How Many Calories Are In Kava

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Whenever we serve kava out here on the islands one of the most common questions we get asked is “how many calories are there in a glass of kava?” While there are over 30 different types of kava plants that we know of all of them contain hardly any calories when prepared correctly. Below is everything you will ever need to know about how many calories kava has in it.

A single 8-12 oz glass of kava will have around 10-50 calories depending on how many times the kava has been filtered. Kava that has only gone through one filtration has around 50 calories. Kava that has been strained more than 3 times has as little as 10 calories in it.

This means that kava is like coffee when figuring out how many calories it has. Just like with coffee kava is strained when it is made, the calories left in the drink will come from the bits of leftover kava root that make it through the filtering process. The team here at Kava-Bula always filters at a minimum of 2 times for each batch of kava to get a smooth taste; you can read an entire article on filtering at home with a coffee filter here.

Let’s get right into it ya; here are exactly how many calories there are in kava.

Calculating Out How Many Calories Each Serving of Kava Has

This image comes from a 2014 study done on the chemical makeup of kava by

A vast majority of the calories from kava come from the material of the kava root. These roots are extremely high in starch and fiber and it is this which will create the calories in the kava drink.

As we can see from the above image dried kava root matter has around 43% starch and 20% fiber. This is where our calories will be coming from.

A single 8 oz serving of kava will have around 3 tablespoons of kava root powder or root in it. If each one of these tablespoons has 50% caloric material in it (starch, fiber, etc.) then that means that each tablespoon of kava contains 7.4 grams of material. Each gram of carbohydrates is around 4 calories. This means that each tablespoon of kava contains 29.6. A kava drink will have 3 of these tablespoons which means that each 8-12 oz glass of kava has 88.8 calories.

However, this is if you leave the kava unfiltered. When we filter out the kava the number of calories get significantly reduced. From tests we have conducted here at Kava-Bula we have seen that the amount of kava powder gets cut in half each time you filter the kava. With this, the amount of calories gets cut down by half as well.

The above image demonstrates how many calories an 8oz glass of kava will have depending on how many times the kava has been filtered. Most professional kava bars and drinkers will filter their kava around 2-3 times. This means that the average 8oz glass of kava has between 50-30 calories in it.

However, some places will filter their kava around 5 times to make the drink smoother and easier to drink. At this point, a single 8oz glass of kava will have between 15-25 calories in it.

Calories In Flavored Kava

The above section is just for kava that has not had any flavors added to it. Most people who are introduced to kava at a bar or party often have some form of flavor added in. This can increase the number of calories considerably.

Some of the most popular kava drinks out here on the islands are fruit kava smoothies. These drinks can get upwards of 200-400 calories per drink when people add in yogurt, milk, fruits, and even ice cream. It is always important to remember what you are adding to the kava and then calculate the calories from there.

When the team here at Kava-Bula makes a drink they often only mix in a small bit of fruit or juice to make the drink easier to drink. Some of our most popular concoctions are mixing kava with orange, apple, and even grape juice. When you add a 1/4 mixture of juice to kava the calorie content of the 8oz kava drink goes up to around 100 calories which puts it right on the same level as a normal drink.

As such when you go out to a kava bar and get a kava drink you might be getting a glass of kava that is around 100 calories. This is because of all the additive flavors that are thrown into the kava drink.


That’s about it to answering the question of how many calories there are in kava. Remember, that for every 8oz serving of kava there are around 88 calories if it is unfiltered. If you filter your kava at least 2 times then you are looking at a total calorie count of 50 calories.

There are pretty much no calories in kava. When the team and I serve up kava drinks to people we often tell them that kava has nearly nothing in it once we filter everything out. However, for people who are super curious we have put together this article for you. Remember, kava is a traditional beverage and we always say ‘bula’ when we drink it. This word translates to wishing your local community and those around you good health. So bula to you!


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