A new tool to beat sugar cravings
“Help me reduce sugar cravings!!!”
This is one of the most requested symptoms my clients want to fix. It’s an important one to tackle as sugar cravings may indicate poorly regulated blood glucose or adrenal issues and if left unchecked can lead to obesity and the whole gamut of health problems that flow from there. I explored the reasons you crave sugar in My three part blog, 9 Reasons you Crave Sugar. However, I want to let you in on a new weapon I’ve recently added to my crushing sugar craving arsenal.
Reducing sugar cravings can take about three weeks of dietary and lifestyle modification, and it’s useful to have something that works fast within minutes to crush the craving – allowing you resist temptation.
Glutamine is a conditionally essential amino acid. If everything is humming along well in our bodies, we don’t require glutamine from food as we can make it from glutamic acid. If we have been ill, have digestive issues or are doing intense physical exercise we may not be able to keep up with demand and will need it from food sources 1. Many people who have sugar cravings also have digestive issues with an imbalance between their good and bad gut bacteria being top of the list.
How glutamine works to reduce sugar cravings
Glutamine reduces the desire for sugar due to its ability to quickly convert to glucose shutting down the craving signal from the brain. It also helps to maintain the balance of serotonin which in addition to mood also influences appetite signals 2.
Studies suggest glutamine improves insulin sensitivity and may make your fat cells less likely to store fat. This research was done in animals models so we can’t be sure how it would apply to humans 3.
How to use glutamine
L-glutamine is available in powder and capsules, but I find the powder works faster to reduce sugar cravings.
Mix 500-2000mg with a little water up to 3-4 times a day when sugar cravings strike. The craving should subside within 10-15 minutes.
Of course, you still need to ensure you modify your diet and lifestyle and address the underlying drivers of your cravings but L-glutamine can help you get there – guilt free.
Norelle Hentschel is a degree qualified Naturopath and operates a clinic in Crows Nest, North Sydney. She enjoys helping people feel better and can assist with a broad range of health conditions or general health maintenance.
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- Braun L, Cohen M. Herbs & Natural Supplements: An Evidence Based Guide. 3rd ed. Chatswood, NSW: Elsevier; 2010.
- Silver M. Obesity & Weight Loss Therapy Obesity as a Public Health Issue and the Effects of Amino Acid Supplementation as a Prevention Mechanism. J Obes Weight Loss Ther. 2015;5(2):1-5. doi:10.4172/2165-7904.1000251.
- Prada PO, Hirabara SM, de Souza CT, et al. L-glutamine supplementation induces insulin resistance in adipose tissue and improves insulin signalling in liver and muscle of rats with diet-induced obesity. Diabetologia. 2007;50(9):1949-1959. doi:10.1007/s00125-007-0723-z.