There have been some reports that Kava beverages may aid in weight loss. While there is a small amount of evidence that the compounds in kava kava beverages may have some mild effects on metabolism and encourage calorie burning, that’s not where the majority of the benefits of kava come from when it comes to weight loss.
Instead, Kava could be an outstanding choice for weight loss due to the lifestyle changes associated with its use. In this article, I’ll go over the basics of kava weight loss information, the potential benefits of using kava for weight loss, and how kava consumption can aid in the weight loss process.
Kava Weight Loss Information
Kava is a delightful mildly-intoxicating beverage that originated in Polynesia. It has been cultivated and used throughout Oceana for thousands of years ceremonially and recreationally. Over the past 20 or so years, it has been growing in popularity throughout the world. Kava can be purchased locally and online, though online choices are almost always superior.
Most users enjoy kava for its anxiety-reducing, pain-relieving, chill vibe effects. But some seek it out for other reasons, including weight loss.
Let’s consider why Kava can be a tool for weight loss.
Kava as an Alcohol Replacement
Due to potential negative effects on the liver, the vast majority of people familiar with kava usage recommend abstaining from alcohol while drinking kava. Both substances tax the liver. It is generally advised that users should not take both alcohol and kava at the same time.
Now, everyone has heard of “beer bellies” and there’s no question that alcohol can contribute to weight gain. Regardless of the type of spirit chosen, whether it be wine, beer, or a cocktail, there is often a lot of sugar and calories, found in alcohol.
Those delicious IPAs that are so popular often have 250+ calories per glass. Just to do some quick math, a 6.5% Sierra Nevada has about 260 calories per 12 oz. If someone were to drink two bottles per evening, they would be consuming 520 calories in beer.
That’s a lot!
And many cocktails are mixed with sweet fruit juices, sugar syrups, and the like. All of those calories add up.
The calories from the drinks themselves aren’t the only factor to include, too. You also need to consider that people who have had a couple of drinks tend to eat more highly-caloric foods due to lowered inhibitions and the alcohol buzz.
Inhibitions lead to poor decision making. Poor decision making leads to eating the whole plate of fries and the bowl of ice cream at the end of the evening.
It’s easy to see how alcohol can play a large role in weight gain, and prevent weight loss.
Replacing Alcohol with Kava
Now let’s compare alcohol with Kava.
In order to get a decent buzz off of beer, one could easily drink 500+ calories to get there. In order to get a decent buzz off of kava, one needs to consume… almost zero calories. Pure kava tea prepared in a typical way, with no fruit juices or adjuncts added, contains practically zero calories.
Yes, you read that correctly, there are almost no calories in kava. A shell or two of Dua Na Bilo Kava (reviewed here) will have no calories.
Of course, kava is often mixed with fruit juices and sweet syrups to mask the unpleasant taste. These adjuncts can be full of sugar and are likely highly caloric. If you do this, you’ll certainly add back a lot of those calories. But if you can drink kava without adjuncts, you can avoid consuming ton calories compared to if you were enjoying a couple of beers after work.
For this reason, kava can be quite effective for weight loss, when it is used as a substitute for alcohol.
As a side note, I have found that using zero-calorie flavored seltzer water as a chaser effectively masks the unpleasant flavors of kava.
Many users of Kava find that the effects of kava are significantly increased, or potentiated, by fasting for at least 5 hours prior to drinking kava. If you want the most out of your kava, you don’t usually want to eat anything after lunch.
Additionally, a light meal consumed after drinking kava is usually the preferred choice. This is because a light meal will help keep the buzz going for longer, and a heavy meal will limit the kava experience.
Many kava users have a reasonably sizable breakfast and lunch, and then fast from lunch until evening time. They consume their kava and finish off the evening with a small, light meal.
This translates into no snacking in the afternoon, and a light dinner. An outstanding recipe for weight loss!
By avoiding the careless afternoon snacking so many of us engage in, you’re skipping lots of empty calories. And by choosing a light dinner instead of a massive, heavy dinner following your kava beverage, you’re further cutting the caloric intake.
Again, the kava isn’t directly causing the weight loss, but rather, the lifestyle changes associated with kava promote weight loss.
Carbs in Kava
As there are essentially no calories in traditional kavas, there are correspondingly essentially zero carbs in kava as well. Kava won’t kick you out of a keto diet, and won’t stall you if you’re trying to limit the carb intake.
Yes, kava is keto. Sweet! Or rather, not sweet.
If you’re looking to lose weight, kava may be a helpful substance to tip the scales in the right direction.
The kava beverage itself is essentially calorie-free, as long as you’re not mixing it with anything but water. By choosing kava, you’re not drinking calories or carbs. And if you’re substituting kava for alcohol, you could be easily saving several hundred calories per day.
And if you get into the rhythm and start fasting to improve your kava experience, you’ll naturally curb your food consumption due to fasting.
These two factors alone could easily contribute to over a 500 calorie per day deficit in terms of total calorie consumption.
Using Kava root for weight loss can be quite effective! If you’re interested in picking up some kava, check out our recommendations on Kava on Amazon here.
Good luck on your weight loss journey!