An IV hydration company will start serving Greater Waco with products aimed at helping people overcome illnesses, address athletic fatigue, increase weight loss or to eliminate a hangover from home.

Hydropros, based in Dallas, has started visiting local clients at their home or business and will also have a storefront in Waco in the next 45 days or so, vice president Paige Harkins said.

Waco real estate agent Christie Gilliam has already used the service and has a series of appointments scheduled for before and after an upcoming surgery to ensure sufficient hydration. Gilliam said she saw an ad on Facebook for the company and had tried IV hydration services once before while in Austin to help recover from a stomach bug. She said she recently suffered from a sinus infection, was on antibiotics and was feeling miserable.

She said the day after the treatment, “I woke up and I realized I did not sound like I needed to drink 40 hot teas and I didn’t have to take an hourlong steam shower before I could function.”

Hydropros came to her work, and the service took 30 minutes, she said.

“I wouldn’t be on a $325 a month membership if I didn’t think it was great stuff,” Gilliam said. “Hydration is a struggle for everybody that I know.”

IV services yield immediate results, Hydropros chief nursing officer Jake Sanchez said. People of any age can use the service, and all employees are medically licensed, Sanchez said. An IV infusion is the equivalent of about two gallons of water, and users can select combinations of anti-oxidants, energy boosting B-12, immune boosters, electrolytes and more.

The company offers walk-in service or appointments, as well as office or party services, Harkins said.

“We do a lot of marathons, like a prerace one and a post-race IV,” Sanchez said. “A lot of runners will start developing that IT band stiffness, inflamed knees, hips, so to prevent that they’ll come in and get anti-inflammatory or athletic overexertion or athletic exhaustion.”

The company also will offer weight loss injections, Botox, cryotherapy and float therapy, which provides the feeling of 12 hours of sleep in just 45 minutes, said Misty Jernigan, of Crawford, franchisee for the new Hydropros Waco location and one in Austin.

Since it is a fairly new model in an unregulated market, it is important to approach with caution, said Dr. Bob Wolf, McLennan County Medical Society president, and an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist.

“Time will tell if they’re truly beneficial in the long run or not or if this is just a quick fad that’s coming through and will disappear,” Wolf said.

In general, people should not have a problem staying hydrated by drinking fluids and getting nutrients through their diet, he said.

“Most people who have normal diets and take in normal fluids, don’t need the benefits of IV therapy,” Wolf said.

Athletes, on rare occasions and mainly on the professional level, can suffer extreme fluid loss that requires repletion through an IV, Wolf said.

IV use at a hospital is regulated, and strict sterilization guidelines to ensure sterilization, Wolf said. As a patient recovers form an illness, many doctors will take them off IV fluids as soon as possible, believing it is best to let the patient’s body regulate nutrients.

Still, the effects of the treatments speak for themselves, Jernigan said.

“It makes you feel amazing,” she said.

Jernigan said she wanted to open a second Hydropros location in Central Texas, where she has lived most of her life, because the service has not been available in the Waco area.

The hangover service can be administered before a night of drinking, or the morning after, Sanchez said. Bachelorette parties are popular for IV infusions prior to the night out, Sanchez said. Next-day treatment is the most popular though. The IV infusion reduces headache, weakness and fatigue, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, he said.

Services range from $100 to $185, Sanchez said. IV treatments can include a cocktail for athletic fatigue, migraine relief, flu and cold systems, an immune system boost, body detox, hair and skin or a libido boost, among others.

The treatments can be customized to meet a variety of needs, Sanchez said.

Hydropros has been open five years and has six storefronts, plus 26 smaller locations in doctor’s offices, gyms, nail salons and other locations, Sanchez said.

Cassie L. Smith has covered county government for the Tribune-Herald since June 2014. She previously worked as a reporter for the Beaumont Enterprise and The Eagle in Bryan-College Station. Smith graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington.

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