How Long Do IV Fluids Stay in the Body?

Learn how long IV fluids stay in your body for optimal hydration. Next Health provides crucial insights for your health journey. Read to learn more today.

How Long Do IV Fluids Stay in the Body?
Next Health Staff
|
February 13, 2024

Medically reviewed by Next Health Clinical Director, Jessica Brewer

When you get an IV drip infusion, IV fluids help deliver potent vitamins and minerals directly to your bloodstream. All IV drips from Next Health begin with a Myer’s Cocktail Base, which includes powerful fluids, electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals to replenish your body before your infusion’s specific nutrients provide their benefits.

But just how long do IV fluids stay in the body, and what other factors might affect how long your IV drip infusion will stay active?

Let’s answer both of these questions and more by looking at water retention and how your body absorbs nutrients from IV drip infusions in the first place.

What Factors Affect Fluid Retention?

Whenever you bring new fluids into your body, whether you use IV drip infusions or drink a beverage normally, it affects hydration levels. If someone is dehydrated, the body will absorb and retain the water for the cells. If someone is overly hydrated, then the body will release through urine. For individuals who exercise or sweat more days than not during the week, their water requirements increase by at least one third.

IV fluid is hydrating and valuable for health optimization, but the benefits of IV therapy are not dependent on IV fluids staying in your body. Even when IV fluid is no longer being retained, the benefits of the vitamins and minerals delivered to the bloodstream can continue for some time after.

Hydration Level

For starters, your base hydration level will affect how much fluid your body retains from an IV drip infusion or from a beverage. 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated, so IV fluids help nourish cells while also acting as a vessel to deliver antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to the bloodstream.

For those few people who are properly hydrated, , your body will pass additional IV fluids that it doesn't need more quickly. For instance, if you drink a glass of water and then get an IV drip infusion, any excess liquid from both will be passed through your urine relatively rapidly.

Illness

Certain illnesses or biological conditions may also affect how long IV fluids stay in your body. For instance, if you take a medication for blood pressure or an antidepressant, this may cause your body to retain additional water or IV fluids inadvertently.

Metabolic Rate

Your body’s natural metabolic rate, which is essentially the rate at which it absorbs nutrients from foods and beverages, will also affect how quickly excess water is passed through your system. If you have a high metabolism, your body could rapidly absorb the nutrients from IV fluids.

Once absorbed, any excess fluids, such as water or other liquids in the Myer’s Cocktail Base, could be passed in urine quickly. However, if you have a slower than average metabolism, which can develop as you gain weight or as you get older, you could experience a slower release of IV fluids.

How Long on Average Do IV Fluids Stay in the Body?

In general, you can expect any fluids from an IV drip infusion to remain in your body for  a couple hours after absorption. If you are well hydrated and haven’t urinated recently, you may pass some fluids more quickly than if the reverse is true (keeping in mind most people are dehydrated and many do not even know it).

However, IV fluids don’t usually stay in your body for more than several hours.

The vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients in any given Next Health IV drip infusion will remain in your body for days, weeks, or months to come. It all depends on what exactly your body needs and what type of infusion you choose.

The fluids are just the medium for transmitting those nutrients to your body’s cells of all types. Without enough water, your cells stop functioning properly, and you may experience a wide range of side effects, including nausea, difficulty concentrating, headache, fatigue, and more.

Difference Between Absorbing Fluids From IV vs. Drinking

Your body may retain or pass IV fluids differently from the fluids you obtain by drinking a glass of water or another beverage.

IV drip infusions:

  • Provide water and other nutrients directly to your bloodstream. This makes the nutrients more accessible to your body's cells more quickly.
  • Don’t force some water to pass through the digestive tract to the bladder, losing vitamins and minerals to the digestive process.

In contrast, drinking a supplementary beverage or a glass of water means that the water has to pass through your intestines at a relatively static rate. You can’t “slow down” how quickly your body passes water when swallowed.

Furthermore, supplementary beverages or nutrients in swallowed drinks may be compromised or partially eliminated by your digestive system. That’s another reason why IV drip infusions are superior for ensuring wellness and maximum vitamin bioavailability.

Since IV drip infusions provide water and nutrients directly to your cells, there’s no chance of those nutrients being destroyed by the acid in your stomach. Plus, you’ll see the benefits from any given IV drip infusion more quickly than you’d see benefits from a supplement drink.

How Often Do You Need IV Fluids?

Experts conservatively estimate that adults of average size and weight should drink between four to six cups of water per day. However, this number has been seen as a little low by medical providers as many still suffer from chronic dehydration.

IVs are a great way to boost your hydration and vitamin levels with just a quick 30-minute appointment at Next Health.

Because each IV drip infusion has a special blend of specific vitamins or nutrients, most clients don’t get infusions more than once per week. The extra hydration provided by the IV fluids in each bag can help bolster your natural hydrated state. In some cases, you may not need to drink another glass of water for a few hours after your appointment.

Then, depending on the contents of your chosen infusion, you may not need a repeat appointment for several days or weeks to come.

IV Drips are included in Next Health monthly Memberships. With the Premier Membership, you can enjoy 2 IV Drips per month. Learn more here

Summary

As you can see, IV fluids stay in the body for less than a day but the benefits are go far beyond that.

Just because IV fluids don’t stick around forever doesn’t mean IV drip infusions aren’t worth your time. Indeed, the nutrients and vitamins and IV drip infusions can provide your body for days, weeks, or even months to come.

That's just one of the many reasons why Next Health offers IV drip therapy for various needs, ranging from gut health improvement to immune system support to hangover recovery and more. At a Next Health location near you, you'll also find a diverse array of wellness therapies, like infrared light therapy, hormonal replacement, and more.

Contact Next Health today to see about an appointment or learn more about our IV drip therapy.

Call or text: (310) 295-2075

Request a complimentary consult here

Sources:

How much water should you drink? | Harvard HealthI

ntravenous therapy | NCBI

ACS/ASE Medical Student Core Curriculum Fluids and Electrolytes | FACS

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