Sports and Nicotine

There has always been a detestable sully on the topic of sports and drugs like Bargain E-Juice. So much in fact that the World Anti-Doping Agency was formed. The organization was purposely formed to control drug usage and abuse among sportsmen across the world. While nicotine is not classified under the banned substances, it recently entered the World Anti-Doping Agency monitoring program because of its continued and rising usage among athletes worldwide.

With the introduction of e-cigarettes and other vaping products, nicotine consumption has particularly risen among youth sportsmen. The vaping activity is associated with a certain type of “coolness” that is enticing for the youth. Traditional tobacco smoking was prominent in sports like football, rugby, and baseball, and fans were rarely surprised seeing their stars engage in the activity. In recent years, the stigma around tobacco smoking has reduced the number of sportsmen who regularly smoke tobacco.

However, the number of people taking nicotine has never been much higher, with estimates placing the figures from about 30 to 50 % of all sportsmen taking nicotine through smoking, vaping, or nicotine pouches. Vaping is particularly gaining popularity among youth sportsmen such as College athletes.

The effects of Smoking/ Vaping on Sports performance

The question then arises, why did the World Anti-Doping Agency not categorize nicotine as one of the banned substances but yet go on to enroll it into its monitoring program. Well, the answer is simple. Smoking and vaping nicotine may not enhance performance like other banned substances but may deteriorate it.

These are the main ways in which smoking tobacco or vaping deteriorates Sports performance:

  • Decreased coordination due to increased heart rate and blood pressure- Nicotine in the bloodstream causes a surge of adrenaline and dopamine. Adrenaline increases the heart rate and blood pressure, while dopamine increases relaxation and euphoric feelings. The spiked heart rate and high blood pressure make it impossible to coordinate your muscles. Moreover, the increased heart rate makes the heart consume more oxygen, making your muscles and organs receive less oxygen for the sports activity. The result is a lazy feeling that impairs coordination.
  • Reduced muscular flexibility, thus increasing the risk of injuries- That’s right, nicotine deteriorates muscles by destroying connective collagen in muscles. Over time, the sportsman’s muscles become weaker and unable to withstand the usual strain they are subjected to. The result is normally a muscle injury that may be very detrimental to one’s career. Moreover, vaping and smoking reduce the healing time of these muscle injuries, posing another threat to one’s career.
  • The withdrawal symptoms of nicotine greatly impair performance-Once withdrawal sets in, the user experiences intense anxiety, restlessness, and depression. These feelings make it impossible to concentrate on the game. Many athletes usually try to mitigate this by taking another cigarette or vaping before the game, but this only works to further deteriorate their situation.

Smoking and Vaping deteriorates lung health through allergies and the chemicals in the smoke/ vape- Chemicals in the e-cigarettes and those in the tobacco smoke inflame the bronchioles in the lung, thus increasing their risk of infection and reducing their performance. Sports is the number one activity that requires a lot of oxygen in the body. By reducing lung performance, smoking or vaping greatly impairs one’s ability to do that by reducing the amount of oxygen that may get into the lungs. Over time, one may get total lung failure or lung cancer, which will impale them from doing sports. Moreover, e-cigarettes contain various toxic chemicals that may be allergens to the user, thus causing coughing, wheezing, or inflammation. As a result, one will not be able to do sports.

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