If you’re an athlete, you’ve probably already familiar with the potential side effects of destructive lifestyle habits like cigarette smoking. According to research, the smoke from cigarettes can affect virtually every organ in the body.
It’s important to note that nicotine is generally harmless on its own, apart from its tendency to cause addiction. However, the equation suddenly changes when the substance is subjected to combustion, as is cigarette smoking.
Due to these reasons, medical experts now tout vaping as a safer alternative to cigarette smoking. But besides being healthier compared to cigarette smoking, does vaping also impact your athletic performance? Read on for more insights.
Why Do Many Athletes Consume Nicotine?
Despite the clearly documented adverse effects of tobacco smoking, the athletic world isn’t short of nicotine users.
Some of those include;
- Alex Rodriguez
- Charles Barkley
- Jack Wilshere
- John Daly
- Mario Balotelli
- Michael Jordan
- Randy Moss.
- Wayne Rooney
These are not just your ordinary athletes; they’re accomplished sportsmen who are also duly informed about the potential dangers of tobacco. So, why are they surprisingly drawn to it?
According to a recent study commissioned by researchers at the University of Dijon, professional athletes believe in nicotine’s performance-enhancing abilities. That’s mostly due to the stimulating and anxiolytic effects of the chemical, which boosts mental focus and reactivity. Some athletes also believe that nicotine can enhance relaxation as well as trigger weight loss.
However, numerous studies on the other end of the spectrum attempt to disprove nicotine’s performance-enhancing claims. These studies claim that the substance delivers the opposite effect, mostly by facilitating the constriction of blood vessels and muscle cramping.
Now, it’s also worth noting that not all athletes consume nicotine by smoking. Some chew nicotine-infused products, whereas others prefer nicotine-containing edibles.
So, as you may have gathered by now, nicotine is not so much of a problem. The real concern is its mode of administration. That’s why health and fitness experts now encourage vaping as the best way to consume nicotine.
Benefits of Vaping for Athletic Performance:
To understand the potential benefits of vaping for athletic performance, you’ll first need to familiarize yourself with the components of a vape juice, also known as an e-liquid. That would mean investing in vape juice that works from reputable retailers.
Generally, standard vape juice is made up of propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, water, and nicotine. Propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin work synergistically to improve the viscosity and flavor of the e-juice. Water acts as the medium where the two solutions mix, whereas nicotine is preferred for its flavor.
The following are the benefits of vaping for athletic performance;
- Enhances Cardio Performance
One of the benefits of vaping is the enhancement of cardio performance. Various studies associate vaping with an improvement in an athlete’s ability to run faster.
This is particularly helpful for athletes who regularly practice high-energy workouts, such as strength training. Smoking delivers the exact opposite effect. It shrinks an athlete’s lung capacity, leading to shortness of breath.
- Boosts Energy Levels
Nicotine is renowned for its powerful stimulant effects. So, vaping the substance directly boosts your energy levels, enabling you to practice or compete for longer without suffering fatigue.
Nicotine’s stimulant effects also lead to a gentle increase in your heart rate. As the heart rate increases, it triggers the body’s metabolism and respiration, ramping up energy generation.
- Enhances Stamina
Every athlete requires stamina. Poor stamina not only gives your opponent an undue edge over you. It can also lead to workouts-related accidents or injuries on the field.
Smoking has always been associated with poor stamina. That’s primarily due to its negative effects on lung capacity and the body’s muscular system. Luckily, switching to vaping can make a world of difference in terms of enhancing your stamina.
- Relieves Anxiety
Nicotine interacts with your body the same way substances like cannabidiol (CBD), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and psychedelic mushrooms do. The substance suppresses anxiety-triggering hormones like cortisol while enhancing your brain’s sensitivity to ‘feel-good’ hormones like serotonin.
In the end, vaping nicotine helps to free your mind of racing thoughts and your stomach of butterflies, allowing you to focus on your training or the game at hand. Nicotine’s anxiety-relieving benefits also help to elevate your mood, which is particularly critical for team sports.
- Weight Loss
The thought of gaining extra pounds around the waist is something no athlete ever wants to imagine. Weight gain is the primary reason many athletes subscribe to fad diets and strict workout routines.
By vaping nicotine, you won’t need to sign up for those strict diet plans or physically-draining workouts, as the substance naturally helps to keep your weight in check.
- Treats Nicotine Addiction
This is probably the greatest benefit of vaping for non-athletes. But it applies to athletes and fitness freaks as well. Nicotine has always been touted as one of the natural ways to quit smoking.
Various vape juice brands formulate their products with different nicotine concentrations. That allows you to reduce your levels of this addictive chemical without suffering withdrawal symptoms.
Many of the health benefits of vaping nicotine might also apply to smoking tobacco. However, the combustion that occurs when you smoke tobacco produces hundreds of toxins, which increases your risk of suffering from chronic conditions like cancer.
Another thing worth noting is that the benefits of vaping nicotine also apply for other substances that generally enhance performance. For instance, CBD has shown positive effects in optimizing workouts. Therefore, in addition to nicotine in your e-juice, you might also consider adding some CBD oil for compounded effects.
An athletic pair working out
Admittedly, vaping can enhance athletic performance. However, what you vape matters the most. Always consider vaping e-liquids formulated with products that are scientifically proven to be safe and athletically beneficial. Most importantly, remember that much as vaping is the safer and healthier alternative to smoking, it’s not 100 percent risk-free.