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Prečo je vám z vodnej fajky zle? 18 tipov ako sa tomu vyhnúť

Why does hookah make you sick? 20 tips to avoid it

Understanding and enjoying hookah is about achieving the perfect balance. For some smokers, however, the experience doesn’t always go according to plan. If you’ve ever felt a little sick during or after smoking a hookah, know that you’re not alone

Feeling nauseous from smoking a hookah is an experience that has happened to every beginner. If you’re inexperienced and don’t know how to prepare or order a quality shisha, and you also don’t know your body and can’t estimate how much you can handle, you may end up paying the price. This article is to help you understand why this happens, and most importantly, how to prevent it. Remember, the goal is to make sure that every pull-up you do is a step towards a better and more enjoyable experience

Why does hookah make me sick?

Several factors come into play when you feel nauseous from smoking hookah. The most important is to understand that the body is reacting to something that makes it uncomfortable. However, this doesn’t mean it has to be that way. If you prepare your hookah properly, don’t overdo it, know your limits and use quality products, and follow a few other principles, there’s no reason to get sick. These are a few reasons why it can happen

1. Overdosing on carbon monoxide or chemicals

Poor quality coals can, by their composition, cause either carbon monoxide poisoning or poisoning from additional chemicals. One of the reasons you get sick from smoking a hookah is inhaling large amounts of carbon monoxide. The charcoal used to heat hookah tobacco produces carbon monoxide, which is potentially harmful when inhaled in large amounts. However, it is important to understand that good quality coals do not produce such large amounts of this gas at all. Most of the time it is either very poor ventilation or mainly the additional chemicals found mainly in RZUs (fast-burning embers) If the ventilation where you smoke is very poor, this can lead to symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, upset stomach to vomiting or passing out

2. Nicotine overdose

Hookah tobacco contains nicotine, so excessive hookah smoking can cause nicotine poisoning. Symptoms of nicotine poisoning include stomach pain, nausea, dizziness, increased heart rate and general discomfort. However, it is important to understand that there are 2 types of tobacco 1. Light and 2. Dark. The difference between light and dark tobacco in terms of nicotine is that light tobacco is washed and because of this, it contains a much lower amount of nicotine. Therefore, even with little to no experience, most people can easily handle light tobacco

3. Dehydration

Believe it or not, smoking hookah can dehydrate you. When you inhale the smoke in combination with other chemicals, your body can lose some of the bound water. Dehydration can lead to headaches, nausea and fatigue, which are very similar symptoms to when a person is sick

4. Poor quality shisha tobacco

Not all brands of tobacco are the same Some brands may use inferior ingredients, heavy artificial flavors and colors. Or even fail to clean their tobacco properly. These factors can cause a bad bodily reaction that makes you feel bad

Now that we understand the potential causes of hookah smoking nausea, let’s dive into the solutions that will change your hookah experience beyond recognition..

How to avoid feeling nauseous while smoking hookah?

Before you learn all the tips to prevent nausea when smoking hookah, it is important to understand that all these principles need to be followed. A single imperfection can make you sick. But the good news is that you just need to follow common sense and listen to your body. If you don’t overdo it and stop at the signs of nausea, it will pass quickly

1. Ventilation is key

It’s important to ensure that you smoke your hookah in a well-ventilated area. Good airflow helps to disperse the carbon monoxide that is released from the burning embers, while bringing fresh air into the room to cleanse our lungs and body. If you smoke indoors, open a few windows or use a fan or ideally a vent. If you go to shisha bars, avoid those that are underground and have poor ventilation

2. Limit your sessions

Even experienced smokers can’t smoke hookah nonstop. You can overdose on nicotine in a prolonged session, which can make you feel sick. If you’re a beginner, it’s best to start slowly – inhale the smoke slowly, not all the way out of your lungs, take regular breaks to breathe, and if you’re indoors, go out regularly to get some fresh air. When you feel that hookah is starting to give you bad feelings instead of pleasant ones, you need to take a break. Take the embers off the HMS and wait until you feel good again

3. Call your friends

Hookah smoking is a social event. Not just because you can have a nice chat with someone, but also because it ensures you get regular breaks. Yes, experienced pipe smokers will often order 1 hookah for each person, but a beginner can’t do that. That’s why it’s better if two or three of you share a hookah at the beginning

4. Don’t forget to drink water – Hydrate yourself

Good hydration is key when smoking a hookah. Drink plenty of water before, during and after smoking to prevent dehydration. Even if you’re not thirsty at all, because that’s what can be very tricky. Especially if you get sick, it’s important to drink at least half a litre of water

5. Choose the best quality tobaccos

Always opt for the best quality tobacco available in your country. It may be considerably more expensive than its lower quality counterparts, but the difference is worth it in terms of taste and feel, and for your health. The best quality tobaccos with the least harmful substances tend to come from Germany, but this is not the rule

6. Prepare your hookah for flavour, not strength

A nice shisha can’t be unpleasant 🙂 If you prepare your shisha for taste and not for strength, it will not release a lot of nicotine and harmful substances and therefore won’t make you sick

The ideal is to use a smaller batch of tobacco, load the hookah bowl in a fluffy way (when you don’t push the tobacco but it is loosely and airy loaded into the hookah bowl) and use the no-touch method, that is, the tobacco will not touch the heat management. The point to touch method is also acceptable, where the tobacco is only connected to the heat management at a few points, but in no case must the entire tobacco stick to the HMS

The important thing is to let the hookah bowl heat up properly and smoke on max 2 coals with the aluminium HMS. Even an amateur should be able to do this

If you are in a professional shisha bar, you can ask the attendant who should be able to do this

7. Use natural coals

Avoid RZUs – quick lighting embers – at all times. You’d better hold out before you have to take that hookah. Always use only natural coconut shell coals that are heated on an electric or gas heater. They are made from compressed coconut shells and do not contain any quick-lighting chemicals. Natural embers not only last longer, but also eliminate inhalation of unnecessary chemicals

8. Heat the coals properly

Hookah carbons release the most harmful substances when heated or when they don’t burn enough. That’s why you need to heat them properly on each side. Note: If you turn the charcoal on the plate, and in the meantime it goes from glowing red to black, it is sufficiently heated, you don’t need to turn it over and over again. If you’re not sure, blow on the carbon. If it starts to turn red, it’s hot enough

9. Blow through the hookah regularly

Optimum tobacco temperature will not only give you a better tasting smoke and make your session last as long as possible, but it will also prevent the formation and inhalation of burns. Both the tobacco and the other substances in the tobacco are adapted to the same temperature, at which the formation of harmful substances is kept to an absolute minimum. However, if the temperature rises too much, the tobacco will start to burn and harmful substances will be released. We know the same principle from the advent of electrically lit tobacco cigarettes such as Iqos, Glo and others

Therefore, between each puff, blow the hookah with a gentle puff. Be careful not to blow too hard, lest you blow the water out of the vase all the way to the hookah bowl

10. Regulate the temperature

In addition to regular blowing, temperature control is also done by adjusting the number and size of the coals. A hookah is usually heated on 3 coals, but many times when smoking you only need two. There is no general rule for this, but 2 coals are usually just right. If you suddenly feel a severe burn in your mouth and puffing doesn’t help, it’s time to take all the coals off. Allow the tobacco, hookah bowl and HMS to cool for a while. It is not recommended to put down the HMS as you may pop the tobacco, or drop the ash into the hookah bowl. Also, tobacco can get a sudden temperature shock, which can shorten its burn time

11. Don’t drink anything with caffeine

Although you may not find this anywhere else, we can confirm from our own experience that drinking coffee or energy drinks with a hookah can make you feel really strange or bad. Your heart starts pounding, you feel nauseous and it is hard to breathe because it is also the effect of the coffee. This is probably due to the high blood pressure

12. Proper cleaning and maintenance

Make sure your pipe is properly cleaned before each use. Mould, old residue, tobacco grease and other nasties that can build up quickly in a hookah can negatively affect your experience and cause coughing and discomfort. Cleaning your hookah regularly and changing the hose regularly will improve both your experience and your health

13. Use quality HMS – Heat management systems

The cheapest HMS from China may contain dyes that are not heat resistant and will start to release quickly at the very first session. And you will smell it properly because it stinks properly. You’re almost amazed sometimes how they can make something like that, but it happens. If you want to be sure with a new HMS, burn it on the coals for a few minutes before you start using it

14. Use nicotine-free replacements

For beginners or those sensitive to nicotine, using weaker tobacco in a hookah can make a significant difference. However, if this is not enough, and intolerance is still strong, there are nicotine-free tobaccos, mineral pastes or vapour volcanic stones as substitutes that can provide a similarly pleasurable experience without the intense effects of nicotine

15. Never smoke shisha on an empty stomach

Smoking shisha on an empty stomach can make you feel sick very quickly. This is because smoking shisha lowers your blood pressure. This rapid drop can make you feel faint and weak. Eating any food will help, but if you eat or at least drink something with a higher sugar content, this can prevent nausea or get you out of it quicker. We recommend healthier alternatives such as fruit, fruit juices, salads, etc

16. Take care of your health and reflect on your health status

Your overall health also influences how your body reacts to hookah smoking. If you do not feel well, it is better to avoid smoking shisha until you have recovered. Especially avoid it if you have problems with your respiratory system. Whether you have a sore throat, a cough, mucus or inflamed bronchial tubes, it is absolutely not advisable to try or even take a puff from a hookah. The wedge rule certainly does not apply in this case. On the contrary, you can prolong your problems quite a bit


17.Use ice

Adding ice to the water in your hookah vase can cool the smoke, resulting in a smoother, cooler, and less harsh hookah experience. This will change more just the sensation on the inhale and improve the flavor, but even a small sensory change like this can have a psychological effect

18. Choose fresh flavours

Similar to the previous point, choosing fresh flavours of tobaccos will give you a feeling of better flavour and lighter strength. Ironically, this has no real impact on the body, but the psychological effect is also important

19. Choose the right hookah

A good quality hookah is easier to clean, more resistant to clogging and, if it has a closed chamber system, you can better blow all the irritating smoke out of the vase

20. Respect your limits

Last but not least, it’s important to respect your body’s limits. If at any time during a hookah session you start to feel sick, it’s best to stop. Try to understand your body’s reaction and adjust your habits accordingly

With these guidelines, you are now equipped to turn those unpleasant hookah smoking experiences into the experiences you expect

Remember that everyone has a unique level of tolerance to the effects of different substances, and tips for avoiding unpleasant sensations may vary from person to person and situation to situation

Conclusion: moderation is crucial. Keep in mind that while hookah smoking can be an enjoyable social activity, it is not without health risks. For advice on your health and hookah smoking, consult your doctors or health professionals

Take steps to minimise these risks and ensure you have as positive an experience as possible. Hookah is about enjoying a variety of flavours, socialising with friends and cultivating culture and traditions in a modern environment. Don’t let nausea spoil the party!

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