By Dr. Samantha Larkin, ND – Associate Doctor and Manager of the Spark Health IV Program
Are you looking to support your energy levels naturally, without the need for caffeine or energy drinks? Are you sick of the mid-day slump at work? Are you looking to improve your stamina at the gym? If you answered yes to any or all of these, you are the perfect candidate for IV therapy!
IV therapy is a fantastic way to support natural energy levels. IV nutrient therapy provides nutrients at 100% bioavailability. The nutrients go directly into vein, bypassing the digestive tract and preventing the need for the body to process the nutrients before delivering them to target tissues. Oral nutrients are often poorly absorbed, if absorbed at all!
A lot of patients ask if they will feel ‘wired’ when they have an energy IV. They often ask if it will be like an energy drink, and seem concerned they will be unable to sleep. IV vitamin therapy for energy levels utilizes only natural substances that the body already recognizes and produces itself, creating a more calming energy that is much different than a cup of coffee or an energy drink. Although everyone has unique physiology and nutrient needs, the effects from a vitamin IV last approximately 7 days for most people.
If you are a new patient, or a patient looking for an IV experience that lasts approximately 20 minutes, our “Energy Fast Bag” is a great choice. If you are an established patient here at Spark Health, and would like to get a full size IV, our “Energize” IV is made just for you. This vitamin IV is packed full of nutrients to help nourish the body, prevent cellular damage, support healthy energy levels, and rebuild muscle.
WHAT ARE THE MAJOR ENERGY-PRODUCERS IN THIS IV?
Taurine, which is normally found in meat, fish, and dairy, is an amino acid that is great for improving energy and athletic performance. Not only is not only wonderful for supporting muscle tissue, but it is also a powerful antioxidant. Taurine can also help increase your endurance as an athlete. It has been shown in research that just 7 days of taurine supplementation resulted in significant increases in VO2 max and cycle ergometer exercise time to exhaustion; most likely due to taurine’s superior antioxidant activity and its ability to improve cellular protection. Taurine has also been shown in research to protect the cardiovascular system. It has also been shown to have a modulatory effect on the neurological system and can improve sleep quality. Sleeping better at night means more energy in the daytime. (2,3)
L-carnitine is the ultimate amino acid for improving energy! It drastically improves the function of mitochondria, our body’s tiny energy producing machines which are located in all of our cells. Our muscles are packed full of these tiny energy machines, so when these are working optimally, we perform at our best. The other tissues that contain a lot of mitochondria are our nerves, our brain, and our heart, so supplementation of L-carnitine aids these tissues as well. L-carnitine is an important building block for certain neurotransmitters that are needed for optimal cognitive functioning, giving us the mental energy we require to properly match our physical energy levels. (1)
ESSENTIAL AND NON-ESSENTIAL AMINO ACIDS
Amino Acids are the basic building blocks of every protein in our body. There are two types of amino acids: essential and non-essential. Our bodies can’t create the essential amino acids, so we have to rely on food or supplementation to receive them. And although our bodies can synthesize the non-essential amino acids, we are often depleted of them. These amino acids are important for supporting all of the body’s biochemical processes, so we add a generous dose of amino acids to our “Energize” Vitamin IV.
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) supports healthy adrenal gland function. The adrenal glands produce hormones that help modulate our stress response, and also play a role in producing sex hormones. It happens that the adrenal glands require a large amount of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) in order to properly make these hormones! When our adrenal glands are not functioning properly, it can lead to fatigue and low energy levels. (4) Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is particularly difficult to supplement in large amounts without digestive side effects, which makes it an awesome addition to our energizing IVs.
The “Energize” vitamin IV contains lots of B-vitamins, which are fantastic for energy support. B vitamins tend to be very depleted in times of stress and fatigue. B5 (dexpanthenol) is a component of the coenzymes that help our body process the nutrients we use for fuel (such as fats, carbs, and protein), and fuel gives us energy! B12 (methylcobalamin) is also fantastic for supporting energy levels. It helps with the conversion of your food into energy. At Spark Health, we use Methylcobalamin, the form of vitamin B12 that can be utilized immediately by the body. This is crucial for those who have MTHFR genetic mutations that make it difficult to convert certain vitamins into their active forms.
If you are interested in learning more about our IV therapy offerings, or would like more information about naturopathic medicine or integrative medicine, call 858-228-4188 or send us an email at Spark@MySparkHealth.com. We look forward to working with you to achieve your highest expression of health!
Spark Health is conveniently located so we can serve patients in San Diego, and all of North County such as Del Mar, Solana Beach, Rancho Santa Fe, Encinitas, Carlsbad, Escondido, San Marcos, and Poway. We look forward to helping you achieve your goals!
` The Spark Team
- White HL, Scates PW. Acetyl-L-carnitine as a precursor of acetylcholine. Neurochem Res 1990;15;597-601
- Zhang M: Role of taurine supplementation to prevent exercise-induced oxidative stress in healthy young men. Amino Acids. 2004, 26: 203-207.
- Bakker AJ, Berg HM. Effect of taurine on sarcoplasmic reticulum function and force in skinned fast-twitch skeletal muscle fibres of the rat. J Physiol. 2002 Jan;538:185-94.
- Patak P, Willenberg HS, Bornstein SR. Vitamin C is an important cofactor for both adrenal cortex and adrenal medulla. Endocr Res. 2004 Nov;30(4):871-5.