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Trying to choose between two supplements?
There’s a lot to think about, including benefits, side effects, price, and more.
So I’ve gone ahead and summarized all of that info so you don’t have to!
No need to thank me.
Our Supplement Comparison Series continues with Kava vs Rhodiola.
Let’s get started.
What is Kava?
Kava (Piper Methysticum) is a plant native to Micronesia, Melanesia, and Polynesia.
For thousands of years, people have been consuming Kava at social ceremonies in these native regions.
And today, Kava is widely used for its calming and euphoric effects.
What is Rhodiola?
Rhodiola (Rhodiola Rosea) is a popular herb that’s been used for its health boosting properties for many years.
In fact, the Vikings allegedly used Rhodiola to boost their mental and physical wellbeing.
Rhodiola is grown in many countries, including France, Sweden, and Iceland, and is still widely consumed today for its various health benefits.
Benefits of Kava
Kava may help enhance mental performance
According to research, Kava may help boost mental function.
For example in one study, 12 people took either Kava or oxazepam before a word recognition task.
The results showed that the Kava users performed much better at the task than the oxazepam users.
Another study showed that a single 300mg dose of Kava enhanced short-term memory and visual attention.
Kava may help reduce anxiety
It’s sad to see that over 40 million American adults suffer from anxiety disorders.
If you’re unfortunate enough to be included in this statistic, then perhaps you ought to try Kava.
In one study, 101 anxiety sufferers took either Kava or a placebo for 25 weeks.
According to the results, the Kava group had significantly improved anxiety after 8 weeks.
Also, a review of 11 studies concluded that Kava significantly improved anxiety symptoms when compared to a placebo.
Kava may help improve sleep quality
Research suggests that Kava may help improve sleep quality.
In one study, 61 subjects took either 200mg of Kava extract or a placebo each day for 4 weeks.
The results showed that the Kava group had significantly better sleep than the placebo group.
Interestingly, they also reported less anxiety.
In another study, 24 people with insomnia took 120mg of Kava each day for 6 weeks.
According to the results, the Kava significantly improved their insomnia by reducing their stress.
Benefits of Rhodiola
Rhodiola may help reduce fatigue
Thanks to its adaptogenic properties, Rhodiola may help combat fatigue.
In one study, 60 subjects with fatigue took either 576mg of Rhodiola or a placebo every day for 4 weeks.
By the end of the study, the Rhodiola group had significant improvements in fatigue levels compared to the placebo group.
In another study, 100 subjects with fatigue took either 400mg of Rhodiola or a placebo every day for 8 weeks.
The results showed that the Rhodiola group experienced significant improvements in fatigue, mood, concentration, and quality of life.
Rhodiola may help enhance exercise performance
According to research, Rhodiola may help boost exercise performance.
In one study, the subjects were given either Rhodiola or a placebo before a 6-mile time trial cycle race.
The results showed that the Rhodiola group finished significantly faster than the placebo group.
In another study, the subjects were given either 200mg of Rhodiola or a placebo 2 hours before a cycle test.
Interestingly, the Rhodiola group could cycle for 24 seconds longer on average than the placebo group.
Rhodiola may help relieve stress
As it works as an adaptogen, Rhodiola helps your body deal with stress.
One study investigated the effects of Rhodiola on stress-related burnout.
According to the results, those who took Rhodiola reported improved stress and depression.
In another study, the subjects took 400mg of Rhodiola each day for 4 weeks.
After taking Rhodiola for just 3 days, they reported improved stress-related symptoms like fatigue, anxiety, and exhaustion.
Rhodiola may help enhance mental performance
Like Kava, many people take Rhodiola to help boost their mental function.
In one study, 56 subjects who worked night shifts took either 170mg of Rhodiola or a placebo each day for 2 weeks.
According to the results, the Rhodiola group had less mental fatigue and improved performance than the placebo group.
Another study looked at the effects of Rhodiola on mental performance in students.
After using Rhodiola for 20 days, the students reported improved sleep, more motivation, and less mental fatigue.
Kava is normally sold in capsules or as a powder.
Here are some standard prices for these:
- Powder: $32 for 8 Oz
- Capsules: $20 for 100
Rhodiola is usually sold in capsules.
For a mid-range supplement, you can expect to pay around $18 for 60 capsules.
Kava Side Effects
Kava is typically safe to supplement with if you’re a healthy adult.
But in some cases, the following effects have been reported:
Also, Kava may affect your motor skills and reaction time, so you shouldn’t drive or operate heavy machinery after consuming Kava.
Kava may interact with certain drugs and medications which can lead to serious liver damage, so please talk to your doctor before consuming Kava.
Rhodiola Side Effects
Like Kava, Rhodiola is generally safe to supplement with but some people may experience the following effects:
The following people SHOULD NOT take Rhodiola:
- Nursing women
- Pregnant women
- People taking MAOIs
My Kava Recommendation: Kava Kalm Micronized Kava Powder
An ace Kava supplement in powdered form.
Ideal for those who like the freedom to choose how much Kava they want to take.
What I like about it
I’m a big fan of supplements that are pure and powdered. Because you’re free to experiment with the dose, and these are the “cleanest”.
Kava Kalm Micronized Kava Powder ticks both these boxes.
The reviews are pretty epic too which shows that many people have used this supplement with awesome results.
Some people think that Kava powder has a muddy taste.
My Rhodiola Recommendation: Gaia Herbs Rhodiola
Gaia Herbs Rhodiola ticks all the boxes of an epic supplement.
It’s high quality, highly rated, and highly absorbable.
What I like about it
What makes this supplement so effective is the fact Gaia Herbs use liquid phyto-caps.
In other words, they convert the Rhodiola into a liquid extract before capsuling it, making it more bioavailable to the body.
Also, I’m a big fan of Gaia Herbs as a supplement company.
They’re one of the few brands that provide full traceability across their product range.
So when you purchase one of their supplements, you can find out exactly how pure it is, where it originated, and how it was grown.
Pretty cool, right?
They also inspect all of their supplements for pesticides, microbes, and heavy metals which ensures that you get a supplement free from any nasties.
As you may have guessed, a supplement of this calibre doesn’t come cheap.
So, if you’re on a small budget, you may want to look elsewhere.
Kava vs Rhodiola: The Verdict
I hope this Kava vs Rhodiola face-off has been a pleasurable read, and that you’ve learned a ton.
My goal for this comparison guide was to help you pick which one suits you best.
So hopefully, you have a solid idea of which one to go for.
Then here’s a high-level summary to help you choose:
You might prefer Kava if:
- You suffer from anxiety
- You want to sleep better at night
You might prefer Rhodiola if:
- You feel fatigued
- You suffer from stress
- You want to boost your physical performance
Hope this helped!