Ultimately, this can create a disconnection between our behavior (cravings) and actual caloric needs, potentially leading to sugar addiction and overeating. Down to their basics, the two do share a connection that explains why recovering alcoholics crave sugar. In addition, alcohol addiction comes with an array of underlying psychological effects and foundations. These tend to not be the main reason why recovering alcoholics crave sugar, as we’ll see next, but they are crucial in this discussion. Without staying on top of your sugar intake, you can find yourself caught in this cycle.
While it is unclear why alcoholics crave sugar, there are several theories that may explain the phenomenon. Many alcoholic beverages and drinks contain moderate to high amounts of carbohydrates, which consist of simple sugars (ie sucrose and fructose) and complex carbohydrates. As such, high-sugar why do alcoholics crave sugar foods and alcohol consumption have a similar effect on blood sugar. In turn, they have the same effects on the brain and the individual’s psychology, cementing their connection. Many people who struggle with alcohol addiction also suffer from low blood sugar levels, or hypoglycemia.
Are Alcoholism and Sugar Addiction Related?
Eating a balanced diet that includes a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables can help provide the body with the vitamins and minerals it needs. Additionally, whole grains, nuts, and seeds can provide a good source of complex carbohydrates for energy. Eating lean proteins, such as fish, chicken, or eggs, can also help to provide the body with important vitamins and minerals. While you might feel better at the moment, overindulging in sweets to cope with stress has long term physical consequences such as weight gain. Over time, a high-sugar diet may worsen symptoms of depression (especially if you tend to feel guilty about having or “giving in” to cravings). It’s not unusual to crave carbs, sugar, and chocolate when you are stressed or dealing with depression.
- Ria Health offers access to prescription anti-craving medications and regular coaching sessions to help you overcome the urge to drink alcohol.
- As Northeast Ohio’s premier provider of alcohol addiction treatment, you can safely and privately recover from alcohol addiction.
- In a 2011 study, researchers found that when one area of the brain was activated, it temporarily decreased food cravings, particularly for sweet foods and carbohydrates.
The key is understanding why you are craving them and making sure that your overall diet is balanced and nutritious. Finally, a robust aftercare program can indeed include nutritional guidance and set the individual on course. However, it is important to maintain proper nutrition throughout and after rehab, so as to ensure a successful recovery. In moderation, alcohol consumption can have minimal effects beyond the ones we all likely know; euphoria, disorientation, and so on.
Sugar intake and craving during alcohol withdrawal in alcohol use disorder inpatients
Several studies have proposed that low levels of tryptophan can increase hunger and drive food cravings, as well as contribute to symptoms of depression. When you’re craving carbs, you’re usually being drawn to foods that encourage serotonin production. In a sense, reaching for sugary, carbohydrate-rich foods can be a way of self-medicating depression. Findings from similar studies have helped researchers understand the phenomenon of food addiction, which can be another factor if someone is experiencing persistent cravings.
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. It would be easy to give in, but you’ve seen all the recent news about the negative effects it can have.
In some cases, feeling like you need chocolate might indicate you’re not getting enough magnesium in your diet. Researchers have isolated certain alkaloids in chocolate that may raise the levels of serotonin in the brain. These studies have speculated that cravings for chocolate (so-called “chocoholism”) may have a biological basis with serotonin deficiency being one factor.
Do you often find yourself reaching for sweets after a night of heavy drinking? Alcoholics also experience sugar cravings as well, and the reasons behind this are multifaceted. Many people like that artificial sweeteners allow them to eat some of their favorite sweeter foods without consuming the same calories as the non-diet version.