One of the wonderful things of becoming a student nurse is the very-sped-up Access to Higher Education diploma in Nursing I was required to take before applying for university. In it was a biology module – it’s basically like taking 3 A Levels in 3 months – which explained the Krebs Cycle. Without boring you or myself to tears, this process in fundamental in producing energy. If this cycle doesn’t happen correctly, you could end up feeling really fatigued. Within the cycle, CoQ10, an antioxidant enzyme, protects your cells from attack by free radicals (beauty bloggers will know ALL about these) and it also helps make the process run smoothly.
Sounds technical, and it really is, but that’s as technical as it gets here. REVIV, a global brand that specialises in vitamin IV infusions for wellness, have recently developed an injection that harnesses the antioxidant properties of CoQ10 and I was invited to the launch in classy Knightsbridge to have a chat with the UK’s founders and give an infusion a go.
It was an extremely boiling hot day when I hopped on the train. I was sweaty. I was stressed. I was nearing dehydration despite having downed two 75cl Evian bottles of water. I needed a refreshing treatment and fast. REVIV’s office is housed in a multi-tenanted building, meaning when you enter the grand reception you need to ask the receptionist for directions. After being told to head down the stairs and follow the corridor, past a few official looking businessmen having a meeting about something totally un-wellness, I sauntered into REVIV’s office to be greeted by the team.
Dr Michael Barnish, a GP who works both privately and within the NHS, sat down with me to talk about all things infusion. The reason Berocca and oral vitamins often have 1500% RDA of vitamin c, etc, is because the stomach is absolutely effective at its job and it destroys vitamins and minerals very quickly. IV/IM routes bypass the stomach, and can be absorbed more effectively. I mentioned my nursing course starting the next week and he reiterated how, sometimes, just a simple saline IV can be treatment enough for NHS patients, helping them feel better within a few hours. If this, as well as GP-prescribed vitamin injections, are used within the NHS there’s good reason to look into the research behind having them as a lifestyle option. After all, the shots (which start from £39) cost far less than a bottle of prosecco in London – why no invest in health rather than in booze?
After a good chat about the research behind the newest CoQ10+ booster intramuscular injection, it was time to give it a go. Each infusion is pre-mixed, meaning when you choose one of their concoctions it’s made ready to go. In a way, I loved how quick it was to get it all ready, but I’d have loved the option to add something for a bit more energy or take away something that I didn’t feel I needed. But that’s the nature of REVIV’s ethos – the same treatment in the same way whether you’re in London, Lisbon or LA.
I chose a Megaboost vitamin infusion, this was being administered into my vein as a drip. I’m not exactly sure what was in it other than saline, vitamins and minerals, but it’s great for hydration and gives an energy boost thanks to the wad of B vitamins packed within. I did wonder what would happen if I already had a good vitamin store, would it cause any damage? Dr Michael assured me that any extra would be weed away, and unlike Vitamin D excessive consumption won’t cause any issues.
I was SO excited, but also slightly nervous. I’m one of those phlebotomists’ nightmares – I have tiny veins. Tiny veins that love to hide behind muscles and ligaments. One lady who was planning to have her treatment was impossible to cannulate and so, after a few tries, had to settle with an intramuscular injection rather than IV infusion. Really, they do the same thing, the delivery is just slightly different.
After filling in a lengthy consent form – after all, it’s a medical procedure – I was taken into a clinician’s room where my blood pressure, temperature and vital statistics were taken by Gary, an ex-NHS paramedic. The cannula was inserted (we chose the wrist rather than the crook of my elbow) and closed off, and I was walked to a more relaxing and cooler room where the saline solution was hanging. After I was attached to the bag and all seemed to be dripping in ok, there was nothing more to do than have a little snooze.
I must have been more hydrated than I thought, as halfway through the treatment I was desperate for a wee! After calling in Gary to help detach me, I rushed to the bathroom (which is situated outside the office in the communal office space) and promptly passed through the saline that had just gone in! Back to the room and I’m reattached, with just fifteen minutes remaining. The drip rate is really dependent on how the clinician sets up the IV (it can go through fast or slow – too fast and it can make some feel nauseous, and too slow and you’ll be there for seven hours) and mine took roughly 35 minutes in total. Not too bad!
Aside from an odd taste in the back of my throat, I feel fairly normal. Thanking the team with a promise to drink more water, I left the cool clinic and waded back into London’s incredible summer heat to tackle the journey home. Rather than feel fatigued after the trek, I surprisingly felt refreshed when I unlocked my front door. It had been a long day, but rather than collapse in a heap I busied myself with housework, tax and accounting bits and getting food ready. Totally unlike the grab a coffee and fall asleep watching The Simpsons evening I’m used to.
I didn’t notice the huge buzz the team said some people can experience, but that’s more than likely because I was preoccupied with uni starting in a few days. Regardless, the treatment was interesting especially from a medical and health point of view. For those with really rushed lives, who perhaps don’t drink as much water as they should and who live off a very, er, beige diet, adding vitamins every few weeks or months might just help the body function a bit better. It’s definitely something to try, at least once!
Thanks to REVIV for inviting me to the launch, the Megaboost infusion starts from £199.
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