If you’re feeling rundown, fatigued, or could use a major metabolism boost, there’s a simple solution that doesn’t involve pills, surgery, or a treadmill—but it’s going to sting. Celebrities like Khloe and Kim Kardashian, Chrissy Teigen, and Hailey Baldwin are hip to the benefits of vitamin shots and vitamin IV drips: quick in-office procedures that fans say boost energy, make your skin glow, and even help promote weight loss. With their lofty claims, it’s easy to wonder if vitamin shots are just a placebo effect pushed through a needle, or if they can actually do some good for our tired, sluggish bodies.
Close to a decade ago, millions of TV viewers watched as Registered Nurse and Skincare Expert Nurse Jamie injected Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie with vitamin B12 right in their bums on the hit reality show The Simple Life. After that, she says injectable vitamins became one of her most popular treatments. The demand stems from the challenges a lot of us face getting enough nutrients from diet and oral supplements alone.
“Studies reveal that over 90 percent of people are deficient in at least one or more nutrients,” Nurse Jamie says, adding that the most common nutritional deficiencies are vitamins D and B12, iron, calcium, vitamins C,E, and A, fiber, and potassium. “It’s easier for our bodies to absorb liquid vitamins better than their counterpart, pills.”
But the decision to inject, ingest, or infuse vitamins is a highly debated topic. When it comes to oral supplements, she says optimal vitamin and mineral absorption depends on several factors, including the time of day you take them (most at-home vitamins can be taken with breakfast), whether you take them with food, and what form you take. Because vitamin absorption by the gut is less effective than a shot directly into muscle or vein, a higher dose is often needed when taken orally—and since your local drugstore is probably not stocking up on over-the-counter pills in extremely high doses, you might need multiple doses to make up the difference. That’s a whole lot more vitamins than most of us are probably popping with our morning green juice.
“When nutrients are injected directly into the bloodstream they bypass the digestive system and are pushed directly into cells where they can be more effectively utilized by the body,” Nurse Jamie explains. “Weekly vitamin shots are an effective way to increase your energy, strengthen your immune system, and promote weight loss.”
The specific shots you can get—or need—depends on your health practitioner, your specific health concerns, and how willing or able you are to shell out approximately