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By Zane Yoshida

Kava Supplements for a Boost in Sports Performance

You may take kava supplements for a variety of reasons: to relax, to reduce stress, to socialize, or just because you like the taste. But did you know that kava can also help with muscle recovery? So it is a great option for sports and exercise enthusiasts out there…

Challenging the traditional view of kava

Whether kava and sports/exercise mix has been a subject that has been kicked around (excuse the pun) quite a few forums ever since kava started becoming more popular in the west.

The standard image people have of kava is of lying on a beach or in a kava bar sipping from a coconut shell. But that’s rapidly changing with the advent of kava shots, capsules, and powder. Kava is increasingly being taken as a supplement rather than just a social beverage.

Taking kava for sports might seem surprising for many people. But a previous Taki Mai blog post entitled Pre-Match Kava Rituals for Top Sportsmen reported how the Kiwi rugby team drinks kava at training and before a match, with one of the players saying:

“It helps with bumps and bruises, hydration and relaxation, especially after a long trip.”

It turns out that it may help with even more than that and can actually help muscles recover and repair…

Kava supplements and muscle recovery

Kava root is listed amongst the LiveStrong ‘muscle recovery herbs’ along with burdock root and other herbal mixtures.

Muscle recovery is the process by which muscles regain strength and it’s important for anyone who exercises regularly, as well as for more elite athletes. Minor muscle injuries such as strains are common, leading to inflammation and pain.

The website goes on to say:

“According to Xterra Training, kava root supplements are commonly used to alleviate tight muscles after a hard workout. Kava root helps to block harmful acids from forming; this increases the speed of muscle recovery. Kava root has also been used to prevent muscle cramps that are caused by a buildup of lactic acid.”

A number of bodybuilding sites are also starting to notice the benefits of taking kava supplements in the “cool down” post-exercise period. The relaxation benefits of kava help to repair tired muscles that need rest to be able to grow and stay healthy. They also help bodybuilders and other sportspeople deal with muscle tension and post-exercise soreness.

Bodybuilding.com says that the root “acts as a natural tranquillizer, steadying nerves and inducing a feeling of well-being”. More specifically:

“For bodybuilders … Kava might help to negate the symptoms of overtraining and enhance muscle growth via muscle relaxation.”

The same site lists the properties of kava as follows:

  • Alterative: tending to cure or restore to health
  • Analgesic: capable of relieving pain
  • Anesthetic: causes temporary loss of bodily sensations
  • Antifungal: capable of destroying fungi
  • Antiseptic: free of or destructive to disease-causing organisms
  • Antispasmodic: a drug used to relieve or prevent spasms
  • Aphrodisiac: a drug or other agent that stimulates sexual desire
  • Diuretic: any substance that tends to increase the flow of urine
  • Sedative: tending to soothe or tranquilize

Quite a list!

A few words of caution

Be careful with the quality of the kava you choose, the quantity you take, and when you take it, and you will benefit from its effects.

LiveStrong notes that “MedlinePlus.com…recommends that you do not take kava”, presumably based on the reports of liver damage that led to the kava ban in Germany, which was overturned last year. It is thought that these reports refer to an impure form of kava which included parts of the plant other than the pure root, which is what is used in the best kava supplements.

Our recently-announced partnership with Douglas Pharmaceuticals ensures that your Taki Mai kava supplements all use medicinal-grade kava.

Some scaremongers may also refer to an incident a few years back when a New York man collapsed while biking to work, after drinking kava tea.  However, it was found that he was suffering from rabdomyolosis, a kidney condition.

Kava can produce a similar diuretic reaction to coffee or tea, which may cause dehydration and exacerbate kidney problems, so avoid it of you have liver or kidney problems and note that it’s usually better taken after exercise rather than before.

By Zane Yoshida

Taki Mai Kava Powder & Kava Capsules Launched at the Fiji Tourism Expo

A few hundred years ago there was only one way that Pacific Islanders enjoyed kava – the relaxing beverage was lovingly prepared and drunk from a coconut shell loaded from the ceremonial “tanoa” bowl.

Since then, technology has thankfully blessed us with many creative ways of acquiring the health benefits of kava – without spending time to prepare it. In today’s hectic lifestyles, it’s not always possible to spend a few hours drinking kava with friends. But people still want the anti-stress and anti-anxiety effects.

That’s why we were proud to recently launch two new products in addition to our Taki Mai kava shots. You can now enjoy kava capsules or kava powder made from the highest quality grade of kava and manufactured to pharmaceutical standards.

For this latest venture, the makers of Taki Mai, South Pacific Elixirs (SPE) Pty Ltd, has partnered with New Zealand-based company Douglas Pharmaceuticals to deliver a new range of kava products registered for sale in Australia, but internationally recognised and destined to be exported to the US Asia, and Europe.

Zane Yoshida from South Pacific Elixirs said at the launch:

“It was a work in progress for the last 12 months for us. We launched in Fiji in November last year with our Taki Mai Kava shots – the flavoured Kava shots so this is a line extension for us but more so towards a pharmaceutical angle – the vertical integration – farm to shelf with the Taki Mai brand.”

The products were launched at the Fiji Tourism Expo 2015, which was held at the Denarau Island Convention Centre from June 16-18. This was a huge event for Fiji with over 150 international buyers present from around the world and the Fijian spirit of community and happiness in good supply. The Fiji Times reported that 2,697 cups of coffee were served over the three days! The daily newspaper didn’t report how many bowls of kava were consumed…

Taki Mai continues to strive to set the benchmark for the Kava industry in Fiji and the South Pacific, delivering the highest grade kava products that meet internationals standards. Manufacturing products to exacting standards is the best way to protect the kava industry, which is part of the lifeblood of the Pacific island community, and a way for Zane and his team to give back something to the islands where he grew up as a kid, drinking kava.

We have already come a long way from the initial idea of bringing kava to the world. Our small Taki Mai factory in Ovalau is set to get very busy. Exciting times ahead for kava growers in Fiji and kava lovers around the world…and the kava powder and kava capsules are the latest addition for you to check out.

By Zane Yoshida

Looking for a Natural Pain Reliever as a Hangover Cure?

Did you overdo the festivities a little over Christmas? Looking for a natural hangover cure or pain reliever?

Kava has also been used as a natural pain reliever down the years – so can it really stop you having to reach for those Aspirin, Paracetemol or Ibruprofen tablets when you wake up with a hangover?

  Read more

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Kava Supplements for a Boost in Sports Performance
Taki Mai Kava Powder & Kava Capsules Launched at the Fiji Tourism Expo
What is Stress and Can Kava Supplements Help?
Looking for a Natural Pain Reliever as a Hangover Cure?
The Medicinal Properties of Kava