With prolonged alcohol use, your body can come to rely on alcohol to feel good, and crave the boost in feel good chemicals. When someone stops drinking, their dopamine and serotonin levels are initially depleted, so it’s common for them to seek out other sources of comfort and pleasure to compensate. For many people in the withdrawal phase, this results in cravings for specific foods.
- Since our body responds according to what we put into it, a balanced diet can have a huge impact on our recovery journey and reduce the risk of relapse.
- Alcohol and drug abuse can suppress the appetite, so addicts do not eat enough food or the “right foods” so that their bodies can get the right amount of calories and nutrients they need.
- Take our short alcohol quiz to learn where you fall on the drinking spectrum and if you might benefit from quitting or cutting back on alcohol.
- Especially in the beginning, you should be drinking so much water that you feel like you are going to float away.
- Because withdrawal can already induce depressed and sluggish feelings, it’s best to eat healthier foods that leave us feeling energized and nourished.
A healthy alcohol detox diet can help to set the person’s body up for recovery. A well-balanced diet is important to build up your vitamin and nutrient stores and keep you healthy during the recovery process. A healthy, balanced diet includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean sources of protein like fish and poultry, whole grains, nuts, beans and low-fat dairy. Fish, nuts and vegetable oils can also support health by adding important fatty acids into the diet.
Foods for Your Brain
People may crave unhealthy foods high in sugar while detoxing from alcohol. But eating sugary products in place of healthier foods during this time can result in vitamin deficiencies, creating additional stress on the body. Complex carbohydrates stabilize blood sugar levels and provide vitamins, minerals and fibers. These foods take longer to digest, which means they provide energy for a long period of time. Withdrawal symptoms from alcohol are different for everyone and can last anywhere from a few days to more than a week. During this period, when your body is adjusting and healing, it is important to have a healthy diet and proper nutrition to support your new alcohol-free lifestyle.
Our bodies metabolize foods in a complex chemical system, certain elements are essential in order to keep this system fully operational. The amino acid, tyrosine, is fundamental for cells alcohol recovery diet to create proteins which in turn is essential for the synthesis of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine. In short, they will enable you to feel better about feeling better.
Nutritional Supplements for Alcohol Recovery
If you quit drinking and are hungry all the time, you’re not alone. It’s common to begin craving sweets and other unhealthy foods when you give up alcohol. Heavy meals can be difficult to keep down when in detox, especially if you have withdrawal symptoms like nausea or vomiting. Instead, focus on consuming soups and other liquids to replenish nutrients and keep yourself hydrated. You can also drink decaffeinated teas and fruit or vegetable juices. They disrupt digestion and create intestinal changes which permit oversized molecules into the bloodstream.
- Daily drinking can have serious consequences for a person’s health, both in the short- and long-term.
- It’s also vital to consult your doctor first to make sure your vitamin regime is appropriate and safe for you.
- Maintaining the proper diet can help to reduce the stress your body experiences and better equip you to handle the difficulties of alcohol withdrawal.
- Numerous feel-good hormones, including testosterone, seize upon fats as their primary building blocks.
The body converts alcohol, like other refined grains, directly to sugar, causing a spike in blood sugar levels and a commensurate insulin response to bring those levels back down. Following detox, a recovering alcoholic may find that he craves sweets and starchy foods more than he did before. This is the body’s response to its perceived insufficient blood sugar in the absence of alcohol. A struggle with alcohol use impacts many aspects of a person’s life, including diet and nutrition. Drinking too much can lead to severe nutrient depletion, creating symptoms that can make alcohol detox and recovery more difficult and permanently affect your health. Eating a healthy diet and supplementing with vitamins as needed can help correct some of the damage from drinking.
The Importance of Proper Nutrition in Alcohol Recovery
Withdrawal is also a time when your body is hyperactive and sensitive to stimulation, so avoiding foods or beverages with caffeine is a good idea. Maintaining the proper diet can help to reduce the stress your body experiences and better equip you to handle the difficulties of alcohol withdrawal. A lack of vitamin B9 can trigger anemia and make you weak, tired, and moody. Folic acid is in foods like enriched bread, flour, cornmeal, pasta, rice, and breakfast cereals. Veggies, fruits, fruit juices, nuts, beans, and peas naturally have folate. As you’ve likely noticed, alcohol can provide temporary feelings of happiness and relaxation.
- After all, food isn’t only what we’re made of – it’s also what we’re remade of.
- You’ll also get access to anti-craving medications, expert medical advice, handy digital tools, and more—all through an app on your phone.
- This cycle can be reinforced by how the brain, especially the midbrain, responds to drinking.
- Substance misuse disorders often co-occur with other mental and behavioral health issues, including eating disorders.
Alcohol negatively impacts your overall nutritional health, impairing your body’s ability to heal quickly and effectively. These nutritional deficiencies can make it harder to recover from alcohol addiction and create other health problems. Making good dietary choices as you recover from alcohol addiction will help you be well-equipped to succeed in your recovery journey. If you have to narrow it down to the most important vitamin for alcohol recovery, take vitamin B1, or thiamin. People who regularly drink alcohol tend to be low in thiamine, which is critical to metabolism in brain cells.
Without thiamin, people can experience a form of permanent brain damage called Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome. One of the organs within the body which is hugely affected by alcohol and drug abuse is the liver. Your liver is your in-built filter which protects you from harmful and poisonous substances. During the initial stage of the detox process, you’ll likely be told that first and foremost in importance is water. Hydration is important in general, but especially when experiencing alcohol withdrawal syndrome.
Protein is the building block your body needs to repair itself, whether that’s after a workout or after malnourishment from chronic alcohol use. It’s an essential part of a healthy diet for alcoholics who are in recovery. Do not drink fluids with alcohol in them, even to help mitigate the symptoms of withdrawal. No mimosas, light beers or any other drinks to “help get the day started.” Drinking more alcohol will only prolong withdrawal symptoms and worsen damage to the body.