“Smoking is injurious to health” the saying that we all know. Smoking leads to various life-threatening diseases and problems like heart attack, lung cancer, heart-related problems etc. which one can develop over the years if he/she is a regular smoker. Smoking is no way beneficial for leading a healthy lifestyle and an individual who is an athlete or trying to be physically fit, smoking has an adverse impact on his overall athletic performance as well as hinders the ability to workout in an effective manner. There are various chemicals present in a cigarette like carbon monoxide, ammonia, hydrogen cyanide, nitrites etc. which can cause cancer. Gym goers are aware of the fact that in order to build muscles it is necessary to eat healthily and take plenty of rest but smoking a cigarette affects the overall body organs i.e. mind, lungs and heart and that is why it directly impacts your entire gym output. Smoking diminishes the muscle gain during a workout due to the following reasons:-
Increased Carbon Monoxide in Blood – A cigarette contains carbon monoxide as one of its toxic components which a smoker inhales when he puffs a cigarette and subsequently gets carbon monoxide infused so much in the blood that it literally replaces oxygen in the blood which flows to the entire body, and as a result it makes the blood sticky as well as makes arteries narrow. These narrow arteries, therefore, reduce the flow of blood leading to the lower supply of oxygen to muscles and thus, diminish muscle gain. Therefore, inhale of carbon monoxide leads to putting a restriction on the overall workout rate of a smoker when compared to a non-smoker and limits muscle gain and muscle building.
Presence of Tar in Lungs – Tar is a combusted particle which is produced when tobacco is burned in the cigarette. Tar is toxic and harmful in nature which adversely affects the lungs of the smoker. When a smoker inhales the smoke, the targets accumulated in the lungs and affect your lungs capacity to inhale oxygen due to the accumulation of Tar in the airways of the lungs which reduces the amount of air you take in. This affects your performance in the gym as, during a workout, your lungs will not be able to inhale much oxygen leading to a limited supply of oxygen to the muscles and as a result, one may feel nauseous, early exhaustion in the body. Therefore, restricting the smokers to limited reps of various exercises.
Nicotine Effects – Nicotine is a component in the form of a drug which people who smoke doesn’t realize but it is very harmful to the body and that is what makes smokers addicted to smoking. The component directly affects the mind of the smoker and simultaneously increases heart rate, increase blood pressure as well as leads to poor metabolism. Now one may think that increased heart rate is good for a workout but no, since the heart rate of a smoker always works at an increased pace so during a workout the individual demands more of it. Therefore, leading to early exhaustion which occurs due to lack of energy in order to maintain the pace. If an individual constantly puts pressure to increase its heart rate then it would lead respiratory problems too. And that is the reason why when it comes to bodybuilding a non-smoker will always be ahead of a smoker.
Affects Testosterone Levels – A normal or high level of testosterone is beneficial for muscle gaining and building but smoking adversely impacts the testosterone levels in the body by damaging the cell building testosterone which leaves in reducing the overall level of testosterone. The level of testosterone has a direct link with muscle growth and muscle training from exercise and a reduced level of testosterone hinders and limits the muscle gain.
Affect Endurance Level – Smoking cigarettes puts a strain on your mind and heart making you feel less energetic as compared to a non-smoker and therefore, restricts your ability to do a longer workout or do the high-intensity workout. Such effect on endurance limits the repetition of exercise and therefore, shortens the development of muscles gain.
Therefore, smoking doesn’t have any plus on its side rather it only damages your body and restricts you to lead a healthy life. Hence, it is highly recommended that in order to avail benefits of working out and muscle building, one should quit smoking or put a limit on no. of cigarettes puffed per day. This can be done by concentrating more on exercises and diverting your mind from smoking a cigarette.