Dehydration can cause a hangover, so it stands to reason that being hooked up to an intravenous drip full of fluids could be beneficial. Not drinking enough water to counteract the alcohol in your system isn’t the only cause of a hangover, however. Too much alcohol can irritate the lining of your stomach—which causes all those bouts of nausea and general queasiness associated with hangovers. Drinking alcohol also causes your blood sugar to fall, making you feel exhausted and weak. It can also make your blood vessels expand, resulting in a headache. This isn’t to say that an IV drip won’t help you inch your way back to normalcy, though.
“An IV drip helps to rehydrate the person and reduces the duration of the symptoms,” says Jake Deutsch, M.D., an emergency medicine physician in New York. Different components of IVs, like the vitamins and medicines included in any given drip, can also target specific symptoms, like nausea, vomiting and those god-awful headaches. Drinking water and reintroducing electrolytes and vitamins into your system after a night of heavy drinking can provide the same results, but injecting these solutions directly into your vein allows the treatment to enter your bloodstream quicker—which might be worth it on those mornings when you’re beyond just hurting and need to feel better pronto.