does kava cause hangovers? what is a kava hangover?

What is a Kava Hangover?

In this post, we will be exploring the kava hangover. Kava as a alcohol alternative. Why good kava will not usually create hangovers. What kava will likely create a hangover and why.

Kava will usually not create hangovers. It helps to decrease social anxiety and works as a great alcohol substitute. So it might come as a surprise to some when we talk about the hangover effects that kava produces.

What is a hangover?

Generally, if you’ve had too much alcohol, you’re familiar what a hangovers feel like. They’re usually the result of many symptoms combined and many times are one of the main causes for a search for alcohol substitutes and alcohol alternatives. They can be awful. Hangovers are usually caused by a combination of dehydration, muscle tension, headaches, and digestion problems. Hangovers are most commonly caused by a high degree of dehydration when consuming alcohol. They’re not usually associated with aftereffects of consuming kava, however in some cases you may experience this.

What is a kava hangover?

Kava hangovers are not usually caused by drinking high quality, noble kava. The most common reason for kava hangovers is when you have kava that is either wild or tudei or has that kava mixed in to make it cheaper. Tudei kava, which can be pronounced as “Two Day Kava” as it is widely known for creating those negative kava hangover and kava nausea effects. You may have a headache, feel nausea, your thoughts may be clouded and foggy and feel much less motivated to do much at all.

If you’ve had a night drinking copious amount of alcohol, you most likely can relate to this type of situation. Tudei (two day) kava also remains in your system longer, making these effects last longer than even if you would have them with noble kava. It’s possible but unlikely that you will have a kava hangover after drinking noble kava. This is attributed to the fact that kava is a diuretic. If you’re dehydrated and you’ve drank quite a bit of kava without having water as well, you could feel some of these effects. It will likely be in a much shorter duration and any hangover will be much weaker than one with tudei. With every batch of kava, it is difficult to identify if the batch contains Tudei roots. Unfortunately, some exporters will bulk up the kava they sell by mixing a portion with Tudei root. It’s inferior in quality and has the said hangover effects. We’ll show you how to better identify kava with wild or tudei kava so you can avoid it.

How much kava will cause a hangover?

The right amount of kava and varieties of kava that do we’ll is different for everyone. So having a certain amount of kava may be fine for one person and for another it may be way too much. Play with your amounts. We start at 4 tablespoons to 20oz water and work down. If you want to get more granular with your measurements, you can start with 32g of kava per 600ml, then work down to (switching back and forth between measurements here) 1 gram per 1 ounce of liquid. So 1 gallon of kava would be 128 grams of kava. 20 ounces of liquid would be 20 grams of kava. Your perfect measurements may be way too much or too little for another person.

How to prevent kava hangovers

First, make sure you have 100% noble kava. Do not drink kava with alcohol. This will make all the bad effects of alcohol much worse. Stay hydrated while drinking kava. Staying hydrated while drinking kava as long as the first two conditions are met, is absolutely key to avoiding kava hangovers. Drinking coconut water during a kava session is also a great choice. Coconut water has a lot of electrolytes which keep you very hydrated. Coconut water tastes great and acts as a nice chaser to your earthy kava session. 

You can find excellent 100% noble kava to buy here at We highly recommend trying our Solomon Feo (heavy kava), Temotu Purple (both heady and heavy kava) or Puariki (heady kava).

How to Identify Tudei Kava

Identifying tudei or wild kava is always a bit difficult. Especially when you don’t have a few hundred dollars to have the kava you bought tested every time you buy some. We highly recommend our kava of course , but if you’re looking for a bunch of qualified vendors. The best place to look is They have a master list of community approved vendors. First, buy from vendors that post their kava tests per batch. These tests will tell you the kavalactone percentages and chemotypes of the kava you’re getting. Many of them may post a test, but if you look at the date, it may be from several months ago or even years. It’s possible that they just buy so much kava that that is the actual test or the kava you have. So, it’s worth sending an email to the company to make sure the info is accurate. If not, many times they’ll send you the most recent information upon request. If they don’t, it’s worth checking elsewhere to find excellent kava. We believe actions like this will make your dollars a vote to significantly improve our industry and more so guarantee you receive high quality alcohol alternative that will work well for you as opposed to creating a kava hangover. Now that you have this information at your fingertips, what do you do with it? Do what we do with our vendors to ensure quality.

• First, The acetone test.

You can get a package of plastic test tubes on amazon for around $10. It’s a big pack so you can do your testing many times before getting a new bag. Do not use your drinking glass wear or anything you consume food from. If you do use something like that you should throw it out after use. You’ll also need a kitchen scale that you can turn into grams. You’ll also need to go to your local grocery store or corner store. Go to the makeup section and look for something called 100% acetone. There are others that are blended with other stuff. You do not want that. 100% is what you need. You can look at the ingredients to see if its 100% as it will only say acetone. Also there are different bottles. There are ones that you will see that have a rounded top. Don’t get those. Those are for cotton balls and squirt out really weird. Get one with a flip top and a hole on the cap.

1. Wear gloves if you can. If you get acetone on you just wash right away and don’t get it in your eyes.

2. In your test tube, add 10 grams of kava powder.

3. Add 30 grams acetone to the test tube.

4. Shake for 2 minutes.

5. Set on a counter overnight undisturbed to let it completely settle.

6. If it is yellow it’s mellow (this means its noble kava). If it’s red it’s likely tudei. If its brown or another color it may be wild kava or something else entirely.

• Next, the Ratios.

They are very helpful but aren’t an absolute as far as accuracy on confirming tudei or wild kava. It may be something like 70% accurate, but this will allow you to ask more questions that the retailer might not have caught during the testing stage. If it is a false reading, their vendor may have accidently added kava that is a bit too young (3 years or less) into the mix or another cultivar made its way in there. Chips also play a factor in the chemotype/kavalactone % which could create a false positive or negative. The latter is an issue when that cultivar that made its way in is tudei. If that happens it’s ok to assume that it was accidental. If the company freely posts all of their information, it likely is an accident made by ]their vendor that they didn’t catch as posting this information is highly transparent. You would be doing them a favor by emailing them about it.

  •  Kavain/(total kavalactone – kavain) ratio. This ratio will show you the percentage of kavain (which is desirable) to the total kavalactones that are not kavain.
  • 25 is the lower limit. below this it might be considered tudei. FALSE positives or negatives are common. A score of less than 25 could be due to a kava that is young, such as less than 3 years o Kavain/DHM Ratio 
  • A ratio of 1 means the kava is likely non-noble, however there could be false positives and negatives. 75% accurate or so. The ratio is affected by age. A younger plant is likely to have a lower ratio, possibly making it a false negative for noble. Chips will also create a low ratio, making it seem borderline noble/non noble, when the factor is more related to chips and age.
  • (Flavokavain B/Kavain)*100 Ratio
  • Generally the flavokavain B content of noble kava is below 0.01%. This isn’t infallible evidence that a kava is noble or not as well. Some noble kava will have flavokavain B approaching or exceeding 0.01%. That said, this is a higher value of reliability than the above ratios.
  • 8.5 is the suggested upper limit and would suggest a differentiation between noble and non-noble kava.
  • Kava that ranges between 1.2 and 4.1 would be considered likely noble kava
  • Kava that ranges between 12 and 140 would be likely non noble kava with wild varieties showing a ratio of greater than 2000.
  • Again this is not exact and shouldn’t be taken as conclusive evidence as noble/non noble, however this is a good start on determining a possible issue with the product.
  • Ref: Scientific and Legal Assistance for the Development of a Quality and Safety Standard for Kava Production and Trade in the Pacific Region. (REG/FED/022-667) Project code: 042/14 Final Report 30 November 2015
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