Food, Exercise and Drug Addiction: A Strange Combination
Towards the end of drug of alcohol use, many of us might have only worked out to pass a drug test. We knew that THC from marijuana use was stored in our fat cells, so we’d drink lots of water and burn fat to get it out of our urine sample.
But recent studies show that exercise could actually decrease substance use and reinforce abstinence. Maintaining a healthy diet may increase mood and long-term recovery.
Physical fitness as a benefit of exercise is not a new phenomenon. But in addition to physical health, exercise greatly improves behavioral health problems. Maintaining healthy fitness in recovery is not the same thing as working out to stop alcoholism, but it can greatly increase your chances to achieve long term quality recovery.
Physical activity while using drugs is not recommended and could be very dangerous due to increased or decreased heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration.
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 thirty-eight people who were suffering from opioid, 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 thirty-eight people, fifteen 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.
At Atlanta Detox Center, a premier drug and alcohol detox treatment center in Georgia, 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 exercise- such as running or HIIT.
It is worth noting that there is no such thing as a good addiction. Some people in substance use recovery will develop exercise addictions, during which they will continue to prioritize working out to the point that it makes other elements of their life unmanageable. While an exercise addiction isn’t as deadly as an addiction to drugs or alcohol, the fall out can be similar.
Eating Healthier Improves Recovery!
Exercise is not the only way you can work towards 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 and create a healthier lifestyle while also help repairing organ tissue, fighting depression, and increasing depleted serotonin caused by drug or alcohol misuse.
People who misuse alcohol get fifty percent of their daily calories from alcohol consumption, leaving their body at high risk of vitamin deficiencies such as calcium and zinc, as well as malnutrition and a weakened immune system.
Omega 3-fatty acids are found in salmon, walnuts, and chia seeds and are proven to improve depressive symptoms and even aid to the effects of antidepressants.
When people are entering early recovery, they often substitute sugar or caffeine for drugs or alcohol, which 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 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 to 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. It is proven that a healthy diet can improve your recovery and your brain function!
Recovery Programs and Detox in Georgia
At Atlanta Detox Center, your daily meals are catered to 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. As a premier detox and mental health center in Atlanta, our goal is to promote your recovery and improve your mood, mind, spirit and body.