The Associations Between Alcohol And Sugar
If you’ve ever been in a treatment facility, you’ll likely have seen a lot of sugary drinks and snacks around. But did you know why? Many recovering alcoholics struggle with cravings for sugar. But why is this? What’s the relationship between sugar and alcohol addiction?
In this blog post, we’ll explore the biological mechanisms behind why recovering alcoholics crave sugar and how it can be managed in a healthy way. We’ll also look at how to make healthier food choices that still satisfy sweet cravings without compromising an individual’s progress in recovery. Finally, we’ll discuss the importance of understanding and managing these cravings as part of an overall healthy lifestyle.
The Role of Sugar in Alcoholism
In recovery, it is not uncommon for people to experience cravings for sugar. While there are many theories as to why this happens, one of the most commonly accepted is that sugar plays a role in alcoholism. Some research says that sugar itself can be addictive.
The reason why sugar may play a role in alcoholism is because it can help to replenish the body’s store of glycogen. Glycogen is a type of sugar that is stored in the liver and muscles. It is used by the body for energy, and when it is depleted, people can feel tired and weak. Therefore, eating sugary foods can help to boost energy levels and improve mood.
Alcohol is also just sugar that has been digested by yeast. The products of this digestion are C02 and alcohol. In some ways, this digested sugar acts similarly to sugar in the human body. When the body is used to a lot of sugar and stops getting it abruptly, it looks for ways to replenish it.
However, while sugar can help with energy levels in the short-term, it can also contribute to problems in the long-term. For example, eating too much sugar can lead to weight gain, which can be difficult to lose once sober. Additionally, sugar can cause blood sugar levels to spike and crash, which can lead to feelings of irritability and fatigue. Therefore, it is important for people in recovery to find a balance when it comes to consuming sugar.
How Sugar Cravings Affect Recovery
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.
If an alcoholic gives in to their sugar cravings, it can lead to a relapse. The sugar high from eating sweets can be similar to the feeling that alcohol gives, and this can be dangerous for someone in recovery. It’s important for recovering alcoholics to find healthy ways to satisfy their cravings, such as eating fruit or drinking juices instead of sugary drinks— although these can be ok from time to time, as almost anything is better than drinking for those who are alcoholics.
Ways To Manage Sugar Cravings In Recovery
It’s no secret that sugar cravings can be a major challenge when trying to recover from alcoholism. While quitting drinking may help to reduce the frequency and intensity of sugar cravings, they can still be a bothersome problem for many people in recovery.
Here are some tips for managing sugar cravings in recovery:
- Avoid trigger foods and drinks: Foods and drinks that contain high amounts of sugar are likely to trigger cravings. Therefore, it’s important to avoid or limit your intake of sugary foods and beverages.
- Eat regular meals: Eating regular, balanced meals can help to keep blood sugar levels stable and reduce the likelihood of experiencing sugar cravings.
- Get enough sleep: Lack of sleep can lead to increased hunger and cravings for sugary foods. Make sure to get plenty of restful sleep each night to help avoid this issue.
- Exercise regularly: Exercise can help to minimize cravings by releasing feel-good endorphins and increasing blood flow throughout the body (including the brain).
Many of these tips are the same tips for a healthy lifestyle in general, but that makes sense. If you’re healthy overall, you’ll reduce cravings because your body is working properly. One reason cravings happen is because of an imbalance in your body chemistry. Things like eating right, exercising, and getting enough sleep can help you feel good all the time and without the highs and lows of alcohol abuse— and sugar.
Get Help With An Alcohol Addiction And Learn Healthy New Ways To Live
Recovering alcoholics often crave sugar due to the neurological changes that occur during long-term abuse of alcohol. While it can be challenging to break this craving, there are various strategies and lifestyle modifications that can help recovering alcoholics curb their cravings for sugar. At Southeast Addiction Rehab in Tennessee, we can teach you these strategies.
Ultimately, with support from family and friends, as well as professional help like ours, every alcoholic has the opportunity to achieve sobriety and start down the path towards a healthier life. If you would like to learn more, please give us a call at (615) 326 6449.
We are looking forward to speaking with you.