Recovery Why Are Sugar Cravings Common in Addiction Recovery?

It would be easy to give in, but you’ve seen all the recent news about the negative effects it can have. Other sources of caffeine include tea, soda, coffee ice cream, and chocolate. Excessive caffeine intake can actually increase sugar cravings due to fluctuations in blood sugars and dehydration.

  • Whenever you would drink, the alcohol would release a rush of dopamine that would make you feel good.
  • That means that when you stop using alcohol, the brain needs something else that is going to make it feel the same way.
  • “There’s the boredom factor and the reward factor,” Witkiewitz added, “And food is a very accessible, natural reward.”
  • However, it does damage the ends of neurons, causing the aforementioned effects.

NCBI makes a strong case for this, as we can briefly explore here to give more context to why recovering alcoholics crave sugar. However, there are strategies that can help alcoholics manage their sugar cravings such as eating balanced meals, staying hydrated, or engaging in regular exercise. Additionally, seeking support from loved ones or professionals is crucial in overcoming addiction and living a healthy life. Now that you’ve made the courageous decision to quit drinking, the future looks brighter.

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Join us through recovery realization & experience the power of self-realization, sobriety, & empowerment. He is passionate about helping individuals do alcoholics crave sugar overcome addiction and achieve a life of sobriety and wellness. In some ways, this digested sugar acts similarly to sugar in the human body.

Alcoholism affects many different parts of the body, and one of the most common symptoms is a craving for sugar. This is because alcohol disrupts the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar, leading the body to believe it needs more sugar to function properly. As a result, recovering alcoholics may experience intense cravings for sugary foods and drinks.

How Can Sugar Impact Recovery?

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter made in the brain and is released in response to a reward or pleasurable experience. Sugar tastes great, and eating or drinking it is rewarding since it causes dopamine release. Sugar is similar to alcohol in the sense that it can become addictive if consumed too often. Think back to why your brain and body became addicted to alcohol. Whenever you would drink, the alcohol would release a rush of dopamine that would make you feel good.

This too factors into why recovering alcoholics crave sugar, as we’ll see soon. Beyond the physical reasons, mental health disorders and eating disorders can also drastically affect sugar intake and sugar cravings. At some point and time, everyone craves a bit of sugar here and there. Whether you’re a huge body builder or on a strict vegan diet, sugary foods are all around and easy to tempt the mind. But, it seems that individuals recovering from alcohol abuse tend to crave sweets just a bit more than the average person.

Addiction Info

However, you’re still dealing with an addiction that can cause health problems in the long term. First, you get more of a dopamine boost from foods that are high in sugar or fat. This is similar to the dopamine rush you’d feel when drinking alcohol. It’s natural to assume that you crave sugar after quitting alcohol because your body has become acclimated to the high sugar content found in most alcoholic beverages. Fortunately, understanding why you’re craving sweets after quitting alcohol and finding ways to avoid sugar can help you maintain a healthy recovery. Addiction treatment centers help by providing a safe space, professional treatment options, and long-lasting support for you to achieve abstinence.

That is to say, sugar cravings may be present for other reasons as well – but typically accompany alcohol addiction. Therefore, it’s always best to consult your treatment providers about it so they can inform you on what to expect. Did you know that it’s common for people who have struggled with alcohol addiction to have low blood sugar?

An Effective Rehab Program Ensures That You Don’t Cave to Sugar or Other Addictive Substances

“I’ll deal with the food issue later once I’m more stable in my sobriety.”  It’s easy to overlook the dangers of sugar or overeating when you were a blackout drinker. You expected discomfort and intense cravings when you quit alcohol, but not this. This type of craving is new, and you can’t get it out of your head. Almost like a shadow, it seems to follow you throughout your day.

In this way, sugar leaves us with feelings of happiness, contentment, and satisfaction–at least for a short while. Unfortunately, too much sugar may seriously affect brain chemicals like dopamine and serotonin, giving us too much of the first and blocking proper regulation of the second. In this article, we’re going to go through the causes for your sugar cravings. We know that it can be challenging going from craving one substance to another. But by understanding the cause, you’ll be better equipped to handle it and move forward.

Connecting with family and friends, attending support groups, and talking to a therapist can all help to provide a sense of comfort and support during the recovery process. Recovering alcoholics often crave sugar because their bodies are trying to replenish the nutrients that were lost during their drinking binge. Alcoholics tend to drink more than they eat, so their bodies are lacking in essential vitamins and minerals. Sugar cravings are the body’s way of telling the alcoholic that it needs nourishment. When it comes to alcohol and sugar, there is a clear link between the two. Alcoholics often crave sugar because of how alcohol affects their bodies.

  • Eric Witter is a leading addiction specialist and the founder of Recovery Realization.
  • It’s important for recovering alcoholics to understand why they are craving sugar in order to effectively manage the cravings and maintain sobriety.
  • Dopamine is a neurotransmitter made in the brain and is released in response to a reward or pleasurable experience.
  • Moreover, it can cause complications throughout and after recovery, especially if it overlaps with eating disorders or mental health disorders.

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