Alcohol and Sugar


Alcohol affects blood sugar levels in the body.

Blood sugar is the amount of sugar that is in the blood and which fuels the body. If there is too much sugar it’s turned to fat and stored for later use. For good health, blood sugar levels should be kept as stable as possible.

Alcohol is full of sugar but not much of it is used as blood sugar because alcohol is a type of poison and the body works hard at removing it from the system. The liver processes alcohol to expel it from the body.

The liver has many other important functions as well, though. These include keeping blood sugar levels steady. If blood sugar levels start to de-stabilise, the liver has to work extra hard and if it’s also processing alcohol, it will take longer for blood sugar levels to be regulated again. This can cause blood sugar levels to spike or crash.  Blood sugar levels are likely to rise quickly if lots of alcohol is drunk quickly.

Low blood sugar levels can lead to a craving for alcohol. You might experience low blood sugar if you have not eaten for a long time or if you previously ate a carb-rich or sugar-laden meal or snack. The system craves alcohol because it knows it will receive a lot of sugar and carbohydrates through drinking. If you’re craving alcohol because of low blood sugar, opt for a carb-balanced meal or snack instead.

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