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Are you a serious bodybuilder? Are you committed to getting in your daily workout no matter what? Or are you just trying to get through the day?
No matter your goals, you’re likely open to receiving a little boost – especially if it comes from something natural. Kratom is one such substance, and its popularity has skyrocketed over the past decade.
Before we dig into some of the most popular strains and how they differ from one another we want to emphasis this is not medical advice and we don’t recommend any user consider experimenting with any supplement without first consulting a doctor.
This isn’t to scare you away or say kratom is in any way dangerous, because we recommend readers consult their doctor before consuming any sort of stimulant (like a preworkout) or even before undertaking strenuous compound lifting. It’s just common sense really.
It is important to make sure you have the right assurances in place before putting anything in your body.
There, now that’s out of the way let’s dig into our experience with the 3 most popular types of kratom currently on the market.
What Is Kratom?
Officially known as Mitragyna speciosa, kratom is a rare tree from Southeast Asia that’s been used for centuries as a natural remedy for a number of ailments and conditions.
For generations, the people of countries like Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia dry the leaves and either eat them or use them to make tea.
If you’re looking for a new vacation destination, consider south east Asia. It’s cheap, the people are friendly, the beaches are beautiful and you can find the freshest kratom powder on the planet at local street markets there.
The effects of consuming this plant range from mood enhancement to pain reliever to stimulant, among several other possible uses.
However, the various climates, soil types, and ecosystems within southeast Asia — not to mention the way the plant is dried — play key roles in creating many different strands of kratom and how they affect the body.
That’s right, not all kratom is created equal and not all strains have the same properties. Knowing the differences is key to matching them for their best use case scenarios like which is best early in the day vs late in the day, which ones are for the gym, which are for after the gym etc.
How Does It Taste?
A lot of people talk a lot of shit about the taste of this plant. Personally, we quite liked it. It just tasted like ground up plant. If you’ve ever eaten grass before then this tastes better. We’d compare it to Japanese matcha tea actually, which is also sold in a raw finely ground powder and has a similar smell and taste.
Next time you’re at a sushi place as for some matcha tea. You can then take a small amount directly to the dome and decide if you can deal with ingesting that type of plant powder orally. If you can then you’ll have no problem with kratom.
If on the other hand you are a super picky eater who hates anything that taste like a plant, as in vegetables for example, then you probably won’t like the natural taste of kratom. This doesn’t mean you can’t use it, you’ll just have to get creative with ingestion.
The Kratom You’ll Most Often Find
Kratom comes in three main varieties based on the color of the plant’s stem and veins. There are dozens of strains, but for the sake of readability we will only be covering the most popular of each type.
That is to say we only selected the best selling green, red and white strains we could find. We sourced these from Coastline Kratom via a personal recommendation by a friend we trust.
Quality, as with any supplements, is key when it comes to kratom. We recommend doing your own due diligence when vetting suppliers.
Outside of this blog, other good places to get information include talking with other people directly at the gym, asking friends, and checking Reddit reviews.
In terms of quality and safety, we’ve tried the red, white and green offerings from Coastline Kratom and found them all to be effective without any sort of side effects, not that we’ve experienced that before, we’re just trying to communicate we’re happy with the brand and would not hesitate to recommend them to a friend.
Where were we… oh yes, the main types or “strains” of kratom..
The major players in the kratom world are red, white, and green. Simple categorization by color.
The color is based off the living plants foliage coloration. Green strains are a bright vivid, almost neon green. Red strains have red-tinged leaves, and white staines are a more faded lighter green color.
Depending on your specific needs, one type of kratom may be more useful for you than another. Let’s take a closer look at the three main types of kratom we tried so you can know if one or more may be worth trying for your particular needs.
Red Vein Kratom Overview
Red Vein Kratom, including the Red Vein Maeng Da Kratom strain that’s grown in Thailand, is the most popular of the three major strands of kratom.
Part of the reason for its popularity is that it’s so widely available. Red Vein Kratom is grown in large volumes in Southeast Asia.
Many believe it’s more resilient than other types of kratom plants, meaning it’s less vulnerable to outside factories and more likely to grow in abundance.
The Effects of Red Vein Kraton
Red Vein is known for creating a calming effect that hits quick. It can be a useful supplement to take if you’re looking to relax after a stressful day or a vigorous workout.
For those who pushed their bodies a little too hard, the red variety of kratom can serve as a pain reliever for muscles following a workout.
It could even help to supplement a mild painkiller for muscle aches. This isn’t to say it’s the same as prescription strength drugs, but it’s a great asset to have in the supplement cupboard.
Personally, we feel it’s best to take it toward the end of the day, as Red Vein Kratom can cause mild sedation and make you a little too relaxed if you have things to do.
In fact, Red Vein Kratom has been used by some people as a sleep aid. That’s not to say it’s akin to taking sleeping pills. But for some people, it can bring calmness and peace of mind in addition to drowsiness, which can make it easier to fall asleep.
We like using the Red Vein when we have a workout later in the day. If you’ve been serious about bodybuilding for any length of time you know that it can be hard to fall asleep after an intense workout, especially if you consumed some powerful preworkout (we’re looking at you GAT Nitraflex) beforehand.
To shake yourself of the left-over post-workout energy consider downing some Red Vein to help dissipate that remaining energy. We like mixing it in a hot blend of cinnamon chai tea.
Essentially, Red Vein Kratom helps to relieve muscle pain and keep you calm, which is why it can be an effective sleep aid if you don’t want to resort to side-effects heavy sleeping pills.
Not All Created Equal
Of course, it’s important to keep in mind that different strains of Red Kratom can deliver different effects. Certain red strains can produce a more elated mood rather than a calm.
There are also some strains that are more of a stimulant. This case study/review is only particular to the Red Vein Maeng Da as that’s the only strain we’ve had first hand experience with.
Some extracts of Red Vein Kratom are even used to ease or limit the withdrawal symptoms experienced by opiate addicts. It all depends on the specific variety of red kratom.
Red Vein Kratom Dosing for Sleep
Finally, taking the right dose of Red Vein Kratom, or any type of supplement, is essential. If you’re looking to take the edge off any stress or anxiety you’re feeling, you should keep doses between four and eight grams. The same level of dose would be appropriate if you’re using it as a sleep aid.
You can build up a tolerance over time so try not to push yourself too far in terms of dosage, although most regular kratom users don’t report a dose-dependent addiction or anything of that nature found with other supplements, such as caffeine for example, where the more you take over time the more you need to achieve the same effect. Kratom seems to be consistent in it’s effects.
Dosing for Pain
Using Red Vein Kratom as a pain reliever usually requires eight or nine grams, but that’s usually the most you would take at once. If you’re just starting to use kratom, lower doses are better.
The Red Vein strain however is typically a good option for someone who has never used kratom before and is looking to try something new. As with everything, proceed with caution.
The Energizing Effects of White Vein Kratom
Compared to Red Vein Kratom, White Vein Kratom is on the other end of the spectrum. Rather than trying to calm you down, the white variety of kratom is similar to many stimulants.
In fact, varieties like White Vein Bali Kratom have often been compared to coffee because of the ability to improve alertness and concentration.
Much like a strong cup of coffee, white varieties of kratom have shown to improve both stamina and motivation, helping people get through their day or giving them the energy they need to get through their daily workout.
We mixed our White Vein Bali with a instant cappuccino mix we had laying around and it was actually pretty pleasant. You can also just take it dry with a big glass of water for a chaser but honestly we kind of like the taste.
In countries like Indonesia and Thailand where this variety of kratom is grown, it’s often used by people who have physically demanding jobs, especially those who work outside in the hot sun.
There are even anecdotal examples of people replacing their daily cup of coffee with a dose of White Vein Kratom or a cup of tea infused with white kratom. Thus, this White Vein Bali makes a great pre-workout.
However, it’s worth noting that coffee and white kratom aren’t the same at all. White Vein Kratom tends to supply a strong and lasting pick-me-up rather than the jolt of energy followed by a crash that sometimes accompanies coffee and other caffeine-heavy substances.
On the other hand and similarly to coffee, White Vein Kratom shouldn’t be taken late in the day. Doing so can make it difficult to wind down and fall asleep.
For this reason, some people will mix a dose of White Vein Kratom with Red Vein Kratom to help balance out the stimulating effect of the White Kratom. When taken on its own, White Vein Kratom is most useful for fighting through both mental and physical fatigue so you can focus and get through your day.
It’s also important to note that different strands of White Vein Kratom can affect individuals in different ways. In fact, sensitivity levels can vary greatly from one person to the next.
Some people won’t feel the effects of White Kratom at all, while others will simply need to take a higher dose to get the pick-me-up they need.
Because of it’s finicky nature we wouldn’t recommend the white vein for your first purchase if you are only doing one strain. If you can only afford one we’d say try a green strain first.
If you have a budget then we’d recommend getting a sample pack to compare and contrast the various strains on your own, like a wine tasting, but not all at once of course.. that could be bad.
Of course, it’s always best to start with a lower dose of White Vein Kratom and then increase your dose gradually if you don’t notice an impact. You can always work your way up in quantity but if you over dose you’re likely to have an upset stomach which is no fun.
Always closely monitor your behavior after taking White Kratom and keep doses well within the recommended limits. It may even be worth keeping a log of your experiences, like in a journal, for reference in the future and so you can remember the impact of each different strain. That is what we did for this review post.
Green Vein Kratom Can Increase Relaxation AND Energy
Oddly enough, Green Vein Kratom is a near-perfect blend of the benefits of Red and White Kratom. Many extracts, including the Green Vein Malay variety that’s grown in Malaysia, can provide lasting pain relief while also providing a much-needed boost in energy.
We call this the ying and yang strain, because it combines both energy and relaxation. Yes, we realize that sounds contradictory, but it’s actually true.
The best analogy would be that feeling you get immediately after finishing a medium-short workout, where you feel energized but also relaxed in that you just accomplished something.
Such a combination can be ideal for bodybuilders or those looking for a supplement that can help them get through their daily workout. The effects of green kratom also tend to be longer lasting than either red or white kratom.
We found the Green Vein Malay to be GREAT at taking the jittery edge off when consuming other supplements. For example, writing this blog post was done on a fasted stomach. When doing intermittent fasting I usually only consume coffee as it helps suppress my appetite.
However, drinking several cups of coffee while fasting can result in a more jittery energy, which some people don’t enjoy and which isn’t the best for focused workouts at the gym.
So, after finishing my 3rd cup of coffee I down a solid 4 grams of Green Vein Malay and it seems to kind absorb and eliminate the jitters while prolonging the energy I already ingested via the black coffee.
How much of the sustained energy thereafter is from the coffee or the Green Vein Malay is hard to tell, but it does end up providing sustained, clean energy which I can then carry into the gym for a hella good workout.
The unique combination of effects possible with Green Vein Kratom makes it useful for treating muscle and joint pain without causing drowsiness. The same principle can be applied to treating headaches in lieu of traditional medications. As a stimulant, green kratom is a little less powerful than white, nor will it cause sedation like red.
For some people, Green Vein Kratom is taken recreationally as a way to ease social anxiety. There is anecdotal evidence that it helps make people more talkative and friendlier through combating mild feelings of depression and anxiety.
In essence, green kratom is used as a mood enhancer to help make someone feel more upbeat and social.
However, it’s important to note that the potency of Green Vein Kratom can vary a little more than the other two types. This makes it all the more important to ease into taking kratom to allow your body to adjust. At first, users should limit themselves to 1 gram of green kratom per day.
If you decide you want stronger and more lasting effects, you may be able to gradually increase up to 3 grams and perhaps as much as 5 grams. However, it is not recommended to push the use of Green Vein Kratom further than that.
Skinny Yoked Summary
The hype around kratom has been around forever and we’re really glad we ended up finally trying it. The effects aren’t like being hit in the face or anything, it is a real subtle plant, which we like.
Will it replace our pre-workouts and coffee for energy? Probably not. Coffee hits quick and is a very direct energy because of the caffeine, it literally wakes you up. Kratom is more of a sustained energy, a more “motivation” type of energy that is sustained and not jittery like caffeine. We like this very much.
Similarly the calming effects won’t replace other sleep supplements, but it is a great option for a middle of the day stress-reducer.
As with all supplements, we recommend you do your own research, consult a physician, and play it safe. The purpose of this review is simply to provide OUR perspective and experience on a very cool natural plant that’s making waves around the world.
Everybody is different and reacts differently. If you’ve tried any of the strains mentioned in this write-up, or if you’ve tried some other awesome strains you think we should know about, let us know about it in the comments below, we’re always happy to learn new things!