Why Do Recovering Alcoholics Crave Sugar?

Over time, alcohol can reduce your overall serotonin levels, causing you to search for another pick-me-up. That’s why treatment centers like Silver Maple Recovery offer trauma-informed care and cognitive behavioral therapy. Addressing the underlying cause of your behavior can help you overcome a transfer addiction.

why do alcoholics crave sugar

When your blood sugar is low, it’s natural for your body to crave sweets to counteract it. Even if you indulge and give your body sugar to level out, it won’t solve the issue long term. Your blood sugar will drop again, landing you right back where you started. Exercise is a proven stress reducer and a great way to calm sweet cravings. Whether it’s a side effect of a busy life or a conscious choice, skipping meals opens the door to sugar cravings.

Sugar Serves as a Transfer Addiction

People who abruptly stop drinking may lose a significant source of their calorie intake and have disrupted their body’s blood sugar regulation. Some studies have found parallels between how the brain responds to addictive drugs and how it responds to consuming sugar. Sugar activates the brain’s reward system, which triggers us to crave more.

Weight-loss drug semaglutide may reduce people’s desire for alcohol – Insider

Weight-loss drug semaglutide may reduce people’s desire for alcohol.

Posted: Thu, 13 Oct 2022 07:00:00 GMT [source]

Alcohol is a depressant and will slow down the metabolism and cause fatigue, which can make the body crave sugar for a quick energy boost. Alcohol also depletes the body of important vitamins and minerals, which can cause cravings for sugary foods. Additionally, alcohol can increase stress levels, which can also lead to craving sugary snacks.

What Causes Sugar Cravings?

But the urge typically fades, and there are strategies to handle it in the meantime. Artificial sweeteners were created to provide sweetness without the caloric addition of sugar. By repeating our everyday habits, we condition our brains and bodies to do things regularly. For instance, your morning routine might consist of getting out of bed, stretching, taking supplements, and making coffee. You’ve probably been doing things repeatedly for so long that you don’t think much about your actions. Sugar is one of the most widely consumed ingredients and for a good reason.

why do alcoholics crave sugar

From brain chemistry to low blood sugar, we’ll explore the reasons you might get sugar cravings when you quit drinking, and what keeping a healthy balance looks like. Why are sugar cravings so common in people recovering from a substance use disorder? People with substance use disorders often experience intense sugar cravings. Furthermore, research has shown that excessive alcohol consumption can lead to insulin resistance in the liver which can also contribute to sugar cravings.

Do you need to ‘detox’ from sugar?

Sometimes, you might realize that you’re not particularly upset—but just bored. Eating is a physical, emotional, and often a social activity, so it makes sense to pursue it if you why do alcoholics crave sugar need some stimulation. Hosted by Amy Morin, LCSW, this episode of The Verywell Mind Podcast shares strategies for eating to boost your mood, featuring psychiatrist Drew Ramsey.

  • This can make it easier to become dependent on that other substance—such as replacing alcohol with sugar.
  • Finally, some researchers believe that alcoholics may be seeking out a “high” from the sugar, as it can lead to a temporary feeling of euphoria.
  • Therefore, it is vital that addiction treatment providers understand this connection and take decisive, calculated steps toward addressing it.
  • Have snacks on hand such as dates & almond butter, popcorn, yogurt & berries or granola, dried fruit, fresh fruit, a smoothie, popsicle, seltzers, teas, kombucha.
  • In today’s post, we’ll delve into the complex relationship between alcohol and sugar cravings.
  • “There’s the boredom factor and the reward factor,” Witkiewitz added, “And food is a very accessible, natural reward.”