According to the research of 2011, around 15% of top athletes use nicotine to improve their performance. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) even checks whether nicotine belongs to its doping list. This is surprising at first and raises the question of whether smoking and sport go together. Before all smokers feel confirmed and the fitness and sports enthusiasts among you start smoking, here are a few facts on the subject.
The Effects of Smoking and Exercise
Smoking harms the body in many ways. Of the approximately 4,800 chemicals that are released when you smoke a cigarette, at least 250 are toxic or carcinogenic. Some of these substances reduce your performance in sports.
A study with adolescent athletes showed that the exercise function increased the lung function in non-smokers steadily, while it stagnated among smokers. In addition, smoking narrows the vessels, which leads to poorer blood circulation. This affects your ability to achieve top values in sports. A smoker’s resting heart rate is increased so that the body reaches its limits more quickly anyway. Then when the heart has to pump harder to supply the muscles with blood, it is clear that you as a smoker will finish faster.
In addition to such long-term effects, smoking is also bad for your fitness in the short term. This is mainly due to the carbon monoxide that is inhaled with every puff. Hemoglobin in the blood binds this substance up to 300 times more easily than oxygen. Oxygen absorption is thus inhibited because space is now occupied by carbon monoxide. This weakens the performance of the body. This is still the day after the last cigarette. It is much worse that even extreme stress can lead to an undersupply of important organs. Then the combination of smoking and exercise can be a real danger for you.
But why do so many professional athletes use nicotine? It is not due to the effects on their fitness, they are consistently negative. Nicotine releases the messenger substances dopamine and noradrenaline. This has a stimulating effect and triggers feelings of happiness. It is this stimulating effect that is so interesting for athletes. That is why nicotine consumption is particularly widespread among professionals who need a quick reaction to their sport, such as football players or wrestlers or others. But even these athletes do not prove that smoking and sport go well together. The athletes mostly use some nicotine supplements and avoid all the toxins in a cigarette.
But nicotine itself is a nerve poison that makes you addicted in a short time. The stimulating effect wears off quickly. Then there is the cycle that mainly constitutes physical addiction. The short-term feelings of happiness that nicotine triggers only cover the symptoms of stress, such as constricted blood vessels, increased blood pressure, and the higher pulse that it triggers. Now the craving for the next cigarette starts to numb the stress thus, your body becomes addicted. The relaxing feeling of a cigarette is a bogus pack. It only temporarily covers the effects of smoking that permanently weaken your athletic performance.
Smoke-Free Through Sport
One thing is clear: smoking and exercising don’t go together. But exercise can help you if you want to quit smoking. Vaping or e-cigarette is also a good alternative to quit smoking. There are several products like beard vape co that can help you with it. In an Australian study, 80% of subjects quit smoking permanently when they started jogging at the same time. That is a really good rate. Physical addiction only lasts for two to four days when you smoke, and it quickly becomes unimportant due to the feelings of happiness that sports triggers. Most people cannot resist the smoldering stems because of their psychological addiction. One thing is clear that smoking is sociable and is considered relaxing. But doing sports together with others is certainly more sociable than standing together in the cold for five minutes and smoking a cigarette.