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Kava Routines to Avoid Lethargy

Jacob Bula

Nobody
Hi guys, I took about a 1.5 month break from kava when my son was born. I felt great; although, I didn't have work or night shifts either. I ordered a pound of waka last week and drank around 8 to 10 tbs and had a good time. The next day I drank the same and it i still felt pretty good. Gradually throughout the week I finished the pound. By the time the kava was over I felt super lethargic-- like my dopamine system was way out of wack. Zero motivation and not interested in living. Not suicidal, just not wanting to participate in life. When I would wake up, I would have severe physical anxiety even though my mind was calm-- like my cortisol levels were high. I felt like this for about 3 days until I started to get better. This happens every time I drink kava... I dont know if it has anything to do with my alcohol abuse history.

My question:

Has anyone else experienced this and came up with a routine that minimises these unwanted effects? I think the obvious answer is to decrease dosage amount, but my self control when it comes to kava and alcohol are zilch and I dont really enjoy it unless I drink 8 tablespoons. My relationship with kava keeps looking more and more like its not for me, but I dont want to accept that because I enjoy the good times with it so much. Help?
 

Jacob Bula

Nobody
Im going to try kavas low in yangonin on the next go round and see if it helps. Looking back I think Mahakea (4th position Yangonin) always plays nice with me and I just get bored. Maybe I'll stick with a pound of it next time.
 
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Edward

Aluballin' in the UK
Kava Vendor
I find taking B vitamins helps a lot with avoiding most of the lethargy when I'm drinking heavier kavas daily. My belief is that as they are water soluble they are flushed out more by the constant diuretic effect of the kava and replacing them with supplements makes a big difference. I take a Centrum men every day but I have noticed that just a good quality b complex tablet does everything I need, most of the rest of the tablet may or may not make a difference to anything. I've tried higher dose b vitamins and they are good too but not necessarily needed, a 100% of daily requirement complex is enough.
 

Jacob Bula

Nobody
I find taking B vitamins helps a lot with avoiding most of the lethargy when I'm drinking heavier kavas daily. My belief is that as they are water soluble they are flushed out more by the constant diuretic effect of the kava and replacing them with supplements makes a big difference. I take a Centrum men every day but I have noticed that just a good quality b complex tablet does everything I need, most of the rest of the tablet may or may not make a difference to anything. I've tried higher dose b vitamins and they are good too but not necessarily needed, a 100% of daily requirement complex is enough.
I will try that as well. Thanks!
 

Krunʞy

.
Admin
Hi guys, I took about a 1.5 month break from kava when my son was born. I felt great; although, I didn't have work or night shifts either. I ordered a pound of waka last week and drank around 8 to 10 tbs and had a good time. The next day I drank the same and it i still felt pretty good. Gradually throughout the week I finished the pound. By the time the kava was over I felt super lethargic-- like my dopamine system was way out of wack. Zero motivation and not interested in living. Not suicidal, just not wanting to participate in life. When I would wake up, I would have severe physical anxiety even though my mind was calm-- like my cortisol levels were high. I felt like this for about 3 days until I started to get better. This happens every time I drink kava... I dont know if it has anything to do with my alcohol abuse history.

My question:

Has anyone else experienced this and came up with a routine that minimises these unwanted effects? I think the obvious answer is to decrease dosage amount, but my self control when it comes to kava and alcohol are zilch and I dont really enjoy it unless I drink 8 tablespoons. My relationship with kava keeps looking more and more like its not for me, but I dont want to accept that because I enjoy the good times with it so much. Help?
I'm similar to you but it is a choice (I believe). I made the choice not to drink everyday. It does feel sucky for a little bit maybe a couple weeks ( I drank kava everyday for many years). Now I don't really care either way, I could have a shell tomorrow or go the rest of the year without any, makes no difference. And I think until you feel that confident about it, you should try to avoid everyday.
 

Kalm with Kava

Kava Vendor
I also echo @Krunʞy . Kava is a depressant, which is great when you need to relax, but not great when you don't want to relax. It tends to stick around in your system for a day or two, so drinking large amounts of kava (and I would say finishing an entire pound in a week is a large amount of kava), builds in your system and creates the emotions you're talking about.

Personally, I drink kava 2-4 days a week because I feel the same way. It's a good reminder for all of us that kava isn't the answer to your anxiety, but a tool we can use on days when our stress is through the roof. If you use it a little too often, your body will react in this way, telling you to cool it. To help your body learn to cope with life, try to only use kava when you're having a really rough day and you'll do great in the long run.

Also congratulations on the birth of your son! I wish you and your family the best of luck in the future!
 

Jacob Bula

Nobody
I think all the comments here are spot on. At least I only drink 1 pound a month :) . It's not an addiction or anytihing-- which I am very grateful for.

My new monthly plan for December based on your advice:

[I will switch to KWK Borongoru or GHK Mahakea only and Take a B-complex vitamin)

Day shift (2 weeks): No kava

Night shift (2 weeks):

Dec 9: 8 tablespoons, Dec 10: 8 tablespoons
Dec 11: No Kava, Dec 12: No Kava , Dec 13: No Kava
Dec 12: 8 tablespoons, Dec 15: 8 tablespoons
Dec 16: No Kava, Dec 17: No Kava
Dec 18: 8 tablespoons, Dec 19: 8 tablespoons, Dec 20: 8 tablespoons

I will keep you guys updated just incase there are any other swing shift workers lurking on here that might need some advice. I know it sounds silly to some to be so strict about your kava days, but if I don't put it in writing, I'll just default into monkey-brain consumption :p

Thank you guys for all the advice. I hope I'll figure this out one day. The problem is in my thinking-- the kava plant isn't causing the harm.
 

TrevC

Kava Enthusiast
Hi guys, I took about a 1.5 month break from kava when my son was born. I felt great; although, I didn't have work or night shifts either. I ordered a pound of waka last week and drank around 8 to 10 tbs and had a good time. The next day I drank the same and it i still felt pretty good. Gradually throughout the week I finished the pound. By the time the kava was over I felt super lethargic-- like my dopamine system was way out of wack. Zero motivation and not interested in living. Not suicidal, just not wanting to participate in life. When I would wake up, I would have severe physical anxiety even though my mind was calm-- like my cortisol levels were high. I felt like this for about 3 days until I started to get better. This happens every time I drink kava... I dont know if it has anything to do with my alcohol abuse history.

My question:

Has anyone else experienced this and came up with a routine that minimises these unwanted effects? I think the obvious answer is to decrease dosage amount, but my self control when it comes to kava and alcohol are zilch and I dont really enjoy it unless I drink 8 tablespoons. My relationship with kava keeps looking more and more like its not for me, but I dont want to accept that because I enjoy the good times with it so much. Help?
Dang! This sounds JUST like what I'm going through!
I keep a daily journal and can literally plot on a graph the rise and fall. It is a CYCLE, like you are experiencing.
A consolation I've carried lately is, even when I'm super low, I can look at my history and know that I should trend back upwards in a few days.
(Although every single time I'm low I feel like "THIS IS WHO I AM NOW.", which is terrifying. So the knowing is valuable.)
Eventually I return to a state of good mood, motivated, ready to do work - even creative stuff that I had no interest in during my "low" days.

Something in my gut (and that's a whole other topic - the gut) tells me it's the Kava. ie. That it builds to a place where "Ok, now I'm just lethargic and drinking extra shells is only going to make me nauseous.")

Kratom has been consistent. There's the honeymoon phase where the sense of well-being is so profound, but with daily use that gradually levels out and you find yourself taking Kratom to either: A) Stave off withdrawals or B) Accept the more moderate level of functionality (and stay there, not increasing dosage).

When utilizing only Kratom, I never had back-and-forth mood and emotional issues.

Kava... (and I've written this here before) sometimes knocks my socks off, and in that moment I'm reminded why I enjoy Kava.
But most of the time, that is not the case, and I find myself almost detesting it.

What I DO like about it, though, is that unlike Kratom, Kava can still give at least SOME mood lift despite prolonged use.

So when I'm mixing a batch, there's this underlying hope/anticipation that "Maybe this session will be a good one."
And that alone can help.

Sorry this ran long.
 

Jacob Bula

Nobody
Dang! This sounds JUST like what I'm going through!
I keep a daily journal and can literally plot on a graph the rise and fall. It is a CYCLE, like you are experiencing.
A consolation I've carried lately is, even when I'm super low, I can look at my history and know that I should trend back upwards in a few days.
(Although every single time I'm low I feel like "THIS IS WHO I AM NOW.", which is terrifying. So the knowing is valuable.)
Eventually I return to a state of good mood, motivated, ready to do work - even creative stuff that I had no interest in during my "low" days.

Something in my gut (and that's a whole other topic - the gut) tells me it's the Kava. ie. That it builds to a place where "Ok, now I'm just lethargic and drinking extra shells is only going to make me nauseous.")
Yep thats exactly what happens to me. Hopefully I'll figure it out one day. I never started kratom and have no plans to. I know myself too well. Anything with the potential to have physical addictions is a big no for me. ( except caffeine )
 

Jacob Bula

Nobody
UPDATE: My GHK order got to me on Saturday Dec 11, so I completely ignored my well thought out plan and blew threw the whole pound in a week with usual unwanted side-effects. I know I've had to much when ice cream no longer interests me :p Oh well, there's always next month...

Addressing what Krunky said earlier. It is definitely a choice, but I keep choosing to feel great for 2 hours after work as a trade for feeling crappy the rest of the night-- no one to blame but myself, as its a dosage dependent problem exacerbated by this circadian disruption. Insanity is the doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results-- which is what I've been doing. I'm going to keep trying different methods until something clicks for me. I may actually swallow my pride and only order 1/2 a pound next month :jawdrop:

On another note, my 2 year old said Bula! Bula! when I drank kava, which made me feel good!
 
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KavaBobo

Kava Curious
I am in a similar boat. Not depressed but, apathetic. I wake up with my heart racing and the fact that I like coffee doesn’t help. I’m in the habit of consuming 80 grams a day. I enjoy the euphoria but, not the lethargy . I find myself heading to bed at 7:30 pm. I guess I should take a break and exercise more. The fact that I use heady Wow Kava doesn’t help but, now that I’m not working I get bored easily and want to stay away from booze. Interesting to see I’m not the only one experiencing this. Thanks for sharing!
 

Krunʞy

.
Admin
Addressing what Krunky said earlier. It is definitely a choice, but I keep choosing to feel great for 2 hours after work as a trade for feeling crappy the rest of the night-- no one to blame but myself, as its a dosage dependent problem exacerbated by this circadian disruption. Insanity is the doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results-- which is what I've been doing. I'm going to keep trying different methods until something clicks for me.
Try even less frequently, maybe twice a month but don't feel guilty, I blow through a pound in 3 days. I don't feel guilty but also buying less is good. I am with you on learning on being happy with less more often but I like that we can put it down whenever regardless of bad habits.

I 've been taking long breaks between binges lol, like three weeks sometimes and I don't even notice it.
 

Jacob Bula

Nobody
Try even less frequently, maybe twice a month but don't feel guilty, I blow through a pound in 3 days. I don't feel guilty but also buying less is good. I am with you on learning on being happy with less more often but I like that we can put it down whenever regardless of bad habits.

I 've been taking long breaks between binges lol, like three weeks sometimes and I don't even notice it.
I love you Krunky.

This is the only forum where reading something immediately pulls me out of negative thinking. And it's almost always Krunky making me feel lighter over and over again.

I'm already to the point now where I drink kava for 1 week and then take 3 weeks off. It takes about 3 days after that week is over for me to not feel depressed and then I feel fine for 3 weeks and have no cravings for kava. Next month I will order a 1/2 pound for the 1 week instead of 1 pound and see how it goes. I don't know how you can drink a pound in 3 days -- you must have an iron stomach. My mind has wanted me to drink that much before, but my stomach has always been the limiting factor with kava.

BULA!
 
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Krunʞy

.
Admin
I don't know how you can drink a pound in 3 days -- you must have an iron stomach. My mind has wanted me to drink that much before, but my stomach has always been the limiting factor with kava.

BULA!
Sometimes he (my stomach) holds up, lol. I have been sick before from drinking too much too quickly and numbing my stomach, it's never fun and yes I have thrown up from doing it, not recommended. It also takes me a solid day or 2 after a binge like that to recover and feel like myself again. I am not trying to glorify the behavior for anyone else reading this. It is not a good habit to get into. I have an addictive personality hence the (sometimes) excessive drinking. What I do love and will always love about kava is just that, balls to the walls one day and fine the next 3 weeks. Kava feels like it was made for dummies like me with poor self control. ;)
 

ThePiper

Kava Lover
This resonates with me. I appreciate when people take the time to talk about these experiences, as it sheds some light on my own situation. I have had anxiety and depression all my life, that manifests in countless ways, waxing and waning in accordance to who knows what hormones, lifestyle, tides, or lunar calendar. Because of this I will experience unpleasant but manageable changes to my mood, energy levels, and sleep patterns. Its hard to tell when something comes from a substance or elsewhere. I have been super lethargic lately. I kind of feel like I need kava to focus at all for the last month or two. I also notice that caffeine doesn’t work like it should. I’ll only feel the physical effects on heart rate, with no talkativeness or sharpened mind like I usually get. This is in contrast to august, when caffeine was proving just amazing to me and a staple. Now I don’t drink it at all. Never been a caffeine addict though. Personally, I drink a good amount of kava every day. I have had days lately where I could take it or leave it, but I drink it compulsively due to anxiety and psyching myself out about it. With adequate distraction or novelty it would be easy to not drink it.
 
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Jacob Bula

Nobody
This resonates with me. I appreciate when people take the time to talk about these experiences, as it sheds some light on my own situation. I have had anxiety and depression all my life, that manifests in countless ways, waxing and waning in accordance to who knows what hormones, lifestyle, tides, or lunar calendar. Because of this I will experience unpleasant but manageable changes to my mood, energy levels, and sleep patterns. Its hard to tell when something comes from a substance or elsewhere.
I agree. This is my problem-- depression/anxiety have always been apart of me, but I manage it well 75% of the time. I'm going through the long, difficult process of learning how to integrate kava into my life, and even though I know kava doesn't cause depression, the hangover after drinking it intensifies it in my particular situation.

I've went from daily to bi-weekly, to 1 week a month, and each time I lower the frequency I generally feel better. As much as I don't want to admit it, this isn't a daily supplement for me. Kava will have to be a monthly treat for me. Going to try 1/2 pound a month next month and see how that goes. As Krunky said, kava is so forgiving. It's like training for people with addictive personalities. Alcohol taught me by putting me in the hospital, kava just slaps me around a little bit.
 

Jacob Bula

Nobody
Update: no kava this round of night shifts to isolate whether or not kava was causing the problem or if it was just night shifts. I feel good. I think it's the kava guys. It's looking like kava will have to be a rare treat for me and not a regimen.
 

Krunʞy

.
Admin
I've went from daily to bi-weekly, to 1 week a month, and each time I lower the frequency I generally feel better. As much as I don't want to admit it, this isn't a daily supplement for me. Kava will have to be a monthly treat for me. Going to try 1/2 pound a month next month and see how that goes.
You know, no one said kava couldn't be an aid or transition into something healthier or just transitional period. I am beginning to see my kava experience as just that. Kava came into my life in time that I was having difficulty managing my anxiety, I was still drinking alcohol at the time and kava really saved my butt. Kava has helped me develop new perspectives in my own life and (with therapy) has helped me not only quit booze but, for the most part, be a better human. Maybe for some of us, kava is meant to be a temporary solution...I don't really know.
 

Jacob Bula

Nobody
You know, no one said kava couldn't be an aid or transition into something healthier or just transitional period. I am beginning to see my kava experience as just that. Kava came into my life in time that I was having difficulty managing my anxiety, I was still drinking alcohol at the time and kava really saved my butt. Kava has helped me develop new perspectives in my own life and (with therapy) has helped me not only quit booze but, for the most part, be a better human. Maybe for some of us, kava is meant to be a temporary solution...I don't really know.
The best medicines are the ones you don't have to keep on taking.
 
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