The proliferation of vaping throughout the world continues to grow, and many individuals who are seeking an alternative to traditional cigarettes have turned to e-cigarettes because they represent a healthy choice. Public Health England data from 2015 bears this out, as it shows that e-cigarettes are substantially less hazardous to an individual's health than smoking traditional cigarettes, with a 95% lower level of harm.
As a result, many people might ask themselves whether e-cigarettes may have a different impact on exercise than their traditional smoking habit. It is a well-known fact that the human body requires a healthy flow of oxygen, especially while performing workouts; standard cigarettes have been shown to disrupt healthy oxygen distribution physiology in a myriad of ways. With that said, is it possible that e-cigarettes have the same effect?
In this blog post, we will delve deep into the impacts of vaping on an individual's capacity to exercise, how it compares to traditional smoking, and the answer to the question of whether you should exercise while vaping.
Does Vaping Affect Your Fitness Levels?
When it comes to vaping, it is vital to acknowledge that e-cigarettes do pose a certain level of threat to your healthy exercise capabilities, albeit not to the same extent as traditional smoking.
There are several reasons for this risk:
E-cigarettes do contain nicotine, an addictive substance that has been found to restrict blood vessels, leading to hindered blood flow to muscle tissue during strenuous exercise. This reduced blood flow can result in a decline in performance, causing increased muscle fatigue.
Nicotine is also a stimulant that can impact your heart rate and blood pressure levels during physical exercise, leading to potentially dangerous scenarios, including an increased risk of heart attack.
Nicotine has appetite suppressing effects that may prove helpful in controlling excessive food cravings while exercising. However, on the other hand, such an effect may limit a person's ability to take on the nutrients they need for a thorough workout routine. To maximize benefits and results, it is essential to ensure that you're getting the right nutrition to power up your fitness, and not skipping meals due to your nicotine consumption.
A few e-liquid ingredients, such as propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin, may contribute to respiratory irritation and inflammation. This could, in turn, potentially impact an individual's ability to engage in high-intensity workout regimens or endurance sports.
Vaping And Exercise Vs Smoking And Exercise
While there may be potential harms associated with vaping and exercising, it is important to note that they are still significantly lower when compared to the detrimental impacts that come with conventional smoking.
A wealth of evidence points to the negative effects that traditional smoking has on physical fitness and an individual's capacity to exercise. These negative effects include a marked reduction in lung function, impaired blood flow, and a much higher risk of various respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. As a result, smokers typically experience shortness of breath, reduced stamina, and decreased athletic performance levels.
Several factors contribute to this phenomenon, such as cigarette smoke containing a wide range of additional harmful chemicals that will restrict arteries, which, in turn, harden blood vessel walls, causing an individual's heart to pump faster to compensate. This leads to elevated heart rate and blood pressure in the body, causing a host of health-related problems such as stroke, heart disease, and lung cancer.
Traditional smoking also increases the amount of carbon monoxide in an individual's bloodstream, which replaces oxygen. This makes it harder for red blood cells to supply enough oxygen to your body's muscles. Cigarette smoke includes tar and other chemicals that coat your lungs, damaging the alveoli, and further restricting your body's ability to absorb oxygen.
Although nicotine levels in certain e-liquid varieties, such as nic salts, can provide a similar amount of nicotine intake as a traditional cigarette, vaping is still relatively less harmful. Both vaping and smoking can weaken an individual's physical abilities. However, the distinction between the two remains clear.
Should You Vape And Exercise?
Given the potential risks associated with vaping and exercise, it is essential to weigh both the pros and cons before making a decision. If you're an individual who smokes, shifting over to vaping could result in an improvement in your lung function and overall exercise capacity. Although vaping is not entirely risk-free, it is still considered a less harmful alternative to smoking, making it a viable option for those struggling to quit smoking entirely.
Still, the healthiest option is always to cease using all nicotine products entirely. If you're an athlete or serious about your fitness, it is best to avoid any substances that could negatively impact your performance or overall health. Even though extensive research on vaping's influence on exercise remains on the horizon, it is still best for dedicated athletes to err on the side of caution.
If you do elect to vape and exercise, it is essential to keep a watchful eye on your body's response. Pay attention to other changes too in your lung function and be mindful of any respiratory irritation or inflammation. Suppose you experience any adverse effects or need professional advice to discuss your options. In that case, it is best to consult with a healthcare professional to make sure you are making the sound decision for your health and fitness goals.
Ultimately, whether to vape and exercise comes down to an individual's unique circumstances. By staying informed and taking the necessary precautions and steps to safeguard your health, you can make the best choices for your fitness journey and work towards a happier, healthier future.
Ian Botterill – Head Of Digital at EDGE Vaping