Article At A Glance:
Fists clenched, teeth gritted, that gut wrenching pain and internal dialogue that alcohol cravings can bring use to plague my life daily.
Unfortunately, most of the time, the cravings won.
That is until I started upon my sober journey, delved deep into the biology of addiction, and became kind of my own personal guinea pig.
It’s the reason why I started writing Hacking Your Addiction.
In my research, I came across many key nutrients for limitless sobriety, but three stood out as compounds that could actually help with alcohol cravings.
Let’s dive in.
I consider this compound to be the crowning jewel for cravings, as it’s not only been extensively studied with alcohol cravings, but also cocaine, methamphetamine, and cannabis too.
N-Acetylcysteine (NAC) is a precursor of the amino acid L-cysteine, and is most commonly used in the body to influence the production of glutathione, one of the body’s most potent anti-oxidant (Mokhtari et al., 2016).
Bringing these two neurotransmitters back into balance is often the primary key in reducing the signal we get that triggers alcohol cravings.
Learn more about N-Acetylcysteine (NAC) over in this article.
Optimal Dose: Studies show between 1,200 – 2,400mg / daily have the most positive reported outcomes (Ooi et al., 2018).
Note: NAC has been in short supply during the COVID-19 pandemic due to its use as a therapeutic strategy for COVID-19 treatment (Shi & Puyo, 2020). NAC is also a potent supplement to improve immune function, and modulate inflammation in the body.
Read more about the different forms of Magnesium in this article.
Magnesium also reduces the stimulus of dopamine synthesis, which governs the intensity of our cravings. When we lower dopamine levels, we lower the desire for more booze.
Optimal Dose: 400-600 elemental magnesium daily.
Alterations in these neurotransmitter pathways often govern our cognition; mood and behaviour that are attributed to alcohol addiction.
Optimal Dose: 5-10g to keep your alcohol cravings at bay.
If you have any questions regarding this article, reach out.
- Nechifor, M. (2011). Magnesium in drug abuse and addiction. Magnesium in the Central Nervous System, 333-344. https://doi.org/10.1017/upo9780987073051.025
- Ooi, S. L., Green, R., & Pak, S. C. (2018). N-acetylcysteine for the treatment of psychiatric disorders: A review of current evidence. BioMed Research International, 2018, 1-8. https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/2469486
- Perna, S., Alalwan, T. A., Alaali, Z., Alnashaba, T., Gasparri, C., Infantino, V., Hammad, L., Riva, A., Petrangolini, G., Allegrini, P., & Rondanelli, M. (2019). The role of glutamine in the complex interaction between gut microbiota and health: A narrative review. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 20(20), 5232. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20205232
- Qamar, N., Castano, D., Patt, C., Chu, T., Cottrell, J., & Chang, S. L. (2019). Meta-analysis of alcohol induced gut dysbiosis and the resulting behavioral impact. Behavioural Brain Research, 376, 112196. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbr.2019.112196
- Shi, Z., & Puyo, C. A. (2020). N-acetylcysteine to combat COVID-19: An evidence review. Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management, 16, 1047-1055. https://doi.org/10.2147/tcrm
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.