June 5, 2012— -- Taking vitamins orally might soon fall out of favor as more Americans opt to drip them straight into their veins.
More exhausted people are heading to private clinics and getting hooked up to a vitamin I.V. for their energy-boosting cocktail infusion.
The technique was fueled, in part, by a photo that pop star Rihanna tweeted last month with her arm hooked up to an intravenous drip. Turns out she was enjoying the so-called "party-girl drip."
Other A-list celebrities that have reportedly jumped on the liquid vitamin bandwagon include Simon Cowell, Cindy Crawford and Madonna.
It's not just stars who are following Rihanna's lead. Music executive Carmen Key gets her 45-minute session once a week at a clinic in Los Angeles. Everything from vitamins C and B to minerals like zinc and chromium are pumped straight into her arm: "Instead of feeling energized, you feel alive," Key said.
Eating a salad, taking a nap and traditional vitamins don't compare, Key said. "That would probably do four percent of what this does," she said.
The session is pricey and can run $175 to $275. Critics call it extreme and wonder whether it actually offers anything nutritious that food or traditional vitamins can't.
Doctors and patients at Patient's Medical, a holistic wellness center in New York City, swear by it.
"I.V. is pretty much instant gratification," Dr. Kamau Kokayi said.