Running a marathon is hard. For many people, it is the hardest athletic event they will ever participate in. Afterward, you are bound to feel tired. Your body needs rest and plenty of time to recover. But beyond resting, there is something else you can do to help ease your exhaustion: seek IV hydration. IV treatment clinics usually offer IV hydration sessions for athletes. Here's what you need to know.

What is IV hydration?

During an IV hydration treatment, a clinician inserts an IV needle into your vein. They then use that needle to drip a saline solution into your vein. The solution contains water and electrolytes. Essentially, you are bypassing your digestive tract and rehydrating your body directly through your circulatory system. The fluid can leave your blood vessels and rehydrate your tissues, as needed.

Is IV hydration better than drinking after a marathon?

When you finish a marathon, you should absolutely drink some electrolyte beverages to begin the rehydration process. Even if you drank well during the race, you're likely to be somewhat dehydrated afterward. But drinking alone does not always rehydrate you fast enough. Your stomach may be a little upset from taking in gels and other fuel during the race, and you can only absorb so much fluid at a time. Getting an IV will rehydrate you faster, and it can help ease a lot of that stomach queasiness you're feeling so you're better able to drink and rehydrate orally in the days that follow.

Should you have vitamins added to the IV?

Some IV treatment centers will offer to add vitamins to your IV. Or, they may have a specialized, vitamin-infused solution they recommend for athletes. The vitamins are not necessary to rehydrate your body, but they can have other benefits as you recover from your race. Vitamin C can help ensure your immune system has the support it needs so you don't get sick as you're recovering from the race. B vitamins, like vitamins B3 and B6, can help support your metabolism as you recover. These vitamins are water-soluble, so if you get a little more than you need, they'll be excreted in your urine.

If you've just finished a marathon, do yourself a favor and go in for an IV hydration session. You should feel better soon, and the IV will help with your recovery in the weeks after the race.

Contact a local company to learn more, like Minnesota IV Hydration and Wellness LLC.