DISCLAIMER: This article is for those who admit they have a current drinking problem or are attempting alcohol abstinence. If you’re in denial, this article may not be for you.
Alcoholics are terrible eaters! Reasons range from plain forgetfulness, not enough ‘fast food’ readily available, buzz kill, weight gain and more. Already prone to serious effects of alcohol on the body (liver problems, etc…) it is important that people suffering from alcohol dependence, and those in the process of quitting, should make every attempt to improve their nutritional habits. By just following a few simple rules and adding a spice of discipline into a daily regimen, an alcoholic can not only vastly improve their health, but perhaps minimize their cravings for alcohol consumption. Here’s how:
First and foremost, an empty stomach must be avoided because feeling empty or ‘depleted’ may be yet another excuse to reach for a drink. If you have a current drinking problem or are in alcohol abstinence, you should strive to eat at three balanced meals a day with a special emphasis on having a healthy and hearty breakfast. Eating well in the morning gives you mental strength, which may help fight off alcohol cravings that develop later in the day. NOTE: Drinking on an empty stomach is very toxic and dangerous. During these times, all attempts should be made to put food in your stomach.
Avoid caffeine at all costs, especially if you have a hangover or if you’ve been drinking regularly. The body and nerves of a person having alcohol dependence is already jittery and ravaged, and taking another drug (caffeine) can do no good. Caffeine abstinence can also help reduce the likelihood of what alcoholics call ‘the shakes.’
Dehydration is one of the common effects of alcohol on the body. Thusly, an abundance of purified, filtered or spring water should be drank as often as possible morning, day and night. One way to know if you’re dehydrated is to notice the color & smell of your urine. If your urine is white and odorless then you’re probably properly hydrated. If the urine is yellow and smelly, your body is water-deficient. Get in the habit of carrying a water bottle with you at all times or consider buying a water filter to attach to your home kitchen faucet (it will save you money).
Try to avoid alcohol induced sleep. Though this may make a person with alcohol dependence fall asleep more quickly, the following may occur:
A) You’re quality of sleep may suffer. It may be shallow, non-dreamy, non-satisfying.
B) You may wake up in the middle of the night unable to fall back asleep.
C) You may wake up in the morning feeling terrible with a hangover.
D) You’re creating a habit, which ultimately makes falling asleep ‘without the influence’ nearly impossible.
E) All of the above.
NOTE: Don’t forget to relieve yourself in the bathroom before sleep. This may help prevent waking up unnecessarily in the middle of the night.
Using Supplements To Combat Alcohol Dependence
If not eating enough food is a problem, it may be a good idea to invest in some vitamins, and take them regularly. Generally, all B-Vitamins, Vitamin-C, and all-in-one formulas are considered good for the body of someone with a current drinking problem or a person practicing alcohol abstinence.
Minerals are a great way to replenish what your body has lost due to the effects of alcohol on the body. Extra Magnesium (even better if combined with Calcium) should be taken daily during bouts of alcoholism, and during the recovery period. Magnesium is generally considered safe, even at higher dosages. To help keep cravings minimized, also take Zinc and/or Selenium on a daily basis. NOTE: Do not take more than the recommended dose of Zinc.
Alcohol cravings may be reduced by taking a daily high dose of the amino acid Glutamine. GABA has also shown promise to treat your alcohol cravings as well as symptoms associated with withdrawal.
Detoxification Herbs For Alcohol Dependence
If it’s body detoxification you’re looking for, herbs have a long history of benefiting a person with a current drinking problem or those practicing alcohol abstinence. Here are a few suggestions:
When taken daily, Milk thistle extract and/or Dandelion root both may benefit the drinker by providing protection to the liver from alcohol toxins. This is important for drinkers since liver disease is frequently attributed to the long-term effects of alcohol on the body. Similarly, taking daily guarana, artichoke or grape seed extract may help prevent liver cancer and other bodily damage from past alcohol abuse.
While treating alcoholism is complex at many levels, a person with a drinking problem can at least exercise self-control by minding their dietary needs. Someone practicing alcohol abstinence might put a special emphasis on body detoxification through diet or supplements.
If you’re still healthy and are currently a drinker or have endured years of abuse, consider yourself lucky. You can improve your well-being by cutting back alcohol intake and paying better attention to your dietary needs.
If your body is already diseased or worn down from long-term alcohol abuse, it’s not too late to treat or even reverse your symptoms. Don’t wait too long.