Nutrition in Recovery How To Deal With Sugar Cravings In The Early Stages of Alcoholism Recovery

Eating sweet foods can reduce the intensity of these drug cravings by giving a short dopamine boost, which could be the difference between remaining in recovery or experiencing a relapse. A chocolate bar is far less harmful than returning to active addiction. Nutrient deficiencies and blood sugar issues trigger cravings for high-sugar foods like chocolate, candy, or other sweet treats. Like alcohol, sugary foods can be addictive and trigger the brain’s reward system. If you have an addiction but don’t know where to turn, Launch Centers in Los Angeles, CA, can help. We offer detox and outpatient services to young adults that address substance use disorders and any accompanying mental health issues. Visit our admissions page today, and we will be happy to answer any questions you have.

  • If you’re in recovery, limiting your sugar intake is a smart move because there is a real possibility that sugar could become a substitute addiction.
  • Visit our admissions page today, and we will be happy to answer any questions you have.
  • It’s a well-reported phenomena that some people find themselves reaching for the sugar when they get sober.
  • Another benefit of quitting sugar means the person may enjoy fewer instances of depression and other mood-related side effects caused by consuming too much sugar.
  • In the long term, this can mimic the effects of addiction and create high tolerance and cravings for sugar.

It does, however, suggest a connection that may be important for those trying to stay sober. For alcoholics and addicts, sugar cravings may be especially intense in early sobriety.

Protect your sleep!

Many heavy drinkers are hypoglycemic, or have low blood sugar, which can cause them to crave sweets. This can become especially apparent when alcohol is removed from the equation. As a fierce proponent of mental health services, Jess believes in the compassionate care and person-centered approach at All Points North.

why do recovering alcoholics crave sugar

It took a few days to come out of the fog, but my energy level and ability to focus have increased considerably. Is a nutritional psychiatrist, professional chef, nutrition specialist, and author of This Is Your Brain on Food . Naidoo is also a culinary instructor at The Cambridge School of Culinary Arts. She writes for Harvard Health and Psychology Today and has just completed a unique video cooking series for the MGH Academy, which teaches nutritional psychiatry using culinary techniques in the kitchen. Our online classes and training programs allow you to learn from experts from anywhere in the world. You agree to receive email, SMS, and other electronic communications about our services and care.

More in Alcohol Abuse

If you are reading ingredient lists, remember that sugar has many names. Added sugar can be listed as high fructose corn syrup , sucrose, fructose, dehydrated cane juice, glucose, dextrose, syrup, cane sugar, raw sugar, and more.

But what does that have to do with sugar cravings after quitting drinking? Well, craving sugar after stopping alcohol is the result of a whole culmination of reasons. While most people attribute their post-drinking sugar cravings to their body’s reaction to the reduced intake of sugar that’s usually found in alcoholic drinks, this isn’t a complete explanation. People with substance use disorders often experience intense sugar cravings. Even the original printing of The Big Bookin Alcoholics Anonymous mentions a physician who encouraged newly sober alcoholics to keep chocolate or candy on hand to help manage alcohol cravings. Now that you’ve made the courageous decision to quit drinking, the future looks brighter. The truth is, it’s common for people who quit drinking to, out of nowhere, start craving sugar or sweets.

Replacing One Addiction With Another

Many people who struggle with alcohol addiction also suffer from low blood sugar levels, or hypoglycemia. Normally, the liver stores glucose in the form of glycogen, which then is released into the bloodstream steadily throughout the day to keep your blood sugar levels balanced. As discussed above, sugar can be as addictive as alcohol for some people. Excessive consumption of fructose sweeteners, for example, can lead to fatty liver disease—just like alcohol. And restoring healthy digestion and blood sugar can make a big difference in long-term recovery. Long-term, alcohol abuse disrupts your body’s ability to regulate your blood sugar.

I wasn’t looking to get a healthy balance right from the start, just to find alcohol replacements. In fact, some medical do alcoholics crave sugar professionals believe solving hypoglycemia after quitting drinking is crucial to overcoming alcohol cravings.


The important thing is that when you first stop drinking, you go easy on yourself. Playing video games is one of the most popular leisure activities in the world, however, in today’s vastly accelerating digital age video game addiction is on the rise. Different types of alcohol contain varying amounts of carbohydrates. Some types, including distilled spirits like whiskey, do not contain any carbohydrates at all. In contrast, liqueurs or mixed drinks can contain a high amount of carbohydrates. Beers and wines often contain a moderate amount of carbohydrates.

Incorporating a healthy dietary intake that doesn’t include a lot of sugar also provides multiple health benefits. When a person controls their sugar intake, they find it easier to maintain a healthy weight or achieve any medically necessary weight loss. Their energy levels remain steady, rather than spiking throughout the day, and they often enjoy healthier sleeping patterns. Replacing sugar with healthy substitutes reduces the chances a person will develop diabetes, supports heart health, and reduces the risk of cancer. Short term indulgences in sugar and caffeine is understandable. Despite grumbling and mumbling most clients adjust and make it without caffeine and sugar. If your sugar cravings are frequent, it’s best to opt for natural, whole foods options over highly processed sugars.

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