UltraVive: Does an IV Hangover Cure Work? A First-Person Perspective
Since mead first made its way into the mouths of the ancient Greeks, mankind has been plagued by hangovers. And despite the advancement of medical technology, we've yet to find a cure.
Most of us just suffer through -- taking snake oil supplements, downing a hair of the dog, or hovering over the porcelain throne. But at Reviv Med Spa in Miami Beach, they offer a unique solution to the morning-after blues: an IV. Yep, it's an in-vein vitamin, antioxidant, and saline treatment said to help relieve that all-too-common ailment.
But does it work? We were invited to give it a go.
I rolled in on a Monday afternoon (the joint opens at noon), and though I hadn't sauced it up the night before, I was definitely dehydrated and still nursing a mild hurt from a long, boozy weekend of boating in the Keys.
Others, however, were in far worse shape than I. Given the state of some serious cases of the DTs I saw stumbling in, I almost felt guilty occupying a seat. Apparently Sunday night raging is a thing in South Beach. Most of the folks were there for UltraVive, the solution designed for postparty ills and the one I was about to sample.
For an upscale med spa, the folks at Reviv are surprisingly down to earth, While the atmosphere is SoBe sterile (it is a medical facility, after all), the hospitality is far from the norm. Co-owner Dr. Raanan Pokroy and adorably perky paramedic and manager Barbara Fassett showed me the ropes, from the medicinal fridge to the plush couches to the epic massage chairs.
Despite my assumption that their customer base would consist primarily of amateur boozers who can't handle the South Beach lifestyle, their most popular treatment is actually the energy-inducing MegaBoost vitamin package. They also offer the HydraMax fluid package (designed for athletes) and a series of shots (B12, etc.) and other treatments. If you're needle-phobic, they have pill therapies. But c'mon, who can't handle a little prick?
I filled out my basic medical questionnaire and was led to a little room where the needle-sticking began.
Barbara took my blood pressure, extolled my low pulse (thank you, running), and went for the vein. Like any blood draw, it's a little pinch and nothing more. Then you take your pick of private treatment rooms or a communal couch area complete with a TV set.
The private rooms feature giant black massage chairs, and these chairs are everything. Ever see that Simpsons episode in which Homer had to have one? I swear, that was this massage chair. It knew just the spots to soothe my muscles, still aching from all the weekend watersports. They're even equipped with a special fanny stimulator that earned its own moniker -- Tyrone, according to the doc.
As far as the treatment itself, they mentioned that I might get a metallic taste in my mouth from the vitamins, and immediately when the IV went in, I felt like I'd swallowed a supplement or two.
The bag dripped away in about an hour. I sat huddled under the cozy blanket they provided, because the A/C plus the room-temperature IV (integrating into your 98-degree bloodstream) make for a frigid pair. A sweater would have been a wise choice.
As the goodies seeped into my bloodstream, I connected to the Wi-Fi so I could work. Convenient as hell. Contrary to popular opinion, you can move/bend/type with an IV in your arm -- no need to sit with your arm in paralyzing salute the whole time.
Once finished, I was unhooked and ready to go. The process itself was painless, and frankly, I felt nothing other than the slight aftertaste.
But to answer the burning question: Did it work? While I admittedly wasn't a hungover mess that particular day, I was feeling rundown and generally parched. After the bag worked its magic, I felt more upbeat and energized. Though I don't believe in miracle cures, it's pretty clear that fluids mainlined into your veins are bound to help hangovers, which by their very definition mean dehydration.
Would I do it again? Most definitely. It doesn't come cheap, but as anyone who's had a painful hangover knows, sweet relief would be well worth it. The only other alternative is to start drinking again, and hell, most of us aren't Jimmy Buffett.
The UltraVive and MegaBoost each run $99, and the HydraMax $79.They also offer a special sunburn infusion for tourists rocking that lobster look. The sessions generally take from 20 minutes to an hour.
Next up, the dudes are opening a location in the city that invented the hangover: Vegas. They're throwing open their doors at the MGM Grand, so you'll be all set for hydration if Sin City is your party destination of choice. But here in Miami, you can find them at 1601 Washington Ave., Ste. 112. Happy hangovers.
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