Food, Exercise and Drug Addiction: A Strange Combination
Eating healthy, exercise and drug addiction may seem like an odd combination. However, recent studies show that exercise could decrease substance abuse and reinforce abstinence. At the same time, healthy eating may increase mood and long-term recovery. Exercising while using drugs is not recommended. The reason is simple: it could be very dangerous due to increased or decreased heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration.
People who struggle with drug addiction often turn to food as a way to comfort themselves. Overeating and binge eating are both common in people with drug addiction. In fact, some people even use food as a way to get high. This is a dangerous combination because it can be very difficult to break the cycle of addiction and overeating.
Since many drugs and withdrawal often deplete your body of nutrients, leave you dehydrated and create electrolyte imbalances in your body, exercise should always be discussed with your treatment team to ensure safety.
Exercise and Drug Addiction
In a recent study on exercise and drug addiction, it was found that in a group of 38 people who were suffering from opioids, cocaine, or cannabis use disorder, that exercised three times per week for six months were more likely to commit to abstinence from drugs. Out of these 38 people, 15 reported abstinence or decreased use. Exercise and drug addiction coupled with the proper therapy, healthy habits, community support, and a 12-step program, could be used in a person’s early recovery to help distract them from intense cravings.
If you are struggling with an addiction, it is best to seek professional help. However, if you are looking for ways to help support your loved one who is struggling with addiction, counseling, exercise, and therapy could be a good place to start.
Exercise and drug addiction, coupled with the proper therapy, healthy habits, community support, and a 12-step program, could be used in a person’s early recovery to help distract them from intense cravings.
At Atlanta Detox Center, we provide patients with a variety of wellness services, including on-site visits from yoga teachers and exercise instructors and catered meals. Case managers also help our patients learn about nutrition and help patients map out healthy grocery lists. Exercise can give people in early recovery from drug addiction, a natural high. Exercise “highs” happen when the brain releases endorphins after vigorous exercises- such as running or HIIT.
Eating Healthier Improves Recovery
Exercise is not the only way you can work toward bettering your health when entering recovery for drug or alcohol addiction. Learning to eat healthier, balanced meals is one thing you can utilize in early recovery to curb cravings. In turn, this helps you create a healthier lifestyle, which helps to:
- Repair organ tissue
- Fight depression
- Increase depleted serotonin caused by drug or alcohol misuse
People who misuse alcohol get 50% of their daily calories from alcohol consumption. This leaves their body at high risk of vitamin deficiencies such as calcium and zinc. There’s also the risk of malnutrition and a weakened immune system.
Omega 3-fatty acids are found in salmon, walnuts, and chia seeds. They have, in fact, been proven to improve depressive symptoms and aid to the effects of anti-depressants. When people are entering early recovery, they often substitute sugar or caffeine for drugs or alcohol. This, unfortunately, can lead to other health problems.
The extra consumption of sugar of caffeine may be linked to more intense drug or alcohol-related cravings. Alcohol turns to sugar once it is in the body, which is why many people who are recovering from alcohol addiction crave sugar. However, when you give in to this craving, again and again, it does not give your body the time to heal. Sugar may cause your mind and body to crave alcohol, which can lead to irritability, anxiety, and depression.
Learning To Live Healthier: The Atlanta Difference
Regardless of whether you misused alcohol or drugs, it is important for your health and recovery to eat a complex diet made up of carbs, protein, calcium-rich foods, healthy fats, and plenty of water. Remember that a healthy diet can improve your recovery and your brain function.
At Atlanta Detox Center, your catered daily meals help improve your health through the detox process. A case manager will help you plan grocery lists that will help aid in your addiction recovery once you leave our care. We also offer exercise classes such as yoga. Our goal is to promote your recovery and improve your mood, mind, spirit, and body. Call us today at 833.625.0458 and let’s get started.