Vitamin IV therapy is relatively new to Utah, but more businesses that offer the trendy service are cropping up around the state, the owner of a local “wellness center” said.
In 2019, “we only had like one or two competitors in Utah,” said Trevor Brimley, co-owner of FIKA Infusion + Wellness, which has locations in Woods Cross and Millcreek, as well as a mobile option. But over the last year and a half or so, “we’ve seen a lot of competition pop up.”
This surge in popularity could be because since 2021, people seem to be more “wellness- and health-minded,” Brimley said. It could also be because Utah’s vitamin IV market was relatively open even a few years ago.
Before Brimley and his wife opened FIKA, the couple were living in Nashville, Tenn., where vitamin IV therapy is “really popular,” especially around the “hangover bachelorette party scene,” he said. Some even offered home visits, catering to country music stars and other professionals.
When he and Megan Brimley decided to dive into the business, they instead set up shop in Utah, where they’re both from. The competition they’ve seen since “just helps validate the need or the desire to have this treatment in the market,” Trevor Brimley said.
What is vitamin IV therapy?
Instead of taking vitamins orally, vitamin IV therapy involves receiving vitamins and other treatment options intravenously. Putting such supplements directly into the bloodstream is said to help treat fatigue, migraines, hangovers and more.
Celebrities including Gwyneth Paltrow have touted the infusions. The Vitamin Bar in Park City — which also offers mobile service to St. George, Salt Lake City, Holladay, Draper, Heber Valley and central Utah — has gotten dozens of positive reviews online. One client who got an IV treatment there touted its energizing effects; another said it helped her when she was feeling “dehydrated and icky.”
But vitamin IV therapy’s statistically significant benefits haven’t been proven.
The service carries a certain “allure,” a registered dietician with the University of Utah said, noting that it’s often offered in calming, upscale environments similar to a spa, rather than a traditional clinic setting.
That could contribute to a “placebo effect,” the dietician, Miranda Reynolds, said, and may be why some people consider it effective. But the infusions aren’t approved by the Food and Drug Administration, and health insurance providers likely won’t cover it.
“I don’t want to say yes, this will cure these things, and it’s proven,” Reynolds said of vitamin IV therapy, “because ... I can’t say that.”
Vitamin IV therapy also isn’t for everyone, she noted. Some medications shouldn’t be mixed with specific nutrients because they could interact with one another. People with certain medical conditions, such as kidney disease, should also talk to their doctor before undergoing a vitamin IV treatment, she said.
But aside from those advisements, potential risks associated with vitamin IV therapy are relatively low, Reynolds said. There’s a possibility of vitamin toxicity, although a healthy person’s kidneys would do a good job of filtering out those extra vitamins, she said. And there’s always a risk of infection when a needle is used.
“But I will say, if there’s somebody that feels like it does help them, for whatever reason. ... It’s fine if somebody wants to do this,” Reynolds said. “However, I won’t say it’s necessary.”
‘A different modality’
Tommy Lloyd, who owns The Vitamin Bar, is a firefighter paramedic in the Salt Lake Valley who’s also from Utah.
He said The Vitamin Bar is in the process of implementing blood draws, where staff “will send your blood to a lab to test what vitamins you’re deficient in.” That allows them to created a supplemental plan based on what a client may be deficient in, “so we’re not just throwing everything at you.”
FIKA performs micronutrient panel readings through a blood draw, which a staffed medical provider refers to as they consult with clients to answer questions. That provider was also involved in creating the wellness center’s dosing and administration guidelines.
As a paramedic, Lloyd said he saw a need to help people stay hydrated and keep up their vitamin levels. He thought opening a vitamin IV center would be “a great way to serve the public.”
At The Vitamin Bar, “we promote healthy living and healthy eating and staying up on hydration,” Lloyd said. “This is more just to supplement with today’s society, how it is we’re so busy, that it’s hard to do all that.”
When people come into FIKA complaining of low energy and fatigue, “if they just were to get fluids, they would feel much better and their energy would be back up,” Brimley said. But they aim to help with any “underlying nutrition” needs as well.
Reynolds said the best way to get nutrients into the body is through a healthy diet.
“But if someone chooses to take a multivitamin, or specifically an iron supplement or something ... usually if a clinician is recommending that or a dietitian is recommending that, it’s because they have had bloodwork done, where they’re maybe deficient in that, and they’re unable to get it through food for whatever reason,” Reynolds said.
No matter how a supplement is taken, its job is to “fill in any holes,” she said, “if there are any.” Getting a vitamin infusion instead of taking a vitamin pill is “neither better or worse,” she said. “It’s just simply a different modality.”
How does it work?
Most local IV treatments start at about $150 and go up to about $400, and certain add-ons can be included as well.
At FIKA, customized IV treatments usually last about 45 minutes to an hour, during which clients can sit in a massage chair, put their feet up and listen to soothing music while a nurse administers and monitors their IV. “We feel that healing starts as you walk in the door,” Brimley said.
Among the offerings at The Vitamin Bar is the “Bluebird Day,” which contains vitamin C, glutathione and B complex and is said to “refresh and rejuvenate,” according to the company’s website.
The “Yard Sale” is meant to boost energy and fight fatigue “after a rough day on the hill,” and contains B complex, L-carnatine and a muscular injection of lipo C.
There’s also the “Alpenglow” treatment, a “facial in a bag” containing glutathione and vitamin C “for the perfect glow,” according to The Vitamin Bar’s website.
Briaunna Witt, a client at The Vitamin Bar, said that “anytime I have utilized their services, it’s generally for wellness. I do work long hours and sometime I’ll get an IV for fatigue purposes.”
“Last time I had an IV was before Christmas as I was going out of town for the holidays, and the wellness IV was great,” she continued.