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, while healthy eating may increase mood and long-term recovery. Exercising 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 each Amatus Health treatment center, we provide patients with a variety of wellness services, including on-site visits from yoga teachers and exercise instructors. Patients all have access to group exercise classes and the ability to use their local gym or fitness facility. Meals are also catered at certain recovery centers, to ensure healthy options are available. 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.
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 there 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 anti-depressants. 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 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 Amatus 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! At all Amatus Health Treatment Centers, we offer nutrition assistance, a case manager who can help you plan grocery lists that will help aid in your addiction, as well as exercise classes and gym memberships. Our goal is to promote your recovery and improve your mood, mind, spirit and body.