Oxygen Bars or IV Infusion – do these really help with Jetlag?

ByTravelling For Business

April 18, 2024

Most people have experienced jet lag at least once in their lifetime. Having various symptoms such as trouble falling asleep, early waking, poor concentration, dizziness, nausea, headaches, and irritability but to name a few.

The cause of jet lag is being out of sync with the day and night cycle of the destination also known as Desynchronosis.

Everyone has a remedy, cure, or story for combating jet lag and one of the most well-known stories comes from Las Vegas where is it said the casinos pump pure oxygen into the air to keep the players awake allowing them to gamble longer.

This is a myth as although they do keep the air chilled to give a similar effect, pumping extra oxygen into the room would increase the flammability of the air, and you are allowed to smoke still in the casinos, require extra pressurized tanks to be stored on the premises and imagine the cost involved to supply this together with the potential fire hazard.

Because of this myth, there has been an increase in “Oxygen Bars” which have become increasingly popular to counteract the negative effects of jet lag and travel fatigue. They claim that your body can react to heighten alertness, boost the immune system, and alleviate fatigue.

Tokyo’s Narita International Airport offers an oxygen bar and many travellers will stop and partake for 20 mins at a time. The oxygen is infused with flavours including eucalyptus menthol, but there has been no scientific research that this method has any benefits and may just be a novel activity.

Oxygen therapy can do more harm than good if not administered properly or for those suffering underlying conditions and may not be aware can lead to oxygen toxicity.

Think hard or seek medical advice before trying and with no medical evidence to back the claims up is it really worth it?

The other experience popularised by celebrities is IV therapy. They use this to stay upbeat on tour or recharge after hectic night life. Justin Bieber recently told documentary makers that he gets weekly IV infusions of energy-generating supplement NAD+ to help him with illness, exhaustion and recovery from former drug habits and a number of London hotels are beginning to offer IV experience as part of their overnight packages.

From top London hotels to local shopping centres, you can google a “drip to door” service for IV recovery treatments. This practice has been long running in places like Ibiza and Thailand and it is suggested can minimize the effects of jet lag by replenishing the body’s natural vitamins and minerals with a boost of essential nutrients, hydration, and electrolytes.

A multivitamin mixture may contain a mixture of B vitamins, vitamin C, potassium, calcium, sodium chloride and glucose and administered by IV which can take up to one hour. It is said this way the vitamins bypass the gut, the normal route if taken orally and deliver a higher dose straight into the blood steam. Bear in mind the body only uses what it needs and does not store so most are flushed away.

When booking this kind of treatment is it advised to ensure the person administering is medically qualified and would advise to make extensive checks of the clinics offering this service. As with any IV, injecting directly into the blood stream comes with risks such as allergic reactions, infection, and the possibility of air bubbles.

Do either of these processes help with jet lag or are they just a money-making scheme that you think may help? Would it not be better to stay hydrated, avoid alcohol, set your clock to local time and try and sleep – easier said than done on some flights!