Smoking: How It Affects Your Workout

It might seem like smoking and exercise can go together. Many people seem to feel that they can get away with doing something unhealthy if they follow up with something that is healthy. While there is a tiny bit of truth to this attitude, there is really nothing good about smoking tobacco.

Consider the results of this study. Researchers found that a rigorous exercise program was helpful in mitigating the effects of lung cancer and aiding in the recovery of those who are afflicted. It naturally follows that good exercise plus smoking is better than smoking along in terms of your health outcome.

Needless to say, this research does not mean that exercise will cancel out the effects of smoking. Tobacco is so unhealthy that even the best exercise program will not change the fact that there is nothing good about smoking.

Smoking Has Many Harmful Effects Upon Your Performance

Smoking Has Many Harmful Effects Upon Your Performance

Here is a short list of the ways in which smoking will directly impact your performance in the workout room:

Smoking Reduces Your Oxygen Intake

One of the many purposes of human blood is to carry oxygen to your muscles. This oxygen is part of what fuels your muscles and allows them to work and to grow. Smokers have a decreased level of oxygen in their blood, and this has consequences.

The main culprit here is carbon monoxide (CO), one of the more toxic components of cigarette smoke. To give you an idea of how bad CO is, car fumes are another major source. Carbon monoxide bonds to the hemoglobin in your red blood cells. This is bad because those hemoglobin receptors will normally bind with oxygen. In this way, red blood cells act as messengers that bring oxygen to the various body tissues. However, the oxygen molecules cannot bond with hemoglobin that has already bonded to a molecule of carbon monoxide.

The following study provides some evidence of this. They found that the breath of a smoker contains residual carbon monoxide as a result of their increased CO intake. This effect is so strong that researchers were able to tell exactly how much a person smoked by looking at the CO levels of their breath.

Smoking Decreases Your Lung Capacity

Smoking weakens the lungs by destroying the elasticity of the air sacs. This means that you cannot hold as much air in your lungs as you normally could. Needless to say, this has a direct effect upon your workout endurance.

Smoking Causes A Buildup Of Phlegm

Smokers have a frequent problem with phlegm and mucus. As everyone knows, it is important to breathe while you work out, regardless of what kind of exercise you are doing. When your breathing cycle gets interrupted, your workout is interrupted. Nothing interrupts a workout more unpleasantly than a coughing fit that ends with you looking around for a trashcan so that you can spit out a big disgusting ball of phlegm. It’s unpleasant, undignified, and disruptive to your efforts.

As if that weren’t bad enough, this study and several others have shown that you don’t even have to be a smoker to get these effects. Children with parents who smoke also showed an increased level of phlegm production. Even if you don’t have kids, you should be considerate of those around you and quit this nasty habit today.

Smoking Will Unnaturally Raise Your Heart Rate

The heartbeat of a smoker is about 30% faster than that of a nonsmoker. This is perfectly understandable when you remember that nicotine is a stimulant. This increased heart rate is not healthy, and it forces your body to work harder to do the same job. At the same time, smoking raises your blood pressure and constricts the flow of blood throughout the body.

According to some research, this increased heart rate will lead to a general lack of cardiac control. This means that your heart will be less able to deal with the stressful conditions of regular strenuous exercise. This has a negative effect on your performance and makes you far more likely to suffer a heart attack.

Smoking will Reduce Your Lifespan

One of the reasons to exercise regularly is so that you can live a long and healthy life. Smoking is definitely not conducive to those goals. It has often been said that every cigarette you smoke will take seven minutes off your lifespan. Although this old idea may not be precisely true, it is based on a very provable fact.

Here is a study that measured the relative lifespans of former smokers. That is to say; they found a group of people who had quit smoking, but who quit smoking at different points in life. They found that those who quit smoking at a young age had a significant increase in their lifespan when compared to those who quit smoking at an older age.

Exercise Can Help You QuitExercise Can Help You Quit

Some have said that a good exercise program such as bodybuilding regimen can be a natural cure for nicotine addiction. Smoking tobacco is very addictive. In fact, some say that it is more addictive than most illegal drugs.

Anything that helps a person to focus on something other than the desire for a drug will aid in the conquest of addiction. In spite of its physical effects, addiction is rooted in the mind. Taking your mind off the addiction will really help, and bodybuilding is a great way to do just that.

Exercise can also help by showing you just how much it is harming you. When you are sitting at a desk all day, you might not notice the effects that smoking will have upon your health. A workout forces you to confront the damage and re-evaluate your habits.


If you want to build your body to its full potential, you should avoid tobacco like the plague. You will never be able to perform at the same level as a non-smoker, and it is as simple as that. I remember a cousin of mine, who started smoking as a teenager. When he began studying Karate, he found that he was unable to keep up with the other students. People who were twice his age had more endurance than he did. He was so ashamed by this that he stopped smoking and hasn’t started again. Take this as a lesson: smoking isn’t worth it. Stay informed about this and other important health topics by taking a moment to follow us on facebook. We wish you the best.

The post Smoking: How It Affects Your Workout appeared first on Gaspari Nutrition.

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