Kava kava is becoming more and more popular as an anti-anxiety supplement, as well as a substitute for alcohol. In this article, we’ll explain the different types of kava supplement and the best ways to take Kava supplements.
What Are Kava Supplements, And Why Do People Take Them?
Kava is an herbal remedy that has been traditionally used for thousands of years to relieve stress and anxiety. The active ingredients within a kava extract are called kavalactones. When we say supplement, we are referring to kava extracts rather than kava root, or micronized powder that is used to make tea.
Kava capsules contain kava extract in an easy to take gelcap. The best kava capsules clearly state how much kavalactones they contain. Ideally, you should look for 100-250mg of kavalactones per dose based on your requirements. Kava extract capsules tend to work slower than liquid kava or a tincture, since the capsules need to dissolve before your gut is able to absorb them.
Kava Tincture (AKA Kava Concentrate, Kava Drops Or Liquid Extract)
Kava tinctures are similar to capsules but they come dissolved in a liquid bottle. As stated above, you should only buy if they are clear about the specific kavalactones inside. Kavalactones aren’t water-soluble and therefore have a tendency to settle at the bottom.
You can even this out by shaking the mixture gently. You can also mix this into a fatty liquid such as coffee with milk to help it dissolve, since kavalactones are fat-soluble. However, some people prefer to drop it straight on their tongue to get the quickest effect. The ideal kava tincture dosage will otherwise be similar to other forms of kava extract.
You can, in theory, be more precise with tincture dosing, but the amount you get may differ depending on how the kava dissolves. It can be worth splitting your dose and by waiting 20 minutes before adding a second one. Most tincture bottles have a dropper which holds 1ml at a time, and you should look for one that has precise measurements. Alternatively, you can buy a measured dropper separately.
The typical kava dose tends to be around 100-250mg of kavalactones. Your individual dose depends on body weight and intended effects. The traditional dose is often higher and elicits a deeper sedative effect.
Kava has a half-life of 9 hours, which means you can dose kava around 2-3 times a day to maintain fairly steady blood levels. It does build up in your system so subsequent doses should be smaller than the initial dose.
If you’re wondering, “how many kava capsules should I take”, the answer is you should experiment a bit to see what works best for you. The recommended total daily dose is around 500mg of overall kava dosage, and you should avoid mixing kava with hepatotoxic compounds such as alcohol or acetaminophen/paracetamol (Tylenol).
Watch out for supplements that list mg of “kava extract” rather than kavalactones. The best kava pills and tinctures will be clear about their kavalactone content.
The dosage should be determined based on quantity of kavalactones, rather than the total weight of the kava or extract. You should ensure that you get 100-250mg of kavalactones in your initial dose, and 50-100 mg in subsequent doses
Kava Supplement Reviews: The Best Kava Supplement For Your Needs
The vast majority of kava supplements don’t list kavalactone content, just kava extract content– and some don’t even list that! Plus, many that do list their kavalactone content have shockingly little of it. Luckily, we are here to help you locate the best kava kava supplement to suit your needs. Here are the few that are clear about potency, and actually have a decent amount of kavalactones.
Best Kava Capsules
Gaia Herbs makes fantastic kava extract capsules. They contain 75 mg kavalactones per capsule, so 2-3 capsules is a good dose for most people.
Best Kava Extract Stack For Stress
The next supplement on our list is also 75 mg kavalactones per capsule, but this one also includes100 mg of eleuthero, which is an adaptogen. There is some evidence that it can protect the body from various stresses and provide physical enhancements. Athletes take it to increase performance and others use it to get through a hard day of work. 2 capsules at a time will be plenty for most people, and reviews state that it is highly effective for stress reduction.
Best Low-Dose Liquid Kava Tincture
If you’re looking for a lower-potency tincture that allows for more precise dosing, then Nature’s Answer has the perfect tincture product with 50mg of kavalactones per dropper.
Best High-Dose Liquid Kava Tincture
Those seeking a higher dose should opt for this liquid kava extract by Supersmart, which contains 75 mg kavalactones per dropper. They list the serving size as two droppers, which is enough to get a strong effect from the first dose. However, just one dropper is a better dosage for your 2nd and 3rd kava dose of the day.
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