How to Reduce the Strength of Kava?

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strength of kava
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It is easy to understand why people love kava. The experience can be described as euphoric. Depending on the potency of the kava, sometimes it can be too much to handle. Knowing how to reduce the strength of the kava is a factor that is important so its effects won’t go outside of your comfort zone.

If you are new to drinking kava, it can be common to not really know how fast or how strong it can affect you. If it does start to feel a little strong, it is good to be aware of how you can reduce the strength. Water dilution, avoiding certain foods, and drinking water are three ways to reduce the strength of kava.

One thing most kava bartenders will inform you of is the different varieties they serve. I like to try each one of them when at a kava bar, just to get a good idea of how they make me feel. Depending on what you are looking for the kava bartenders usually have a thorough knowledge of each type.

Everyone here at Kava-Bula has different preferences so we also have a pretty well-rounded knowledge of the different types. We all have different tolerance levels and different preferences, so being aware of each of the kava’s potency is important for all of us.

Staying in control of how it affects you is important simply because it is good to know the kava will affect you and how to reduce the strength of its effects if it becomes too much to handle. So let’s take a look at three ways to reduce the strength of kava.

1. Diluting the Kava Concentrate

If you didn’t already know, kava is made from a root. It is actually called Piper Methysticum which is a part of the pepper family. The process is made is by grinding up the root, submerging the grounds in warm water, and straining it.

The amount of kava grounds used to the water ratio will determine its potency. The first stage of extracting kava is soaking the grounds in cheesecloth in warm water for a set amount of time and squeezing out the concentrate. On a commercial scale, a hydraulic juice press could be used as well for extraction.

I find this to be similar to making coffee. If you use more coffee grounds then you have a stronger cup of coffee. So like coffee, kava has different strains that will affect its flavor and how it makes you feel, so when you want to dampen its strength simply use fewer grounds.

Some kava establishments may even add coconut oil when making it to pull more of the kavalactones from the grounds. This method actually gives it more strength. Foods high in fat content can enhance the effects of kava which brings us to our next topic.

2. Avoiding Certain Foods

Kava is best metabolized on an empty stomach, so eating food essentially will also lower the strength of kava. However, foods that are rich and have a high-fat content will make the effects of kava stronger. Spicy foods have been said to also enhance the strength of kava, so just stay away from these things to reduce the intensity.

On the other hand, foods that are carb-heavy can actually reduce the strength of kava. One of the kava bars that I frequent serves this type of food for this very reason. It can be easy to drink several shells of kava and before you know it, you have gone overboard.

When this happens just get something carb-heavy to reduce any “kava overkill”. You will find these types of carb-heavy foods such as soft pretzels are perfect for such an occasion.

I personally don’t really enjoy kava on a full stomach, it can make me feel tired if I do so. Kava does help with insomnia, so the times that I will drink kava with certain meals will be just before bedtime. Since I do experience insomnia from time to time, I find this definitely helps me get a good night’s rest.

Now that we know what foods to eat and what to avoid to reduce the strength of kava, let’s take a look at our last topic.

3. Drinking Water

Similar to diluting kava concentrate, drinking water will also reduce the strength of kava. This is more of an indirect way to reduce kava strength while it also aids in hydrating your body. Kava can be known to dehydrate you, so drinking water is definitely a factor you should take into consideration when drinking it.

As I had mentioned before on how that water ratio is in relation to how potent the kava will be, the same concept goes for how it will affect you. If you are drinking a lot of kava in one night, it is pretty much going to be concentrated in your body.

This will have a strong effect due to the amount of consumption, so what you will have to do to tone down the strength is start drinking some water. This is also important so you stay hydrated and you aren’t causing any harm to your liver.

It is always best to pace yourself when you drink kava. So it is good to make a mental note, for every shell you drink, have a glass of water along with it.


There you have it, three ways you can reduce the strength of kava. Although this isn’t really a concern most people care to know about, it is still good to know if needed.

The team here at Kava-Bula keeps these factors in mind so we can have a fine balance when drinking kava to ensure we ourselves don’t go overboard when we are drinking kava.

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