why do alcoholics crave sugar
why do alcoholics crave sugar

Detoxing makes sense if you have an addiction to a dangerous substance, but we consume sugar every day in one form or another, so you’re never truly cutting it out of your diet. A sugar detox involves cutting all added sugars from your diet for a set period of time, from as little as a week to as long as a month. The premise is that, after an initial period of “withdrawal,” you’ll no longer crave sweets the way you do now. Exercise is a proven stress reducer and a great way to calm sweet cravings. A separate study done and presented at the 9th ISBRA Congress showed support for an association between sweets and a genetic predisposition for alcoholism and a family history.

  • After quitting drinking, there are a number of reasons why sugar hits the ‘sweet spot’ and cravings for sugar can be at all time high.
  • Additionally, some researchers believe there is agenetic componentto sugar addiction in families with a history of substance abuse.
  • These include associations between alcohol and certain people, places, and things, such as loud music or the sight of a bar.

There is a simple answer to this; alcohol and sugar share a unique connection, both physical and psychological. This connection causes this essential transfer, where recovering alcoholics may substitute alcohol with sugar. Having offered services for drug and alcohol rehab in West Virginia for years, we at Harmony Ridge Recovery have seen this connection and its effects manifold. So, in this article, we’ll explore its roots, its peripheral factors, and ways to manage it effectively.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

In contrast, liqueurs or mixed drinks can contain a high amount of carbohydrates. Beers and wines often contain a moderate amount of carbohydrates. Last year, after a couple of weeks, I was back to my old ways without thinking much about my sober experience.

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The is the biggest reason why sugar cravings appear in early sobriety, especially the first month. Did you know that it’s common for people who have struggled with alcohol addiction to have low blood sugar? The liver, the organ that processes any alcohol you drink, is in charge of releasing glycogen into your blood. Alcohol stops this from happening, causing your blood sugar to drop.

Why People with Substance Use Disorder Crave Sugar

In addition, alcohol prevents the liver from releasing glucose. The latter factor explains, in part, why heavy drinkers are eco sober house boston much more susceptible to hypoglycemia. Continuing to use despite the substance causing physical and mental health problems.

why do alcoholics crave sugar

When struggling with hypoglycemia, you’re left with symptoms like irritability, aggression, headaches, dizziness, confusion, lack of concentration and impulsive decision-making. Your body needs to right itself as quickly as possible, leading to sugar cravings. As an essential healthcare provider, We are open and supporting those in need of addiction treatment at all locations.

Alcohol Withdrawal and Detox

There are a number of reasons why this phenomenon is such a common occurrence. Fortunately, she said, the intensity of the cravings shouldn’t last. « The body is really miraculous in coming into a homeostatic state, » she said.

why do alcoholics crave sugar

Especially in the early stages of detox, clinical supervision and counseling are universally beneficial. Here, having treatment providers focus on the causes of sugar cravings and assisting in managing them can help tremendously. If you’re seeking AUD treatment for yourself or a loved one, noting which treatment providers offer these therapies is advisable. Sugar cravings are extremely common, and can play a crucial role in recovery – as outlined above.


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. We’re talking about sugar cravings after giving up alcohol. The plausibility of sugar addiction and its role in obesity and eating disorders. Association between sweet preference and paternal history of alcoholism in psychiatric and substance abuse patients.

why do alcoholics crave sugar

This is easy to do because of the high sugar content of foods and drinks, such as some low-fat yogurt and a can of coke . Sugar and other replacement rewards are not enough to break the destructive cycle of a substance use disorder. If you wish to quit substance misuse, please consider professional addiction treatment services to receive a full range of interventions that can help ensure a successful recovery. A chocolate bar is far less harmful than returning to active addiction.

However, all alcoholic beverages contain a significant number of calories and have little to no nutritional value. It is important to eat healthy snacks like fresh fruit, vegetables, low fat cheese or nuts to keep yourself satisfied. This will help increase your metabolic rate, and will keep you feeling good about yourself. So be sure to start your day with a healthy substantial breakfast, and supplement this with healthy snacks to keep your cravings in check. Research has shown there are biological links between alcohol and sugar consumption, with many alcohol-dependent people having a preference for sweet things. Even though craving cigarettes and alcohol together is common, people who quit alcohol and tobacco at the same time are more likely to be successful in recovery.

Scientists have discovered that children of alcoholic parentsmay be more likely to have a sweet tooth. This is a big part of how people become addicted to alcohol. And it turns out that your brain on sugar isn’t so different. Sugar also triggers dopamine receptors in the brain, and over time a person can become desensitized to it, while experiencing strong cravings.

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. If your sugar cravings are frequent, it’s best to opt for natural, whole foods options over highly processed sugars.

How to Avoid Replacing Alcohol with Too Much Sugary Food

Nine teaspoons of sugar may sound like a lot , but it’s also what you’ll drink in an average 12-ounce can of soda. A study shows the link between consumption of alcohol and a desire for sweets. In this study, it was found that there is evidence that links the consumption of sweets and alcohol between humans and animals, and their preferences sober house boston for such. The study shows that preference for sweets can be genetic, but that there is a link between a preference for sugar as well as alcohol. Alcoholic subjects preferred the sweeter sucrose solutions that were given. « Any time people change a behavior, our natural gut reaction — literally — is to experience more hunger, » she said.

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We specialize in providing compassionate and highly individualized substance abuse treatment that is evidence-based and outcome-driven. Processed foods often include high sugar content to make them hyper-palatable. Surprisingly, some scientists believe sugar to bemore addictivethan drugs, such as cocaine. While there is disagreement on whether sugar can create a physiological or neurochemical addiction, evidence points to at least a strong psychological addiction. People with severe alcohol use disorders can consume more than 50% of their calorie intake through alcohol alone¹, leaving them at significant risk for nutrient deficiency.

Sugar Cravings After Quitting Alcohol Starts in the Brain

Why this matters is, simply, that such cases are particularly prone to addiction transfer. As recovering alcoholics crave sugar, and especially if they’re facing severe psychological symptoms, they may turn to sugar to cope. But, having established that sugar addiction can indeed occur, this can simply lead to one addiction being replaced with another. 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. These spikes and crashes make sugar cravings incredibly common in early recovery from alcohol use disorder.

Contact us to learn more about recovery in our safe environment. Latest addiction-related news, inspirational affirmations, and healthy living tips. Different https://rehabliving.net/ types of alcohol contain varying amounts of carbohydrates. Some types, including distilled spirits like whiskey, do not contain any carbohydrates at all.

She has produced a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. Through strategic marketing campaign concepts, Alyssa has established Banyan as an industry leader and a national household name. Avoid completely depriving yourself and don’t beat yourself up if you “give in” to a craving. For example, choose a small serving of dark chocolate avocado mousse instead of a chocolate bar.

Whenever you would drink, the alcohol would release a rush of dopamine that would make you feel good. Sugar and alcohol also are known to affect serotonin, another one of your body’s feel-good chemicals. This is why sweets and alcohol can help you de-stress and generally improve your mood, at least at first.