10 Reasons Why Drinking Kava in St. Pete is Better than Boozing in the ‘Burg

Recently I moved to St. Petersburg, FL to open Seriously Strong Training’s second personal training location. While scouting along Central Avenue in the Edge district for a place to live I wandered into Grassroots Kava House.

What I walked into felt like a bar. There was a buzz to the place. Everyone was talking, laughing, smiling, and meeting strangers. People had their dogs with them, great music was playing, and ideas were being exchanged.

I walked up to the bar to ask just what is Kava (and Kratom), and the bartender Wes explained them to me. I’ll let you read the expert’s article on Kava vs. Kratom for that information.

As a new personal trainer in St. Pete, it’s my job to figure out new & innovative ways to strike the balance between a fun and healthy lifestyle. Not only for myself, but for my clients. I’m going to tell you just how kava has helped me keep my social life & my abs (and why I go there almost every day), and how it can help you too.


Kava kicks ass because there are no calories. Yup. You heard me right: it will not make you fat.

When I coached Athena to lose 200lbs of fat, she routinely lost 15-20lbs a month. Except when she drank alcohol. Even 2-3 casual nights of drinking would sometimes cut her fat loss in half even with the same level of activity and diet. As her personal trainer, this was frightening.

There is something magically awful about alcohol for fat loss (they don’t call it a beer belly for no reason).


For some of us (AKA me), every alcoholic drink I have makes me want another more than the last. Even stronger than this phenomena (scientists have yet to describe it in the literature), is the desire to binge on foods that I know are delicious & terrible for me (hello late night food from Angelo’s). 

Kava doesn’t do that to you.


Unlike alcohol that requires you to drink more with each day of drinking, kava does the opposite. Each time you drink kava your body learns to process it better, and become new in tune with the psychoactive effects.

What does this mean? Cheaper socials.


Do you know what kava doesn’t do? Make you think it’s okay to propose to a stranger, sing bad karaoke, or book a trip to Hawaii.

Kava mimics some of the effects of alcohol (mostly the head buzz, relaxation, and increased social skills), and thankfully it leaves the embarrassing ones behind.


I’ve drank a lot of kava many nights and I feel fine the morning after. Every time.

Now that I’m in my late 20’s I can feel a hangover sometimes after having just one drink the night before. If you aren’t at this point in life–count your blessings. It won’t last.

As a personal trainer I have to be on point when training clients first thing in the morning, Kava allows me to have a fun night with friends and still deliver great personal training sessions in the morning.


Kava certainly is relaxing, but it will not cause you to pass out on top of the kitchen counter, in a friend’s lawn, or on the floor. I can now say I have drank a lot of kava in a few sittings and walked home just fine (I’m really learning my way around St. Pete).

I have slept in quite a few cars from over indulging in beers. In college a friend made a picture collage of me passed out in different places (Tallahassee is a hard place to learn to drink). And no, I’m not going to post that collage.


“Drug-related amnesia” is the medical term for blacking out, and it accurately describes something many people joke about. It can cause you to come to at your serving job taking a dinner order (just heard this story today at the kava bar), or come to running through a seedy part of town at 4:30 in the morning (not proud to say this is my story), or wake up in the hospital (my friend on that same night).
Kava doesn’t do this. Drink kava my friends.


Arguably the worst side effect of alcohol consumption is bags under the eyes. That isn’t cute on a personal trainer who is supposed to be the picture of health. It’s something that has caused me to wake up many mornings wondering if I need an expensive eye cream. Or maybe I need to schedule an appointment with the Ideal Image St. Petersburg that I pass every day leaving my apartment.

As of yet, kava has not given me any more eye baggage.


Alcohol is notorious for disrupting normal sleep patterns. This means you go can “sleep” for 8 hours, but your brain does not get the recovery of a sober night’s sleep because of disrupted a circadian rhythm.

Alcohol also blocks REM sleep, and most noticeably for me, causes me to pee a million times in the middle of the night.

Good sleep helps you have great workouts, and recover well from them. Essential for gains.


The conversations I have on kava in St. Pete are intellectual, friendly, and funny. Every time. The beauty is that people don’t repeat the same thing many times, or deliver TMI.

People under the effects of alcohol are much less likely to keep up with a conversation, more likely to interrupt a chat, and go completely off topic (or worse, get stuck on something and not be able to move on).

When I drink kava I meet people that I actually remember the next time I see them.


That’s a tricky question. Sometimes I hate it (usually the next morning/day/night). Sometimes I love it.

What I can say is that drinking kava at Grassroots Kava House in St. Pete has been an awesome experience. The people I’ve met are awesome, and the environment of a kava house is friendly.

Grassroots Kava House has done an amazing job of taking the best of a coffee house and combined it with the best parts of a bar.

Grab a bowl of kava at one of St. Pete’s many kava houses (obviously I have a favorite), and come over to the new Seriously Strong Training St. Petersburg location for workout!