Hydration clinics providing IVs full of vitamins to people dogged by hangovers have proliferated in the past few years. So when Chaz Faulhaber and Kristy Anderson found themselves dehydrated after a 2014 mountain-bike race in Sedona, Arizona, it got them thinking: What if we could bring this to elite athletes?
Along with their friend Benjamin Wilks, a physician, the pair opened OnusIV in Denver in 2015. The company also travels to running and biking events in a converted Sprinter van to deliver their pre-race drips and post-race rehydration packages, which range from $65 to $175, depending on the nutrients that are included. Faulhaber says an IV offers a quicker way to replenish both fluids and vitamins than, say, chugging a Nalgene bottle full of water with some electrolytes mixed in.
Doubters abound. Jim Winger, who is a family and sports-medicine specialist at Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine, says that the risks of inserting IVs into healthy people—which include infection and even vein damage—probably outweigh any gains. “There’s no benefit,” Winger says. “You don’t become better hydrated with an IV.”
Faulhaber just wants people to give IVs a shot. “We love skeptics,” he says.