Article At A Glance:
Do you struggle with alcohol cravings? Here’s one of the few supplements I recommend to manage these often painful moments that can cause us to relapse.
Now, don’t get me wrong, this is in no way shape, or form the secret to long-term sobriety, and only a tool to diminish cravings and keep us from de-railing off the train tracks of a sober life.
What is Glutamine?
Glutamine is a conditionally essential amino acid, meaning we produce it naturally, but in times of higher demand, we may require more through food or supplementation to meet our body’s demand.
Higher demand may relate to increased stress, physical injury or in a more relevant sense, excessive consumption of alcohol.
Glutamine serves many purposes, with some primary roles in helping towards maintaining gut barrier function and integrity, and providing an energy source for intestinal and immune cells. One important role that glutamine plays in this is its ability to kill off unwanted viruses and bacteria in the gut, some of which play a large key in controlling cravings (Kim & Kim, 2017).
Alcohol Cravings and Glutamine
Glutamine has the power to regulate the balance of good and bad bacteria in our gut. Specifically, it can modulate the ratio of firmicutes-to-bacterodetes. To put it simply, firmicutes are bacteria that thrive on sugar.
Firmicutes are responsible for causing sugar cravings, which are often satisfied by drinking alcohol since most alcoholic beverages contain a lot of sugar.
But wait – Alcohol (or ethanol) isn’t a sugar?
You’re right, alcohol isn’t sugar, although we can get sugar alcohols (such as xylitol, erythritol, etc).
Alcohol actually stops our liver from releasing glycogen (our body’s natural sugar stores) into the blood. This causes a drop in blood sugar (Sharmin et al., 2013), and over a small period of time, can leave our firmicutes to send signals of cravings to our brain.
While I could list off a dozen, I’m going to recommend two that I’m most familiar with, and offer you the best bang for your buck in terms of quality.
- Glutamine by Rule 1 (use code “CLARITY” for 10% OFF!)
- Glutamine by EHP Labs (use code “CLARITY” for 10% OFF!)
Make sure you use code CLARITY to get 10% OFF all Glutamine supplements at Supplements Central! (Yes, I am affiliated with them, and they help keep this website possible through these collaborations!)
If you’re international and need help with the shipping costs, reach out to the Supplements Central team and they will assist!
The best way to dose with Glutamine is a simple 5g per day, this should help keep cravings at bay and also do wonders for your gut and immune system.
Learn more about the benefits of supporting your immune system in sobriety here.
Some studies do recommend you work up to 0.25g/kg body weight per day, this can be an optional tactic if you find the 5g dose isn’t helping.
Remember though, this isn’t a long-term solution, and you should be incorporating some other long-term solutions too, such as these ones.
Through its ability to kill off bacteria in our gut known as firmicutes, we can use a simple, fairly beneficial amino acid to support our sobriety and look after our body in the process.
Looking for another viable option for managing withdrawal symptoms associated with substance abuse? Read more here on how N-Acetylcysteine may help.
When we use these “quick hack” tactics to push us further into sobriety, we can live an addiction-free life, without limits.
Kim, M., & Kim, H. (2017). The roles of glutamine in the intestine and its implication in intestinal diseases. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 18(5), 1051. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18051051
Sharmin, F., Wakelin, S., Huygens, F., & Hargreaves, M. (2013). Firmicutes dominate the bacterial taxa within sugar-cane processing plants. Scientific Reports, 3(1). https://doi.org/10.1038/srep03107
If you have any feedback regarding this article, reach out. Help Clarity reach more people and quit addiction by following us on Instagram, it’s also the perfect place to message us and ask questions!
All the best in health,
Former Drinker & Clinical Nutritionist
Former drinker, Nutritionist, Biohacking enthusiast, self-experimenter, research fanatic, and self-taught writer, Stephen immerses himself deep into the literature of human optimisation and better understand the nature of addiction. His goal is to help people take control of their addiction, reset their cravings, unscramble their broken brain circuitry and use actionable strategies that work ten times better than anything else.