Fasting is an incredible tool with applications that extend far beyond weight loss. Though it can be challenging at first fasting has helped me more than any other dietary intervention to improve my health. I have been utilizing fasting for over four years—long before that I fell in love with kratom.
I first came across kratom because of my interest in weight loss. Alcohol consumption was a big part of the reason I was overweight and I was searching for alternatives, kratom proved to be the perfect substitute.
What Does It Feel Like?
Kratom was not something I enjoyed the first time I consumed it, I actually didn’t like it at all. Being the incredibly headstrong person I am, I experimented with the dosages to see if it would change the outcome, I’m certainly glad I did. The plant’s effects are strange because it can vary drastically depending on the dosage taken. For this reason, it is incredibly important to be conservative when trying kratom, especially the first few times.
Do not take large amounts of kratom your first time. It is essential to start small and gradually increase the dosage over time.
Smaller dosages of kratom feel dramatically different than a larger dose. For most people taking less than five grams gives a more stimulating effect, while taking larger amounts is more sedative and euphoric. This means that the drug can be used in a variety of different ways.
Kratom is increasingly popular today because of its use as a painkiller, it works on some of the same pathways more dangerous opiates do without being as highly addictive. Because of this many people use the drug to kick their addiction to prescription medications. At higher dosages, users will be less sensitive to pain while experiencing increased comfort and relaxation. A larger amount like this can cause some negative side effects: users may experience itchiness and nausea when consuming larger amounts.
Taking kratom in smaller dosages is my personal favorite way to consume the substance. In small amounts, the effects are both motivating and invigorating—much like a cup of coffee. There is euphoria and increased optimism at this usage level, though these effects are very mild. It is these subtle effects that pair very well with the already mentally sharpening effects of fasting.
Can You Have Kratom While Fasting?
Yes, you can take kratom while you are fasting. The plant is nearly all insoluble fiber, even though it does have a small number of calories most of these calories are indigestible. Kratom will have a negligible effect on insulin levels and your body will remain in a fasted or ketogenic state. In my experience fasting actually works synergistically with kratom and amplifies the benefits of each on their own.
One of my favorite perks of fasting is the more alert mental state, this compounded with the mental sharpness and mildly euphoric effects of kratom are something I especially enjoy. So much so that I typically only consume kratom when I am fasting.
When You Can’t Have Kratom
I personally am a proponent of fasted kratom consumption, but there are certain kind of fasts where it should be avoided. The core reasons I fast are for weight management, mental alertness, and managing disordered eating habits.
Autophagy is a primary driver behind many people’s interest in fasting, and it’s an excellent reason. The process of autophagy begins when your body starts to consume your own tissues for energy, autophagy literally means “eating of self”. Fasting as a way to achieve autophagy has a steadily growing body of research surrounding cancer research.
Though kratom has a negligible effect on insulin levels and does not interrupt ketosis, it will hinder the process of autophagy. The kind of fasts I do are much “dirtier” compared to the “clean” and extremely restrictive water only fasts done primarily for the benefits of autophagy.
If autophagy is the primary purpose behind fasting for you then not only should you not be consuming kratom, you should avoid drinking anything other than water during your fasting period.
How to Take It
Taking kratom during a fast only varies slightly from normal usage. Many kratom users preferred consumption methods—in milkshakes or fruit smoothies—do not work during a fast. I have found a couple of different ways to make fasted kratom consumption simple and enjoyable.
Make Your Own Capsules
This method is my personal favorite as I am not especially fond of the way kratom tastes, though it does take a small amount of work. It is very easy to find empty gel capsules available for order online or at a store that sells supplements.
After your gel capsules arrive you have two possible routes: you can fill the capsules by hand or purchase a capsule filling machine. Filling the capsules by hand is a slow process and I can’t help but get quite a bit of the powder on my hands in the process. Alternatively using the machine is a much more streamlined process—and significantly cleaner.
Try Kratom Tea
Kratom tea was the option I used before switching to making my own capsules, and occasionally I still drink it. Plain kratom tea is hold-your-nose-while-it-goes-down level disgusting. Over the years of drinking kratom tea, I have found a few different methods for masking the bitter taste.
The first is citric acid, either in the form of grapefruit or lemon juice, just a small amount of it goes a very long way. As long as you are conservative with how much you won’t have to worry about being pulled out of a fasted state. Using lemon or grapefruit juice also has the additional added benefit of potentiating your kratom making its impact even stronger. This is one of the reasons I still occasionally make kratom tea, mixing my tea with a small amount of lemon juice seems to potentiate the powder more than taking it in capsule form.
The second option I like to use when making kratom tea is mixing it with lions mane mushroom coffee. The taste of the mushrooms does slightly blunt the taste of the kratom, but additionally, lion’s mane mushrooms supply a subtle mental stimulation boost that pairs well kratom and fasting.
Third—and my favorite way to make kratom tea more palatable—is stevia. Because stevia has a negligible impact on blood glucose levels it is acceptable to use some stevia in your tea to sweeten things up a bit.
If you are doing an extremely restrictive fast none of these options are viable. When fasting purely for autophagy you should not consume the above compounds and certainly shouldn’t be taking kratom. I only use kratom when I am fasting for weight management reasons, not when the goal behind the fast is autophagy.
What Kind of Fasts Go Well With Kratom
We all use fasting in different ways and for different lengths of time, these fasting periods do have an effect on kratom consumption. As a general rule, the longer your fast the more intensely kratom will affect you.
During longer fasting periods (anything more than 24 hours) where I have an evening with no food intake is my ideal time to consume kratom. Not having any food in your stomach obviously makes any drugs’ effects stronger, but kratom lends itself particularly well to this effect.
As mentioned above taking over five grams of powder has a different influence on me than taking more than five grams. So taking just below that five-gram level gets all the desired effects of stimulation plus a few of the added perks of a higher dosage—increased euphoria and mood— without the negative drawbacks I typically get from taking larger amounts.
The first time I purchased kratom I was overwhelmed by the number of options available to me. Here are three of my personal favorite strains:
- Green Indo – This is a great starter strain as it isn’t polarizing. It gives the user a feel for what kratom is without being too far on one end of the spectrum. If you are unsure which one to go with I highly recommend giving Green Indo a try.
- Bali – Out of all the strains, the one I use the most frequently is Bali. It isn’t my favorite strain, but it wins big in a category that matters a lot to me—price. This strain can often be purchased for 30-50% of what a more expensive strain like Maeng Da will cost you.
- Maeng Da – It may be more costly, but man is it gold. I enjoy the stimulating and focus-inducing properties of Maeng Da, plus it pairs very well with periods of fasting. If you are looking to pair kratom with fasting and enjoy focus, look no further than Maeng Da.
Suppressing Your Appetite
I believe kratom is a criminally underutilized fasting tool. This could not be any truer than when you are just first starting. My first fast was rough, and my second wasn’t much better.
I like to think of kratom as the “performance enhancing drug” of fasting. If you were in a competition to see who could fast the longest (please don’t do this!) kratom would most certainly be banned. Kratom helps to reduce the difficulty of fasting in two different ways:
Physical – Kratom is an appetite suppressant. Much like caffeine kratom reduces hunger pains making it easier to push through challenging parts of your fast. This little boost makes a world of difference, hunger comes in waves and if you are able to outlast for even for a few moments it can often be enough. The stimulation effect and increased focus levels can take your mind off of food entirely and onto the task at hand. However, even at larger doses the appetite suppression still takes place.
Emotional – The first time I did a longer fast I was amazed at the role emotions play in hunger. Usually, after the first 48 hours of the fast, my physical hunger is completely gone, but the emotional cravings to eat are still alive and well. Kratom provides a distraction from these emotional urges to eat. Drugs at their core are a distraction, addicts turn to drugs as a way to distract themselves from the difficulties of their life. In our case, we can use this distraction kratom provides in a way that is beneficial to our health rather than a detriment.
Is it Dangerous?
After speaking so highly about kratom and how well it pairs with fasting I think it is important to discuss the downsides of the plant.
There have been deaths linked to kratom, although these deaths are a topic of much controversy. Most kratom related deaths have taken place when the user was under the influence of multiple other substances at the same time. Either way, if you are planning on consuming kratom I feel that you need to be extremely cautious.
Since kratom is so new on the scene research of the plant is still in its infancy, because of this it is of the utmost importance that you use caution. Over the years of using the substance, I have had a handful of negative experiences, usually from taking too much of the drug. or allowing myself to become dependent. Below are a few tips to ensure you are using kratom safely:
Always Start Small
Kratom can be incredible in small amounts, so start small and gradually increase your dosages. Doing this your first time trying kratom is a no-brainer, but it’s important to apply this rule every time the type of kratom you are taking changes.
Different strains affect you in dramatically different ways, just because you always take five grams of one kind of kratom does not mean that five grams is a prudent first dose with a strain you haven’t tried before.
I’ve gotten into trouble switching from one supplier to the other and assuming, even though the strains were the same, it would affect me in the same way. Fortunately, I only took a small dose at the time, what ended up being an evening full of nausea and the spins could have ended with a trip to the ER.
If you take kratom consistently your tolerance will increase rapidly. This can be a problem if you’ve grown accustomed to taking a certain amount of the drug then take some time off. The amount you need when starting up again could be much less than half of what you had previously used.
The first time I consumed some kratom tea during a longer fast was a really bad experience, I took into account that I would be more sensitive, but still overestimated the volume. I was overwhelmed with dizziness and nearly threw up, as incredible as using kratom can be while fasting it comes with a lot more risk.
With how quickly your tolerance adapts and how much strains vary there is potential to take too much—this is even more likely when you are fasting.
What If You Take Too Much?
I have tried a variety of different methods with some success. laying down and focusing on my breathing always seems to help. The main cure for taking too much is simple—just eat. Food works wonders if you start to get the wobbles or have some nausea.
There is actually a kind of added benefit of fasted kratom consumption, if you take kratom after eating then eating more food will only help to reduce negative side effects so much. Conversely, if you are taking kratom while fasted than eating a small meal and breaking your fast will provide an immediate relief. Unfortunately, this requires you to break your fast. If you don’t want to do that then you had better be careful and not take too much.
Opiate addicts sing praises about the value of kratom for helping then get off more dangerous drugs. Though I have never been addicted to opiates I certainly can say that using kratom while fasting has helped me to deal with some of my own personal food addictions.
Just because it can be used to get off of more dangerous opiates does not mean that it is not addictive in itself. Like any drug, there is a real potential for addiction. As a general rule of thumb, I try to limit kratom consumption to 1-2 times per week. This is in addition to consuming lower dosages. If you plan to consume kratom for its opiate-like effects I would be even more cautious.
This is simply my own personal guideline to keep myself from becoming too dependent on the plant, your mileage may vary. My rule of 1-2 times per week is flexible and I don’t follow it rigidly.
There is a rule of thumb that I do adhere to no matter what: never consume kratom on consecutive days. I strongly urge you to do the same if you are considering using the substance. Limiting consumption to 1-2 times per week is a good rule, but never consuming it on consecutive days is my failsafe.
I have very addictive tendencies and will begin to self-negotiate in attempts to keep taking kratom if I use more than one day in a row.
“What difference will one more day make, three days in a row is basically the same as two?” I’ve let myself fall into this thinking pattern before. Not allowing myself to consume kratom on consecutive days helps me from getting here again.
Combining with other Drugs
I feel this should go without saying, but you need to exercise extreme caution when consuming kratom with other substances. Mixing the plant with other opiates is very dangerous, if you are contemplating doing so I think you need to deeply question what you are trying to achieve. Those deaths linked to kratom I mentioned above, they were all caused when combining kratom with other drugs—tread carefully.
If you’re taking kratom while fasting you are combining the drug with an already altered state of consciousness. Fasting has far-reaching effects on the body and brain already and increases overall sensitivity to stimuli. Kratom plus fasting is already a powerful combination. If you are debating adding additional drugs into the mix I strongly urge you to reconsider.
Even daily medications can interact with kratom in unexpected ways—the safest way to use kratom is always by itself. When in doubt, use caution or stay away from kratom completely.
Is It Right for You?
Kratom is a drug, and like many drugs, it can incredible if used responsibly. As much as I believe in kratoms benefits I want to leave you with one final warning: kratom is both natural and legal, don’t let that fool you into thinking it can’t be dangerous and addictive
If you are able to consume the plant responsibly I am confident you will find it to be helpful in increasing both the length and quality of your fasts. Please take kratom use seriously—happy fasting!