The Moment You Realise You’re an Alcoholic

It is deeply rooted in both substances, and largely explains just why recovering alcoholics crave sugar. Moreover, it can cause complications throughout and after recovery, especially if it overlaps with eating disorders or mental health disorders. The neurobiological pathways of drug and “sugar addiction” involve similar neural receptors, neurotransmitters, and hedonic regions in the brain. Craving, tolerance, withdrawal and sensitization have been documented in both human and animal studies. In addition, there appears to be cross sensitization between sugar addiction and narcotic dependence in some individuals. There also appears to be some common genetic markers between alcohol dependence, bulimia, and obesity, such as the A1 allele gene and the dopamine 2 receptor gene.

  • If you have a history of anorexia or bulimia, food journaling might be a trigger.
  • You’re not alone; it’s actually common for recovering alcoholics to crave sugar.
  • Within moderation, and within reason, it seems the intake of sugar and high-carbohydrate sugar foods such as fruits, can help to curb cravings.
  • When someone is addicted to alcohol, the body becomes dependent on it for energy, so it starts to crave sugar for quick energy.
  • Improvising tends not to work out very well for those of us with a raging sweet tooth, whether we’re at the grocery store or standing in front of the fridge.

If you feel the craving is related to a need for comfort, try to find a healthier way to satisfy that need, such as going for a walk or talking to a friend. In all the almost hysterical hype about sugar, which can paint this food with the same toxic attributes as arsenic or even nicotine, one fact is never mentioned. This sugar craving by emotionally miserable individuals may be a symptom of something awry with their serotonin levels. A doctor or psychiatrist can offer more information and help you explore possible treatment plans.

Are Sugar Cravings Bad?

However, all alcoholic beverages contain a significant number of calories and have little to no nutritional value. Food companies often combine sugar alcohols with artificial sweeteners to make foods taste sweeter. If you’re trying to lose weight, you might benefit from swapping sugar alcohols for sugar and other higher-calorie sweeteners. Other sugar alcohols, like maltitol, can lead to symptoms as well, so it’s best to avoid consuming them in large amounts (12, 20).

why do alcoholics crave sugar

Most people who experience cravings notice a mix of internal and external triggers. Over time, alcohol use begins to affect the neurotransmitters, or chemical messengers, in your brain. Below, we’ll explore why cravings happen and offer a few tips to manage them, from in-the-moment techniques to long-term coping strategies. “And it looks for what it has in its environment, which is so often sugar.”


Erythritol is generally well tolerated and not considered a high FODMAP ingredient (21, 22). Plus, some sugar alcohols, including sorbitol and mannitol, are considered fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols — also known as FODMAPs. The relative sweetness indicates how sweet each sugar alcohol tastes compared with table sugar (13). The lower the GI index of a food, the slower your blood sugar level rises after you consume that food. That means a lower GI index food is healthier than a higher GI index food. It has very little effect on your blood sugar and causes minimal digestive symptoms when you consume less than 10 grams.

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. High-protein foods help keep you full, which can curb drug or alcohol cravings. That includes the brain cells needed to create the neurotransmitter dopamine.

How I Learned to Date Without Drinking

One of the many problems with alcohol abuse is that most of your caloric intake comes from the amount of alcohol you consume daily. This means that most people who stop drinking haven’t gotten their full nutritional value for an extended period. Erythritol is a popular sugar alcohol that has been shown to be safe and well tolerated. However, it’s important to limit your consumption of all sweeteners, including artificial sweeteners, added sugars, and low calorie sweeteners like sugar alcohols.

Fortunately, understanding why you’re craving sweets after quitting alcohol and finding ways to avoid sugar can help you maintain a healthy recovery. Much of the literature around food cravings How to Open an Inmates Halfway House in 2023 Business Plan supports the idea that they are a conditioned response. Maybe having ice cream is how you relax after dinner, or maybe you refuel with a latte and a slice of cake in the afternoons.

We’re also living in a world of meticulously engineered, aggressively marketed and cheap sugar-dense desserts and snacks that did not exist several generations back. Residents at The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation support and encourage one another to stay on track. Choosing recovery close to home means your support system is just a few miles away. Eating nourishing food consistently throughout the day prevents you from getting too hungry, which enables you to make better food choices.