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If you are currently recovering from alcoholism, you could be stressing out in social events where pitchers of sangria, frosty margaritas, and tubs of beer are served along with other alcoholic drinks. As the famous blogger of The Sober Senorita and the Kelly Fitzgerald says, alcoholics’ entire lives could be entirely about a temptation to drink. Kelly noted that alcoholics may be more tempted in the summer than in winter because there tend to be several outdoor parties that beg for ice-cold alcoholic drinks.

A mocktail or a virgin and alcohol-free drink may appear to be the solution to feeling like you are missing out on the festivities, but addiction experts have warned of the dangers of these cocktails as it can prove to trick your body into using alcohol again.

The senior science advisor to the Elements Behavioral Health, the author of “The Hunger Fix: The Three-Stage Detox and Recovery Program for Food Addiction” and a blogger at Pamela M. Peeke, reveals that there are those who continue to act like they are drinking actual alcohol. This can actually lead to adding just a bit of alcohol and later more until they slide into a relapse.

Dr. Peeke further noted that mocktails may ignite the reward center in the brain associated with pleasure with the ritual of drinking, citing a study by the director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse, Nora D. Volkow, MD. Furthermore, there are also cases where in the sight of the drink ignites the original addictive behavior for the actual thing.

The Hidden Dangers of Drinking Booze-Free Beverages

It could be that you are able to tolerate occasional alcohol drinking without relapsing, but you may still encounter one more adverse effect which is weight gain. Take note that there are 20-30g of refined sugar/serving of virgin margaritas, piña coladas, and sangrias, among others that are packed with empty calories. The recommended amount of sugar noted by the World Health Organization for a normal weight adult is 25g of sugar, which is equal to 6 teaspoons per day.

Nonalcoholic drinks tend to be sweeter because of the juices used to make them. Moreover, most people tend to drink 2 servings of these drinks or more so the grams of sugar can add up.

Studies reveal that sugar can also be addictive just like morphine or cocaine.

Alcoholics, in particular, are people who have become addicted to stimulants. Alcoholics also never truly achieve complete recovery if they do not allow the reward center of the brain to heal from the addiction. Apparently, refined sugar can over-stimulate the brain’s reward center and not completely allow physical changes in your body to occur for a sustainable recovery.

Rinaldi, Koob, and Peeke all agree that water, plain, sparking or with lime or lemon for flavor is the best beverage for recovering alcoholics to beat the heat, while keeping their cravings at bay. Note that some recovering alcoholics claim that Diet Coke works. Koob suggests staying hydrated all day by carrying around a glass of Perrier with some lime that you can sip throughout your day.

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