Hydration and Hangover Cures

When a bloody mary doesn’t quite cut it

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

When a bloody mary doesn’t quite cut it

My Reading Room

“Alcohol decreases the amount of antidiuretic hormone in the body and slows kidney function to reabsorb fluids”
~ Louise Cogan

Feeling fatigued and dehydrated from a few too many? From drip bars and booster shots to oxygen therapy and infrared saunas, it’s all about hydration and hangover cures at some of the hottest spas around the globe. And the good news is these treatments not only cure the ‘Irish flu’ but can also boost the immune system and fast track jet lag recovery.


Earlier this year, Hangover Lounge, the first of its kind in Bali opened, offering treatments to combat hangover symptoms – fast! From Myers’ cocktails for liver detox to vitamin B energy shots, intravenous electrolytes and oxygen therapy, the Hangover Lounge caters to tourists, expats and fly-in fly-out workers, and provides complimentary pickup service.

Nyoman Santi, co-founder of the Hangover Lounge and a qualified nurse specialising in the field of infection control, believes IV vitamin therapy can treat jet lag, fatigue, hangovers, blood pressure, liver detox, depression and cold or flu. She says that studies show a huge percentage of today’s population are deficient in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants due to poor diet and hectic lifestyles.

Also in Bali, Cocoon Medical Spa has introduced a Hangover Redemption package, an intravenous cocktail of vitamins C, B complex saline, zinc and glutathione, to flood the body with antioxidants and electrolytes – all of which is delivered with the luxury of a foot massage and a gold hydrating mask.

Every Saturday at The Standard East Village New York, three hip brands collaborate to create the pop-up Drip Chill & Shine concept to rehydrate and energise the late-night A-list fashion crowd. Treatments include IV vitamin infusions by NutriDrip, liquid nitrogen facials by CryoSphere Cryotherapy and infrared heat wraps by Higher Dose.

Over at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas they house a Reviv Me hangover-cure chamber where guests chill-out on massage chairs and are offered iPads and free Wi-Fi with complimentary rehydrating drinks while hooked up to IV infusions.

Meanwhile singles embarking on weekend benders in this city can call upon the Hangover Heaven, a 45-foot bus fitted with IV drip and oxygen bars facilitated by a team of physicians and nurses.

Party recovery, rehydration and hangover cures are not new. In ancient cultures, folks broke sweat in hot saunas and steam rooms to rid their bodies of toxins. Today’s popular treatment, IV therapy, works through the insertion of an IV line that transports fluids and vitamins into the body.


At Kamalaya Koh Samui, every guest receives a complimentary bioelectrical impedance analysis that measures health markers, including hydration levels, before they embark upon their wellness retreat.

Karina Stewart, co-founder of Kamalaya and master of traditional Chinese medicine says, “From a traditional Chinese medicine point of view, our drinking water today is fairly ‘devitalised’ and with low mineral content and poor ‘flow’ or circulation, it doesn’t hold enough vital energy to effectively replenish our body’s energy resources and hydration levels.” She says to maintain fluid balance inside and outside the cells, our body relies on electrolytes and minerals that carry an electric charge.

“Human cells don’t function without water,” adds Louise Cogan from Cocoon Medical Spa. “Alcohol decreases the amount of the antidiuretic (ADH) hormone in the body and slows down kidney function to reabsorb fluids.” She says this can cause concerns including dehydration in the brain’s blood vessels, severe headaches, weak muscles and body pain, digestion issues and nausea often caused by the pancreas increasing production of digestive chemicals.

Nyoman Santi says, “Dehydration is not only caused by alcohol consumption but also jet lag and the common ‘Bali belly’ that we also treat. We believe that almost anyone can benefit from using IV vitamin therapy.”


Oxygen bars are another popular treatment used for rehydration and jet lag. Inhaling O2 is believed to help detoxify the blood, break down alcohol and clear the mind. Too much alcohol is said to cause hypoxia, a state of oxygen deficiency in the brain. The Away Spa at W Bali has a Detox Oxygen Chamber that is open 24 hours for guests to decompress in style. And UK-based The Oxygen Lounge goes as far as to install popup Oxygen Bars at festivals around the world to keep festivalgoers energised.


Another fantastic alternative is the infrared sauna that many use to ease the symptoms associated with hangover, jet lag and fatigue. Heat is believed to produce an artificial ‘fever’ that stimulates the organs in our body into action and encourages detoxification through the skin, the largest organ in the body.

Higher Dose is a new wellness brand in the US introducing a full spectrum of infrared sauna experiences in spas, yoga studios and hotels around the world. According to the founders, a session in the infrared sauna oxygenates cells and also detoxifies heavy metals and radiation in the body accumulated by long-haul travel. Closer to home, some of the spas in South East Asia offering infrared sauna include Karma Spa and Bodyworks, both situated in Bali.


But if the above is not available, sometimes all you need is a warm bath and lemon water. At Alila Seminyak, they offer guests a Recovery Bath where staff come to your room bearing coconut water, Berocca, bloody or virgin marys and create bathing rituals with fresh ginger and lemongrass to nurse you back to health.

Hangover Lounge Bali offers treatments to combat hangover symptoms
Hangover Lounge Bali offers treatments to combat hangover symptoms