The best advice for anyone who wants to be a professional athlete or just to keep fit would be to avoid bad habits, including smoking. You may already have heard that vaping is safer to your health. However, the risks it may put you at are still unknown.
When it comes to tobacco smoking, its harmful effect has been scientifically proven. Nicotine causes increased blood pressure, speeds up heart rate, and narrows the arteries. These health effects limit physical performance. And what about vaping?
Do athletes smoke?
Even though smoking rates are dropping faster than ever, more and more athletes are caught smoking on camera. Obviously, the side effects of this habit are known to them. But for some reason, they risk the quality of their athletic performance for a short-term superficial pleasure tobacco can provide.
The majority of sportspersons try to maintain a healthy lifestyle. But some enjoy tobacco products. The most famous of them include:
- Michael Jordan
- Charles Barkley
- Alex Rodriguez
- Wayne Rooney
- Mario Balotelli
- John Daly
- Jack Wilshere
- Randy Moss.
Sportsmen have different tobacco preferences. Here are a few examples:
- American and Scandinavian athletes use Snus.
- Baseball players are known to be chewers. We can notice the telltale bulges in the mouths of players when looking at their baseball cards.
- Nicotine gums and patches are often used in Europe.
- A quick search in the net shows that vaping is becoming a new trend in a worldwide sports community. A healthier alternative with a wide range of VapingDaily best vape juice flavors is attractive for people. Many sportsmen from soccer stars to MMA fighters are vapers.
It is noteworthy that The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) includes nicotine into a Monitoring Program. But the chemical is absent in the last Prohibited List.
Despite of our assumption that the best athletes would never be tempted to do something as smoking, the facts prove us wrong. What is the reason that makes them ignore the potential harm?
Given that sportsmen don’t usually smoke, but mostly ingest different nicotine-containing products, we can suppose that it is all about the nicotine effect. The stimulant has long been considered to positively influence athletic performance. That’s one of the key reasons why vaping is becoming more widespread. A vape liquid usually contain nicotine. And an e-cigarette makes it easier to control nicotine consumption.
Is There a Connection Between Nicotine and Sports Performance?
A recent study done by researchers at the University of Dijon (France) reveals the following common incentives for athletes to consume nicotine:
- an increase in concentration,
- weight control,
- enhanced performance.
However, the French researchers made the next conclusions:
- They disproved the common belief of advanced performance. An emphasis was made on its dangerous consequences (such as Coronary vasoconstriction).
- Nicotine doesn’t increase muscular performance but can cause muscular cramping.
- Nicotine can enhance concentration and reactivity that influence performance.
- Nicotine can reduce anxiety and facilitate movement precision.
It is interesting that one Italian study has got opposite results. The object of the study was the effects of Snus (oral tobacco product that is used behind the upper lip) consumption on sports performance. The researchers found out that athletes who consumed Snus just before training showed about 13% improvement in their performance.
The Italian researchers also noted that athletes used Snus not for a single purpose of enhancing their results. It was a way to deal with nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Having no possibility to take a smoke break during their workouts, they take Snus to deal with cravings. That is another reason why vaping has many fans among sportsman.
The Benefits of Vaping
Quitting smoking is the best option not only for those who go in for sports, but for everyone who cares about their health. But since this aim is difficult to reach, many people keep puffing while hating it. The emergence of an e-cigarette made things much easier for some smokers.
If you’re struggling with your addiction, you should try vaping. Smoking electronic gadgets come in various shapes, sizes, and colors.
Moreover, anyone can find an e cig juice to their taste. To make your transition from a regular cigarette to the electronic one as comfortable as possible, you can even buy a tobacco flavored e-juice. Later, you will definitely try experimenting with different vape flavors as the choice is super wide.
One more benefit of vaping is that there are nicotine-free liquids available on the market. You can gradually decrease the level of nicotine in your vape device and finally refuse from it at all. Some people find this method effective in overcoming a nicotine addiction.
What Does Science Say?
Vaping is a relatively new smoking practice. Its possible side effects are still unknown. There’s a little research made on this topic. Recent studies have controversial results. Scientists have different views on vaping and they differ drastically.
Public Health England (PHE) made the first official recognition that e-cigarettes are 95% less damaging to health than tobacco. Other studies reveal that long-term vaping can cause respiratory and heart problems which could be a serious damage to any athlete vaper.
It was found that a half-hour vaping session had the same harmful influence on the aorta as smoking a regular cigarette for 5 minutes. However, other researchers found that 30 minutes was a “normal” length of a session. A co-authors of the PHE study said that vaping during 5 minutes had no sign of “aortic stiffness” that may occur after the half-hour vape session.
As you can see, there no strict ban on tobacco consumption in a sports community. Everyone decides for themselves, especially since science doesn’t offer a clear answer to the nicotine effects. Whatever the truth is, I hardly believe that a dedicated athlete could smoke a pack of cigarettes a day or vape for 30 minutes. Wisdom is in moderation.
About the Author: Phyllis Baker is the professional journalist and blogger. She specializes in health, self-development and addiction treatment.
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