What does sugar do to your brain? A pleasure stimulating drug

The brain on sugar

It’s truly staggering how strong sugar wrecks havoc in our bodies. Why? It’s because sugar is a drug. Our mass population doesn’t seem to realize this. Sugar is so overpowering that our bodies become its slave.

Our bodies literally bow down to the power of sugar’s demands, this chemical substance that ends up being abusive inside us.

How have we let sugar infiltrate our shopping malls, our grocery stores, our cooking shows, our refrigerators and our pantries? It’s so ingrained, so hardwired into our society and our way of life, we know no different.

Most of us start eating it as a child, we are all taught by our parents, grandparents and everyone around us that it’s safe, it’s sweet and it’s a very important part of our daily diet.

This is sad because, unfortunately we all have been misled by big corporations that have been doing advertisements and soliciting sugary drinks and foods to everyone including children that we should buy sugar and that we need it for survival.

We all have been misinformed to believe that sugar is good for us and gives us that well needed energy to get through our day.

When in fact, it’s clearly been shown through science and scientific research that when one is given sugar it’s not a healthy ticket to longevity. It’s truly just the opposite.

Sugar is an expensive ticket for drug addiction, slow death by malnutrition and leads to many diseases by simply lowering our defenses of our immune system.

In this blog post I’m going to be talking about what does sugar do to your brain and what is a sugar detox.

What does sugar do to your brain?

Sugar acts like a drug and is considered by some a poison. Sugar does this by how it changes the chemical responses inside of us.
When sugar is consumed, our brain then releases a hormone called dopamine.

When this occurs sugar acts like a drug for our brains which is a feel good hormone giving us instant gratification.

We are on that sugar high. However, it’s short-lived because now those dopamine levels drop making us crave more.

So, we go from a feel good high to a low depression. It’s a roller coaster ride for the brain.

It’s a lot like that Free Fall Thrill ride at most theme parks where you go to the top and see the whole park below you but then it releases and it’s a straight free fall down to the bottom. It’s horrible! I did it once and didn’t like it. That’s the analogy I like to use for sugar addiction.

The highs and lows are a constant cycle of weakness that sugar brings upon us.

Free image-sugar and the brain

It becomes trying on the brain and the immune system. This happens because the more that dopamine is released, the more sugar is required for it to be excreted, thus a higher dose of sugar is needed in order to feel high.

This is a cycle of craziness for the brain.

Sugar also takes over proper hormone signals by the complex enzymatic nutrient synthesis that occurs when sugar is present.

It synthesis vitamins and minerals so fast we cannot absorb them in time to utilize them.

This is why most people of authority in the field of food and nutrition would consider sugar to be called a drug because of these highs and lows of this unnatural body rhythm and fast nutrient depletion.

That’s what sugar is, a deadly poison that kills gradually over time through generations, slowly.

It’s affects are too much for us to handle causing chemical conflict between what our body processes try to accomplish – getting nutrients.

When our bodies are trying to absorb these nutrients and at the same time sugar is counteracting these processes preventing our normal immune functions to be strong.

Sugar makes our immunity weak and sugary foods and drinks make our brain cells high.

Free photo

Sugar is actually more addictive then cocaine according to a study done with mice. In this blog “Experts Agree: Sugar Might Be as Addictive as Cocaine” by Healthline.

They say that it’s not just dopamine that is released out of our brains, it’s opioids too.

The neurotransmitters that release the hormone dopamine, builds an endurance to it making it have to require more surgery substances to stimulate the nerves so it can release the desired levels which are required in order to feel euphoric.

This becomes the addiction and is a result of how sugary foods and drinks over time changes the way our brains react and respond to sugar.

The addiction of needing to release more dopamine so that more sugar is eaten is activating opiate receptors.

The problem occurs when the brain releases less of it therefore more sugar is needed to be obtained in order to get the higher dopamine levels it needs to feel good.

It’s this abusive cycle that constantly is being repeated over and over again for many years-long term.

This is where the addiction comes into play because even though there are painful side effects such as headaches, acne, a weaker immune system, malnutrition, hormonal imbalances, weight gain, diabetes, heart attacks and cancer, it’s still consumed at an ever alarming level regardless of the real life threatening consequences.

What does sugar do to your brain?

The chemical imbalance it causes creates addictive stress patterns that trickles into every day life as we reward ourselves and our children with sweets.

We want to feel good; the high is good and we want our loved ones to feel appreciated and rewarded in doing the right thing or share the reward with a lover.

We even play games with each other with sugar, sort of like dog training in a way: Hey, if you’re good and you do your homework, I’ll let you have ice cream. Sound familiar?

Or we send our lovers chocolates with a motivation for mating. We not only get a reward for doing what we are told or having good behavior, we start to feel that reward in our brains.

We are conditioned at a very young age to become drug addicts for the rest of our lives without even knowing it. I know this sounds harsh, but we are animals at our core and just like a drug addiction, we can break the patterns.

We don’t have to succumb to corporate dictatorship, corporate marketing, social judgments and social rejection just because as an individual there is a choice to do without it. We can break the cycle if we know what to do.

Sugar’s affects on the brain

It would be beneficial to stop eating sugar. Try often and make a commitment to succeed otherwise as time goes on it can alter DNA and our immune system responses.

It’s not permanent damage if you can stop the poison early enough. And that’s the key, to stop sooner than later.

You can permanently inhibit your genes if sugar consumption isn’t stopped said Dr Mercola in his article Your Genes Remember A Sugar Hit. He says that genes remember having been augmented by sugar for two weeks and it causes them to make changes in their functions.

Ultimately, if this continues than sugar will change genetic DNA that will be passed down to the next generation. When it comes to sugar we all need to be thinking long term, about the next generation, about who will be affected by ill health.

If you never stop eating sugar and then have children and they eat sugar and then they have children and so on, an unhealthy family will be assured as always sick and disease ridden, for generations to come.

In Dr. Mercola’s blog: How Sugar Changes Your Brain Chemistry, he says prolonged sugar uptake can cause learning problems in children, special memory issues and can eventually lead to a higher risk of mental health problems. Sugar also disrupts the area in the brain that regulates impulse and where decision-making occurs.

I wonder if this has a bigger effect then we’ve realized as a society? Especially with regard to all the mental health problems and gun violence we’ve seen in this century? It’s just an observation. There could be many factors involved.

One thing I know for sure is that a poor diet is setting the stage for not just ill health, it’s setting the stage for sickness for generations to come.

What is a sugar detox

There’s a big disconnect between sugar and health in our society. Many people may not recognize that sugar detox occurs when you stop eating sugar and that while in a deep detox, intense sugar cravings will take place.

What is a sugar detox? Well, according to healthline.com in their blog about How to Beat Sugar Detox Symptoms and Feel Better Than Ever there are a good deal of sugar withdrawal symptoms (some listed below) that do occur when a sugar detoxification is happening.

I think most people don’t realize this because sugary foods and drinks are acceptable as part of our everyday diets and that the knowledge that sugar could be like a drug is not thought about often.

Some people are not aware of how much sugar is acting chemically like a drug in our body because the withdrawal symptoms can be hard to identify.

When we naturally start to detox the poison of sugar, we just continue to consume more and feed the addiction.

Sugar By Pixabay

So, as long as you’re aware of the detox symptoms and know what is happening to your body while you’re purging toxins, you’ll be able to weather the stormy sugar detox period.

Some detox symptoms are:

1. Jitters that comes with low dopamine levels, that feeling of a sugar rush is diminished

2. Sugar cravings increase with an intense need to feed on sugary foods and drinks

3. Disruptive sleep patterns emerge because your body has to reset its circadian rhythm

4. Depression sets in with an inability to reason or focus the mind

5. Negative thoughts and headaches emerge

6. Exhaustion is felt and with extreme tiredness that comes along with a sense of sluggishness

7. Nausea and being dizzy can happen if the sugar detox is really bad

Detox can be expected to be felt for two weeks or more after its consumption. This is because it takes about 14 days to eliminate the sugar and it’s finite destruction it puts our body through.

The six best things to do whilst detoxing are:

1. Getting rested sleep to regulate sleeping patterns back to normal

2. Eating protein and fiber to become satisfied to stop sugar cravings

3. Drinking plenty water helps curb hunger because sometimes we are just thirsty and don’t realize it,

4. Do some exercise – like go on a walk to help curb hunger and sugar cravings. You’ll feel better by increasing endorphins rather than dopamine. This will make going through the sugar detox easier.

5. Eat bitter foods because they will help absorb the sugar instead of our body absorbing it. Bitter foods will help to reduce and regulate the blood sugar levels that tend to skyrocket. Bitter foods do this by connecting proteins together which cuts off and blocks the neuron receptor pathways from their impulsive responders to sugar intake. In this way the absorption of sugar diminishes and the fructose we’ve just consumed is minimized.

6. Eat dark green leafy vegetables and or make healthy green smoothies. This will help blast your body with needed vitamins and minerals that are essential to daily nutritional needs and deficiencies.

B vitamins in green juice By Pixabay

The dailyburn.com, How to Do a Sugar Detox (Without Going Crazy),talks about doing a sugar detox and truly eliminating sugar completely from the diet long term.

They talk about doing a sugar detox which starts with small goals. This means start with planning your meals one at a time while eating a whole foods diet rich it healthy nutrition.

They then say to think long term about your goals and motivation for avoiding sugar.

They eventually say in the blog post that when you go for sugar, it’s because of that justification that comes into the mind saying that you deserve something sweet to eat and you want to reward yourself so then sugar is what many people go for. Stop!

Think about what will happen.

Instead, go for the fruits, dried fruits, vegetables, berries and vegetable juice or fruit smoothies. They’re much less toxic and harmful than white sugar and they have fiber and nutrients.

Carrot juice By Pixabay

I’ve noticed a lot of articles on the web that talk about going cold turkey as far as kicking the sugar habit which is also being compared to a smoking habit.

It’s important to find out what works for you.

You can try cold turkey but if your addiction has been going on for a long time it might be good to go-slow and start replacing foods you’d normally eat with substitutes.

In this way you can start to phase out sugar and eat more healthy. Then when the time is right, going on a sugar detox would be essential.

This detox would mean cutting out all sugar even fruits while you give your body a rest and a reset. This is essential especially if there is a candida problem going on inside your body. Sugar feeds candida so it’s very important to cut all sugar out until the bacteria is eliminated.

There is a really good thirty day detox program that will help you once you’re ready, it’s called whole30.com and is a very doable surger eliminator to reset your body and bad eating habits.

This plan will definitely help to reduce your sugar cravings. You never know, it may help in other areas of your life that you may be unaware of such as food allergies, improved sleep and allow for clearer focus in your mind. These are of course some benefits after doing this thirty day challenge.

Remember that this is a detox so you may experience detox symptoms while going through this challenge.

Some symptoms include cravings, fatigue, lots of bowel movements and a dumping or flushing of toxins out of your body from your skin to your body fat to your inner bowels.

Don’t worry, it’s all part of getting healthy and you’ll feel fantastic by the end of your thirty days. Sugar is worth detoxing because it’s such a harmful drug.

Blueberry fruit smoothie By Pixabay – eat natural wholesome foods instead of sugar


In conclusion, please do yourself a favor and avoid sugary foods and drinks. Don’t get sucked into the norm of it even if everyone around you is doing it and be thinking that it’s okay, because it is NOT.

Remember that people are harming themselves by eating sugar and it does no favors to your body; you don’t need to be a part of it!

Sugar is not healthy and eating it provides nothing in return but addictive cycles and eventually death. Remember if you eat Frankenstein, you’re doing just that!

By eliminating your sugar addiction and consumption you will be getting healthier, you will be allowing these gene expressions to turn back on to become proactive in protecting your body and helping out your immune system again.

Do not let sugar cravings get the worst of you. Do not give in to ill health. Do not eat the fake food.

In the foreseeable future, sugary foods and drinks will be considered a slow suicide and that is definitely not something to participate in. The future is ours to manifest.

Death by sugar should not be in that equation. Stopping the highs and lows of sugar cravings on the brain is a huge undertaking. Many people might feel that it is impossible to do; fear not, you just need a plan.

The beginning step is to make a decision to end the addiction. Start a detox diet and go from there. It may be hard but the efforts are well worth the rewards of health, resilience and a vibrant lifestyle.

Vegetable juice and fruit juice By Pixabay

Readers Comments (8)

  1. I am definitely trying to cut sugar out of my diet and take better care of myself. My family goes through foods high in sodium and sugar like babies go through diapers. Corporations will always push terrible foods in order to make money; it’s up to the consumer to say no. Thank you so much for spreading awareness of the potentially deadly effects of sugar. God bless you!

    • Thank you for your kind comments. Yes I agree with you that big corporate business will continue to spread the sugar everywhere. I know I also have family and friends that eat sugar like that too. It’s sad. Thanks again. Blessings to you. 😊

  2. I liked the research and the writing. I agree with your sentiments and I hope many people will read this and take action.
    Images are so-so. Not sure about giving Pixabay a reference.
    The images with writing about the brain should be larger or left off. Not being able to read them causes me frustration.
    Apart from the above a good site.

    • Hi, thanks for your comments; it’s an important topic. Yes, I know I had a hard time getting good images but it’s important to add them. Hopefully I can find better ones. Thanks a bunch. 😊

  3. Great article. I did not realize what an affect it had on the brain. So true that sugar addiction starts at a young age and it seems to be in everything! Thank you for the info!

    • Hi Glen,
      You’re welcome 😇 I am glad you enjoyed my blog. It was fun to write. Yes, sugar is in almost everything. It’s definitely something to keep an eye on – with mindfulness as we are creatures of eating opportunities. 😁 Thanks for your comment. 😊

  4. What an article !! I actually have a friend who raises her son completely sugar free which is a great inspiration to me. Two other friends of mine have been off sugar for about two years now, but interestingly they don’t look all that healthy to me. I know from both experiences going sugar free is quite an adjustment and not at all easy when eating out. However, it is definitely doable and I am intrigued to try the sugar detox although the most sugar I consume is in my morning tea, so that’s somewhat easy to adjust.

    I’ve always been wondering: is it true that brown sugar is better for you then white sugar? That’s always been my consolation, but I actually never checked the facts. Maybe you can help?

    • Hi Bettina, Thank you for your reply. Yes, going off surgery foods can be challenging at first. Going off sugar is doable and as our bodies get healthier it will crave healthier foods too. Brown sugar is just white sugar refined with molasses added to it as that’s what gives it the brown color. Sugar is sugar and brown sugar is still sugar. 😊

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