Vitamin boosters at Liquivida Lounge

There aren’t many things I can say I have in common with Kim Kardashian. But I can include nutrient IV therapy.

Observers fawned over Kardashian’s glowing skin when she walked the red carpet for the Metropolitan Museum of Art Gala in New York in May. A city newspaper reported the reality television star had gotten an intravenous therapy treatment loaded with vitamins and electrolytes before the event to achieve a radiant look.

Closer to home, a graduate of Coconut Creek’s Monarch High School discovered the benefits of nutrient IV therapy and created a business devoted to vitamin infusions, which are said to boost energy and immunity and rehydrate the body. Samael Tejada, a firefighter and paramedic for Oakland Park Fire Rescue, started Liquivida Lounge. He’s joined in the business by his wife, Shayna Frasca Tejada, and his friend and marketeer, Emmanuel Trenche. Both also are Monarch High graduates.

Tejada’s interest in health and wellness and fitness training got him interested in alternative medicine. “With my paramedic background, I was working closely with doctors,” he says. Tejada remembers being told by doctors and their clients, who had homes in California and Colorado as well as South Florida, that they had begun including nutrient IV therapy as part of their wellness regimen. “I started looking into who was doing it here.”

He began a trial location of Liquivida Lounge in Coconut Creek, inside the offices of East West Physicians, where he implemented the business in partnership with chiropractic physician Howard Newman. Soon after, Tejada opened more lounges inside already-existing wellness facilities in Pompano Beach and Boca Raton. There are plans to open other locations in central Broward County later this year. His first stand-alone Liquivida Lounge is in Fort Lauderdale.

Intravenous vitamin infusions deliver nutrients directly to the bloodstream, where higher levels of the supplements are absorbed than if they pass through the digestive system, Tejada says. Liquivida’s signature IV treatments include Natural Defense (for disease protection), The Executive (for mental clarity), Performance Hydration (for athletic people), The Liquilift (which includes all nutrients), Rise and Shine (for improved energy and help with hangovers), Glutathione (for stronger skin cells and better complexion) and the Fountain of Youth (for skin, hair and nail health).

The treatment Kardashian reportedly received was similar to Liquivida’s Fountain of Youth, so I chose that one. The formula contains biotin, which promotes cellular growth in hair, skin and nails; B-complex vitamins to improve brain function and reduce stress; and glutathione, a powerful antioxidant.

My treatment was prepared inside a sterile room in the medical office. For the IV, a needle that I was told was the size of one used for an infant, was inserted in my arm in the same room. After the drip was prepared and administered, I entered the lounge area where I sat in a large massage recliner and the lights were dimmed. I opted to not watch television but to listen to meditative music.

The treatment was painless, the environment relaxing like a spa experience, and it took about 30 minutes. I did feel a bit more energized as I drove out of the parking lot. My stress levels seemed to have calmed, too.

Tejada says clients usually return a few times a month to support their immune systems. Some athletes who train two to three times a day will come in as often as two or three times a week, he says. Tejada suggests an ongoing regimen of nutrient IV therapy, saying its effects are cumulative.

Nutrient IV therapy clearly has a following in South Florida. While I’m not sure my skin glowed for the red carpet, the experience did make me feel like a celebrity. 

It All Began at Monarch High

Samael Tejada’s parents moved him from Milwaukee to Coconut Creek in the middle of his junior year of high school. Across the street from the condominium where he lived was newly built Monarch High School. “The year that I started, there was no senior class,” he says. “We graduated in 2005 as the inaugural senior class.”

It was there he met his future wife and business partner, Shayna. They were both in a U.S. government class together their senior year and, although they sat next to each other, Tejada says they never spoke. But a little more than a month before graduation, they were assigned to work together on a project.

Samael’s girlfriend had just broken up with him and he didn’t have a prom date. Neither did Shayna. “Everyone had dates and I remember talking to my mom and my aunt about it,” Shayna says. “I said, ‘I just want a good-looking date for the prom, so I can take some nice pictures.’ ” When a friend of Shayna’s suggested she go with “Sammy,” she worked up the nerve to call him. “We agreed to go as friends,” she says.

Samael adds, “We shopped together for matching outfits for the prom and we just connected. We’ve been together ever since.”

For more information on Liquivida Lounge visit liquividalounge.com.

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