Hookah and Kava: 3 Things You Should Be Aware Of

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A popular pastime emerging within kava-drinking communities is smoking hookah while drinking kava. As we speak kava bars across the United States are starting to pair these two pastimes together. While nothing is inherently wrong with this there are 3 things that you should be aware of when combining kava and hookah.

When combining kava and hookah there are generally 3 things that you should know. First, make sure you drink plenty of water, both kava and hookah will dehydrate you. Second, pace yourself on both kava and hookah. Third, before you smoke the hookah and drink the kava eat a small snack.

If you follow these 3 helpful tips then chances are you are going to love pairing kava and hookah together. Out here on the islands, plenty of the guys on the Kava-Bula team go out drinking kava and smoking hookah on the weekends. It is almost a ritual at this point. Although I don’t join them they appear to like it.

Let’s jump into it ya; here are the 3 things you should be aware of when drinking kava and smoking hookah at the same time.

First, Make Sure You Drink Plenty of Water, Both Kava and Hookah Will Dehydrate You

Something that most people forget about is just how much kava and hookah will dehydrate you.

Hookah smoke contains dehydrated sugars that when breathed in will absorb the moisture in your body. This can cause problems and is often why most people sit or lay down when smoking hookah.

On the other hand, kava will dehydrate you as well. This dehydration is often caused by an inflammatory response to the kava in newer kava drinkers. However, even seasoned kava drinkers can experience this ‘dehydration’ effect.

What does this mean? Well, when you combine hookah and kava you need to constantly be drinking water to prevent dehydration. We normally recommend drinking at least one glass of water with every 12 oz shell of kava.

Don’t worry, the water will not dilute the effects of the kava and hookah. It only will make you feel better because you are hydrated.

Second, Pace Yourself on Both Kava and Hookah

When people combine hookah and kava you can often tell who is more experienced. Novice kava drinkers who smoke hookah will race each other and often end up feeling sick.

When you combine hookah and kava absolutely make sure you slow down on drinking kava. This is because when you combine hookah and kava you can get light-headed pretty fast. People who get light-headed might pass out, which we don’t want.

Instead what you should do is sip on your kava drink over the course of an hour. This will give you a feeling of if you like combining the two. Also, this will extend the time for your kava drink which is always a good thing. Remember, kava is a social thing. The longer you are drinking your kava with friends the better.

If you pace yourself when you are drinking kava and smoking hookah then you will enjoy yourself much more. Not only will your kava last longer but you will also feel better.

Third, Before You Smoke the Hookah and Drink the Kava Eat a Small Snack

The best thing you can do when combining hookah and kava is to eat a small snack before you start drinking the kava.

The reason we do this is because it will slow down how fast your body starts to absorb the kava. This will both slow down the dehydration process as well as help you gauge if you like combining the smoke with kava.

For small snacks, we always recommend some crackers or a tiny piece of bread/chocolate. Both of these are good and will absorb the kava before it enters your system. As an added benefit of this, you will also extend the relaxing feelings of the kava as it takes longer for the body to absorb it.

Some of the best times drinking kava that we have had out here on the islands has been while we were eating small snacks. Sometimes we even had a catering food company come out in the case of us having to serve kava to a large group of people.

However, the easiest thing to do so that you enjoy your kava and hookah experience more is to simply eat a small snack before drinking the kava.


There you have it; the 3 things that you should be aware of before drinking kava and smoking hookah.

The trick to combining these two is to remain hydrated and pace yourself. It is easy to go overboard on both the hookah and kava and can result in a bad night. However, if you pace yourself properly then chances are you will be fine when combining these two pastimes.

If you liked this article then consider subscribing to the free newsletter and sharing it around the web with other kava lovers. The team here at Kava-Bula loves helping others discover the amazing traditional drink of kava.

Remember, kava is a traditional drink that is designed to bring a community together to talk. That is why whenever we drink kava we first start by saying ‘bula’ which roughly translates to wishing your local community good health and prosperity.


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