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Home / News / How Long Does Kava Take to Work?

How Long Does Kava Take to Work?

Diana Grace image

By Diana Grace

Published July 23, 2021

It was my second year of college. Finals were coming up and I had a ton of studying to get done. Coming down with a head cold was not a welcome addition to my agenda. 

 Being the genius that I am, I asked other college students what to take. “Sudafed works great,” a few of my wise, trustworthy friends told me.

 Y’all. You know that this little wonder drug is used to make meth, right? Yep. Within about twenty minutes I was feeling a little weird. I went to my genius friends.

 “Hey, y’all. I don’t feel right,” I told them.

 They stared at me, mouths agape, trying not to laugh. “Your eyes look weird! Your pupils are dilated at two different sizes!!” one of them piped up right before she burst out cackling at me. 

 They had all experienced great results. Not me. Not me at all. I was having a result alright, an undesirable, can’t-focus-enough-to-study kind of result. 

 The lesson here? Substances affect each of us differently. Several factors can come into play. Your weight, your natural tolerance, if you have an empty stomach, how quickly your body metabolizes the substance, etc. It’s wise to figure out how your body will react to something before going whole-hog and taking a full dose.

 The same lesson applies to kava use. 

 Why Do People Use Kava?

Today, people continue to use kava for different reasons. Some people use kava to help them focus. Others use it as a tool to help them relax. And an entirely different group of people use it to reduce their stress level. 

Truth be told, kava may be new to you, but it is by no means new. Kava has been around for a few thousand years in Pacific Island cultures. Natives have been passing down their kava traditions generation after generation. There are 103 different varieties of kava that can be broken down into two main categories: noble and tudei.

If you do a little bit of research, you’ll quickly discover that the best, safest kava is the noble kava variety. Noble kava is the only way to go should you choose to use kava. It is definitely the superior variety of kava. 

Noble kava has the ability to reduce pain, reduce stress, promote better sleep, and enhance cognition. And kava can do all of that without the nasty unwanted side effects other substances give you.

It is worth mentioning that the island cultures where kava is native drink it ritualistically. Kava is woven throughout their cultures, and in some instances it is used to install a new Chief.

In America, we can’t grow our own kava and drink it with our tribe, but we can order it online or head to a local kava bar. People are loving kava bars as a replacement for a regular bar with alcohol. 

Kava can give you the same relaxed feeling and the equivalent of what many people refer to as “liquid courage” without the negative side effects. When you drink a little noble kava, you will not lose mental clarity and you won’t have a hangover the next day.

 How Do People Take Kava?

For real, though. People have taken kava in different ways over the generations. Most people drink it.  It is the root of the noble kava plant that gives you the desired results. The more traditional use of kava incorporates a medium grind and a little muslin bag. 

People put their medium grind kava into a muslin bag for straining and put it in really warm to hot water. Not too hot because the next step is to knead that kava for a few minutes while in the water. In essence, you are hand-extracting the kavalactones from your kava. The more kavalactones, the better!

Mmm mmm good. Ground-up root powder in water. That sounds absolutely delightful, doesn’t it? No. No, it doesn’t. And it shouldn’t because straight up kava is very bitter. That is nature’s way of keeping people from over-partaking in their kava!

The good news is that there are kava drinks that do the work for you, add more natural ingredients to enhance the effectiveness of the kava, and they include flavoring so you can say b-bye to bitter kava. 

Ü Relax is a fabulous choice for a ready-made kava drink. We combine noble kava, ashwagandha, lemon balm, chamomile, and L-theanine with the delicious flavors of pineapple and mixed berry to bring you the perfect blend of function with flavor in an easy-to-use four-ounce shot. 

Before You Drink Kava …

Before You Drink Kava …, Woman holding a mug of kava after taking a sip.

So, before you grab some kava to swig down, there are a few things you should consider to get the most from your kava experience. 

With Food or Not With Food, That is the Question: Whatever is sitting in your digestive tract will compete with any added substances for absorption. So, when you take kava on a full stomach, it will be competing with that food to be absorbed, causing the kavalactone absorption to be much slower. This means it will take longer for you to feel the effects of your kava. On the flip side, if you take kava on an empty stomach your body will react much more quickly. 

Grades of the Grind: When it comes to the effects of kava starting, the grind plays a major role. The finer the grind, the quicker it begins to work. And now you know why people like to use micronized kava! 

A fine grind allows the kava to spread through the water and intersperse the kavalactones more efficiently. That means your digestive tract has a better chance of soaking up more of those kavalactones, resulting in the bloodstream being flooded with kava. So, that kava acts much quicker.

Interaction Issues: If you take other supplements or medications, it may affect how your body reacts to kava. This happens much the same way that taking a thyroid med at the same time as vitamins prevents the med from absorbing and doing its job. The kava will be competing with those medications or supplements to be absorbed into your bloodstream. 

Some medications will affect the absorption in your gut, while other supplements will prevent kava from absorbing in your digestive tract … and conversely, a different group of supplements will speed up the rate of absorption. It’s important for you to consider whatever you’re taking before using kava.

Form Affects Absorption: This is pretty self-explanatory. The form you use to take your kava directly affects the rate of absorption. Taking kava in capsule form means more time passes before the effects are felt. Drinking your kava results in much faster emergence of those desired effects. So, if you need to relax and focus quickly, drink up, people!

And now that you know all of that, let’s get to the question at hand …

How Long Does Kava Take to Work?

Okay. As you know by this point, several things affect the length of time that passes before feeling your kava. Typically, kava results can be felt in fifteen to thirty minutes. 

It comes in waves. 

First, your mouth feels funny. That happens right away when you drink a really good quality kava. Your tongue and lips will begin to feel numb or tingly. This is supposed to happen, don’t freak out. It just means the kavalactones are doing their job. 

The strength of the kava is directly correlated with the intensity of the numbing sensation. Stronger kava = more intense numbing.

Second, feelings of euphoria and energy begin within fifteen to thirty minutes. Relaxation may wash over you. It typically happens cephalocaudally. In other words, the effect travels from your head down to the rest of your body. Your happy is officially settling in.

Third, the boost is real! The feelings you are having continue to strengthen until about two hours have passed. The intensity of your reaction is dependent on the amount of kava you drink.

A sense of calm and wellbeing seems to just gently swell through your body. Your creativity heightens and your social confidence increases. Those bothersome worries that keep you from chatting with others drift away. 

A well-balanced kava like Ü Relax will deliver the perfect experience of reducing stress while enhancing your ability to focus, simultaneously giving you a sense of calm coupled with confidence.

Fourth, the body follows suit. Now that your mind is chilling out, your body will get in line and relax, too. Imagine a therapist telling you to relax your body as you sink into your chair, it’s like that without all of the concentration and breathing exercises.

If you drank kava to help you drift off to sleep in a deeper state, this is the time. Your body and mind are actually working together rather than fighting each other. Sleep is just around the corner. 

Let’s be real for a minute. Cheaper kavas are not going to give you faster, more reliable results. So, please don’t order random kava online. Do your research. The cheaper kavas may act quickly, relax you deeply … and leave you there. For a couple of days.

Ü Relax won’t do that to you. The chief scientist working on our formula has a Ph.D. in molecular biology. He has published countless papers regarding his studies. All that to say that the brain behind our kava blend is of very high caliber!

Take Ü Relax on an empty stomach whenever you want to feel a bit of chill in your day. It has an edge over other kava drinks because most of the other products available don’t have suitable clinical proof when it comes to the efficacy of the dosage.

Ü Relax was designed with specific ingredients added to enhance its potency. Each of those ingredients is backed by studies that prove their success along with the proper dosage. This gives our users real results with zero compromises.

Each four-ounce bottle of Ü Relax delivers four hours of calm. You can drink two bottles of Ü Relax daily for about eight full hours of your perfect zen with no hangover.

But What About Reverse Tolerance to Kava?

But What About Reverse Tolerance to Kava? Mug of kava, sitting on a plate with a chocolate sliver on the side.

Some people metabolize kava almost instantly from their very first sip. It’s as if their bodies were made to respond to it. Other people drink it for the first time and feel absolutely nothing. Nothing amazing happens. Nothing awful happens. It’s almost like they drank water.

Those people are so very special that they are immediately experiencing reverse tolerance. Reverse tolerance is definitely something you’ll want to consider when introducing kava into your daily routine. Reverse tolerance to kava is the opposite of what happens when you drink alcohol.

Drinking alcohol regularly results in your body building up a tolerance to it. It takes more and more alcohol to achieve the feelings you are going for. As you can imagine, this is one thing that makes alcohol so addictive. You keep drinking more and more to feel the way you want, and before you know it, you have a serious problem with addiction. 

The good news is that kava has the opposite effect on its users. In the beginning, when you are a kava newbie, your body will more than likely take longer to react to the kava. People who have been drinking kava year after year will find their bodies respond to the kava much faster. 

It’s basically as if your body has to figure out what to do with the kava, almost like a learning experience for your body. Your body needs to learn to recognize the kava several times before it automatically knows how to respond.

Why does reverse tolerance happen? Well, we’re not exactly certain. Some people believe that our bodies need to have the kavalactones build-up in our bodies over time before the entire effect of kava can be felt. 

(Wouldn’t it be fantastic if our bodies had a really slow reverse tolerance to say … doughnuts?)

With all of this in mind, you will need to lower your expectations when you first try kava. That seems counterintuitive but just go with it. Taking smaller amounts of kava when you are just starting on your kava journey is wise because it’s necessary to find out how your body is going to respond to the presence of kavalactones.

Patience, young Jedi, patience. It’s much smarter to increase your intake of kava over a period of time so that you can experience its full benefits. It will take effect more quickly and that means your relaxation and stress reduction will kick in faster. So, if you can just hang in there, you will be glad you did!

You will need to slowly introduce the kava to get through the reverse tolerance phase of taking it. Generally, it takes you anywhere from two weeks to four weeks before your bodies become kava masters.

You can also keep in mind the effect of a full stomach vs. an empty stomach. Try drinking your kava on an empty stomach so your digestive tract has a better chance of soaking up those kavalactones.

Just pace yourself with your kava when you start out. You don’t need to take it every single day in an attempt to force your body to get over the reverse tolerance. Taking your time will allow you to anticipate your reaction to drinking kava.

What Are the Benefits of Overcoming Reverse Tolerance?

What Are the Benefits of Overcoming Reverse Tolerance? Ground kava sitting in wooden bowls and spoons.

If you stick with your kava routine, there absolutely are benefits to taking kava and having a storehouse of kavalactones in your body. The benefits of those kavalactones are totally worth the wait. 

Kavalactones reduce stress, encourage better sleep patterns, and decrease pain in our bodies. The reason that kava is such a great choice is that it can do all of this for you without the negative side effects that so many other substances come with.

Our neurotransmitters are the chemical messengers sent to our bodies from our brains. Unlike other substances that directly affect our brains, the kavalactones in kava affect our neurotransmitters.