The Chicago "hydration therapy" clinic IVme advertises intravenous fluids to athletes to improve performance.
A $169 pre-race IV can help marathon runners "avoid cramping and 'hitting the wall,'" according to the company's website. After the race, IVme suggests, a sudden flood of fluids can help with recovery.
But experts say the infusions are not only risky but likely to slow a runner's pace — as well as creating an urgent need to stop at a portable toilet.
"You'd be heavier because you have more mass to carry and need to pee pretty soon afterward," said hydration researcher Paul Laursen, the physiology manager for High Performance Sports...