Detoxing From Alcohol – What You May Experience

Detoxing From Alcohol – What You May Experience


Detoxing from alcohol is an experience that can completely change the course of how you’re living life and give you the energy, vitality and feeling of really living that you’ve been missing.


But it can come with some unpleasant side effects.  I get asked constantly what you might experience when you detox from drinking alcohol


When it comes to finding the safest, easiest and most comfortable of ways to skip over the bumpy parts and into smooth sailing, it’s good to know that this process can come with many different experiences.


Here’s some of the symptoms and side effects you may experience what what you can do to mitigate the negative effects of freeing yourself from the habit of drinking and finally start living again.


Common Symptoms –


Some commons symptoms we’ve seen range from person to person.


Some of the commons symptoms include feeling groggy, tired, not able to focus or low energy.  This is typically because of the readjustment the body is experiencing to rid itself of the toxins and clean up the blood stream.


While you detox from alcohol (and I suggest checkout my post here on how to detox from home), you’ll likely have other symptoms that arise.


Including headaches, sleep issues and even cravings for more alcohol.


We strongly advise seeing a doctor before you take a break or quit drinking to talk about the common side effects and how it can impact your health based on your medical history.


Sugar Cravings


We have many people report that sugar cravings are common during the first 5-10 days after drinking.  This is because alcohol is derived from sugars.  While beer can contain roughly 1% of your daily intake of sugars, wine and mixed alcoholic beverages can contain anywhere from 125 ml to 27 ml of sugar!  So by putting down the alcohol, your body may experience side effect of the sugar withdrawals as well.


When detoxing, if you experience sugar cravings we advise picking up a variety of fruits and natural sugars to replace the alcohol sugar cravings with a more natural substitute.


A handful of berries, a banana or apple can help curb the slide back into wanting a drink.


You may also wish to use natural fruit juices to help with the sugar cravings.  While fruit juices do contain a fair amount of sugar, this can help with getting more immediate absorption of vital vitamins and other nutrients while satisfying sugar cravings.


Here’s a video on one of my favorite juicing recipes that can help not only aid you in sugar cravings but help with cleansing your liver!


Alcohol Withdrawal –


If your use of alcohol has been consistent, frequent and with elevated amounts of consumption with each drinking event, you may experience alcohol withdrawal.


Alcohol withdrawal can be broken down into three stages.


Stage 1 – This stage begins roughly 8 hours after you’ve had your last drink.  Some of the symptoms stage 1 drinker may have when quitting drinking may include anxiety, insomnia, nausea, and abdominal pain

Stage 2 – This stage occurs generally between 24 and 72 hours having the last drink. Some of the symptoms of stage 2 may include high blood pressure, unusual heart rate,  increased body temperature, and confusion come with this stage, which begins 24-72 hours after the last drink.


Stage 3 – This is the final and last stage.  This stage generally occurs after 72 hours from having the last drink.  Some of the symptoms that may be experienced with this stage include hallucinations, fever, seizures, and agitation.


All symptoms above generally tend to decrease within 5 to 7 days.  If you experience any of these symptoms longer than 7 days be sure to consult with your doctor or physician so they are aware of these issues.

If you have questions on how long it will take to detox have a look here:



When you quit drinking it’s important to focus on foods that can help you to recover quickly and safely while your body is adjusting.  Your body is likely holding onto toxins built up from while you were drinking.  By focusing on fruits & vegetables and avoiding harmful or processed foods, you can help your liver, lymphatic system and other functions to avoid the need to over protect while also adding or replenishing the vital building block and recovery items needed to feel your best.


Here’s a quick video on some of the foods you may wish to use while recovering from alcohol:





It’s important that you drink plenty of water to help your body recover from the alcohol.  It’s recommended that you drink at least twelve 8 oz glasses of water the day after your last drink.  To avoid water intoxication, you should space out each glass of water so that you consume one glass every hour over 12 hours.


While hydrating your body, it’s important to know you’ll be losing some of the vital electrolyte your body needs.  To avoid this, be sure to also add in drinking a sports drink with electrolytes or coconut water to help your body add the necessary electrolytes it needs to repair itself and function at optimal levels.  This may also help with muscle aches and headaches when detoxing.


Conclusion –


If this is the first time you have stopped or quit drinking, it’s important to know your body is adjusting and that any temporary discomfort is just that.  Temporary.

The benefits of not drinking alcohol can far outweigh any momentary discomfort you experience.  Any physical discomfort you have during your first few days is largely outweighed by the long term benefits of increase in energy, heightened focus & mental clarity, improvement in sleep, money you save from not drinking alcohol, and so much more.

If you’re truly serious about taking a break or quitting alcohol, I encourage you to check out my 30-Day No Alcohol Challenge to help guide you in taking a break from alcohol during your first 30 days.


-James Swanwick

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