Sober living

Why Do People Get Sugar Cravings After Quitting Drinking?

If this sounds like you, it may actually help to satisfy your craving and eat something sweet every once in a while. As long as you’re not binging on sugar, a piece of candy or slice of cake every now and then is ok during recovery. When you don’t get enough sleep, you can end up feeling lethargic and less motivated to fight your addiction. As a result, you’re more likely to reach for high-sugar foods for a quick energy fix.

What is the link between alcoholism and sugar?

Both sugar and alcohol release large amounts of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that creates feelings of pleasure. Both are consumed compulsively regardless of negative consequences. A tolerance to sugar can develop in much the same way your tolerance to alcohol increases when you drink regularly.

If relenting to sugar cravings has kept you from drinking, then look at it as a lifesaver and forgive yourself. Although it may be a slow process, there’s a way out of sugar dependence and beating yourself up isn’t going to help you gain redemption.

Practices to Combat Sugar Cravings During Recovery

Both and alcohol release large amounts of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that creates feelings of pleasure. Sugar and other replacement rewards are not enough to break the destructive cycle of a substance use disorder.

sugar addiction

Over time, alcohol can reduce your overall serotonin levels, causing you to search for another pick-me-up. Sugar cravings are just one of the many topics we cover in A Sober Girls Group Coaching.

Sugar and Dopamine: The Link Between Sweets and Addiction

Ria why do alcoholics crave sugar offers access to prescription anti-craving medications and regular coaching sessions to help you overcome the urge to drink alcohol. We support both abstinence and moderation, so you don’t need to quit all at once, or even completely. Best of all, the whole thing can be done from an app on your smartphone. In this article, we’re going to go through the causes for your sugar cravings. We know that it can be challenging going from craving one substance to another. But by understanding the cause, you’ll be better equipped to handle it and move forward.

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After a day or two without eating, however, these glycogen stores are emptied. The body can normally compensate by having the liver create new sugar, but if a person is drinking, the liver’s top priority is to remove the alcohol from their system. If a person regularly drinks a lot without eating, their blood sugar levels can plummet dangerously low.

How to Keep Sugar Consumption Under Control

Sugar affects the brain like addictive drugs⁴, which makes sugar particularly tempting for people with a substance use disorder. When a person stops drinking alcohol, they begin to crave sugar more so for several reasons. First, alcohol has a high content of sugar in it, which is why your brain makes the assumption that any sugar product could create the same type of euphoric feeling that alcohol did. Replacing alcohol with sugar is common—in fact, one studysuggests up to 40 percent of people who stop drinking increase their sugar intake in the days after quitting. If you’ve ever heard of the term “hangry,” it’s actually your body’s response to going too long without eating. Ironically, your blood sugar is lower than normal, which can leave you stressed and irritated. As a result, you may instinctively choose a “quick energy” option like foods high in sugar.

  • Sugar and alcohol also are known to affect serotonin, another one of your body’s feel-good chemicals.
  • Don’t forget, you canask questions anytime, and we’ll do our best to find the right expert to point you in the right direction.
  • In some ways, this digested sugar acts similarly to sugar in the human body.
  • It’s like that late 90’s film,Fallen, starring Denzel Washington, where he fights a demon that keeps jumping from one body to the next.

When you allow some sweet-tasting food in your diet you won’t blow out and eat a box of donuts in one sitting. Allow for fresh berries like strawberries and blueberries and a small amount of dark chocolate. Create a plan that allows for a small amount of sweet-tasting food when you’ve quit alcohol. First of all, go easy on yourself in the early days of quitting alcohol. Articles written by the “Ria Team” are collaborative works completed by several members of our writing team, fact-checked and edited to a high standard of empathy and accuracy.

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