words :: Ben Osborne
After a long bike ride, backcountry ski tour or a hike in the mountains we are often left feeling drained— and that weekend diet of cheese, sausage and chocolate probably didn’t do you any favours. While it can be all too easy to bounce out of bed the next morning fuelled by stoke from your adventures the day before, pounding espresso shots at your desk on Monday afternoon is not an appropriate solution. The weekend will eventually catch up to you, and when it does…it won’t be pretty.
You may have only heard of IV Therapy to treat extreme circumstances of nutrient and energy depletion (whether it be a come-down after a music festival or extreme exhaustion after a major race/athletic event), but its applications are far more wide ranging and useful than that.
The concept is simple: rather than chugging a sports drink or having to wait to digest all sorts of food that may help you recover or heal, IV therapy infuses nutrients directly into the bloodstream. Dr. Landon McLean out of Whistler, BC certainly believes in the timeliness: “The advantage is speed and efficiency— I can start to rehydrate you within an hour and make sure that you’re better balanced”
Not only is the speed and efficiency a benefit, but it can often replenish areas you maybe haven’t addressed in the past. “This is a total refuelling of your body to help you feel your best” explains Dr. McLean.
While you are out adventuring, getting the correct long-term nutrients is typically an afterthought—we are usually just focused on getting through the day. On a long hike we tend to compensate for energy loss by focusing on protein heavy diets, which can be harmful.
If you are active throughout the week, eating heavy foods like meat and cheese can also be detrimental. They are slow and hard to digest when you’re being active and have a dominant sympathetic nervous system that suppresses proper digestion. Therefore you don’t get a lot of the fuel you need. Candy and chocolate only have short bursts of energy and are not an ideal fuel source for your needs. Over time, nutrients, typically, Magnesium, Sodium, Potassium, B vitamins and some amino acids are depleted from exertion. So, making sure to replenish these lost stores is vital to help you get back on track.
By consulting with a doctor, you can identify what your diet may have been lacking (whether in every day life or after a long excursion) and address those specific deficiencies to replenish what you have lost and get to feeling your best. Beyond energy replenishment, IV therapy can be used for post-workout recovery, post-injury recovery, fatigue, immune boosting, anxiety, jetlag, and much more.
The mental application is one you may not expect— but it is where Dr. McLean has seen great success. “IV Therapy can certainly help with mental clarity and helping to calm the system. This is done by helping get the nutrients that are typically depleted to help fuel your brain.”
While some people may be able to crunch numbers or run board meetings when they are physically tired, nobody can deny the burden of mental exhaustion that comes after intense activity (and fun) on a vacation or simply over a long weekend. According to Dr. McLean, the two most common areas his patients report back after treatment are regarding mood and energy, which can certainly be drivers of your performance in the workplace, or on your next athletic endeavour.
If you are feeling generally tired, overworked or unable to find the time to prepare meals that can fuel you with the energy you need to perform day to day, IV Therapy is certainly a treatment to take a long, hard look at—think of it like going to a massage therapist, getting your teeth cleaned, or even getting a haircut—some times life gets too busy to take care of yourself. There is no shame in looking to an expert to help you do so. Don’t be intimidated by the needle—IV Therapy is a simply a way to figure out from a trained expert on what you may be leaving out from your day to day routine, and replenishing that empty well to get you operating at full strength.
If you are in the Sea to Sky Corridor looking for treatment, contact Dr. Landon McLean (@DrLandon_ND) at www.whistlernaturopath.com.