Sugar is the devil. It's been touted as the cause of everything from acne, to obesity, to whacked out hormones and even cancer. But it's so damn good. It seems to be the one thing most people just can't give up - or at least I couldn't give up, and there's good reason for that.
"I DON'T SMOKE CRACK"... I JUST EAT SUGAR
Unlike other foods, sugar is literally chemically addictive. It triggers the release of dopamine in the brain, which is the chemical that controls pleasure - this is the same affect as cocaine. In fact, according to Dr. David Reuben, author of Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Nutrition, the molecular construction of sugar is only one atom away from cocaine. Our addiction comes from the fact that the more you artificially produce chemical reactions in the brain (i.e. the more you eat sugar and trigger dopamine) the less your brain is able to produce the chemical naturally. Thus explains you driving like a mad woman (or man) through the night to the closest 7-11 to get your Nutella, or Half Baked, or both. Your body is screaming for dopamine. Your brain can't produce it and you need your fix damn it!
ONCE AN ADDICT, ALWAYS AN ADDICT?
So now that we've gotten ourselves on the wild white pony ride - can we ever get off? Yes salvation is possible, according to Dr. Julia Ross, author of The Diet Cure, the amino acid L-glutamine can stop cravings for sweets, starches, and even alcohol instantly. It does this by stabilizing the blood sugar. When blood sugar drops your brain is low in glucose (sugar) - but instead of refueling it with glucose, your brain can burn glutamine instead.
HOW TO SUPPLIMENT
First and foremost you have to be making a conscious effort to reduce your sugar overall - this isn't going to work if you're starting out your day with a Pop Tart, lunching on a Jamba Juice, and polishing your day off with a hefty bowl of General Tso's.
But if you're following a low carb, low sugar diet and you just can't seem to get over those mid-day joneses Dr. Ross recommends supplementing with two 500-milligram capsules a day in between meals. Only supplement when you feel a craving. They will eventually start to taper off and then you can use the supplement only incase of emergencies. If the craving comes on strong and hard Ross recommends busting open a 500mg capsule and dropping it right under your tongue. I've done it. Doesn't taste half bad.
DOES IT WORK?
Yes. Has it completely eliminated by interest in having a bite of something sweet after my dinner? No. Because that is a habit. I don't want that dark chocolate after dinner because I'm craving it, I want it because I'm used to it, it's a ritual. However when I do feel my blood sugar drop right around 3pm, and I know it's only been two hours since I've eaten lunch, or when I just want to eat something sweet for no reason and I know I'm not hungry, that's where L-glutamine comes into play. And it works like a charm.
IS IT SAFE?
Yes. According to my research L-glutamine is not only safe, but beneficial in other ways, as it helps the body repair and rebuild cartilage, tendons and ligaments - meaning not only can it help with your sugar cravings but it will help heal the lining of the intestine and fix leaky gut at the same time. Bonus! Of course - as I know better than anyone - anything when taken to extremes can be dangerous. So just don't go overboard. Use your head, start with the lowest dose, and only supplement when you really need it.