank you so much, I got my taste and smell back.’”

IV Bars, which offers 21 cocktails for between $100 and $275 each (insurance does not cover the cost), is not the only drip in town. The Spa at the Biltmore Hotel now also offers IV infusions for between $195 and $340. Our favorite: the “Pre-Party,” a blend of nutrients “to help fully enjoy the next day by avoiding a hangover. Start the party with a pre-party IV treatment.” Or maybe just strengthen your immune system; most infusions take between 10 and 30 minutes.