Sugar and Depression

Sugar and Depression: Dietary Changes May Help Mood


Did you know that there is a link between sugar and depression? And that dropping your habit of drinking sugary, caffeinated beverages like Coke and Pepsi could help improve your mood?

Researchers have also found that people with depression tend to consume more sugar the general population.

One possible reason for the sugar and depression link could be that sugar ingestion increases the need for chromium. Chromium plays an important role in blood sugar management. People with poor blood glucose control are more likely to have depression symptoms. Unfortunately, chromium is often deficient in people who consume the standard American (SAD) diet.

It wasn’t just sugar that seemed to be a culprit, however. One small cohort trial found that when people eliminated sugar and caffeine from their diet those with unexplained depression experienced improved moods within a week. The reintroduction of sugar and caffeine into their diet caused symptoms to return; but, placebo did not produce the same effect. Giving further credence to the caffeine-depression link, another study found that regular consumption of high levels of caffeine (750 mg daily) appears to be associated with depression.

While it’s not for certain that your depression will improve if you stop drinking soda, it certainly can’t hurt and there are myriad other reasons why it’s better for your health to avoid them, so why not give it a try?


Nancy Schimelpfening, MS

Nancy Schimelpfening is the founder of Depression Sanctuary. Unless otherwise stated, all of the content on Depression Sanctuary is written by and maintained by Nancy. Nancy has a master’s degree in community health education from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA. She was the (now expert on depression from 1998-2016. She has also written for other online publications, including Healthline, Health Digest, and MindBodyGreen.