T Nation

Smoking Cigarettes & Working Out


#1

How does smoking effect a person that works out? I would like to know because a friend of mine smokes, and has a decent body... He's been smoking for about 4 years and has been working out for 1.5 years. any comments or links would be great....


#2

I am a Respiratory Therapist and work in an outpatient Pulmonary Rehab clinic. Your friend may not feel the effect of the smoking right now...but 10, 20, 30 years from now (depending on what his age is now) he will be in really bad shape. Most of my patients will say they were very active when they were younger and smoked and now that they don't they can't even walk 5 mins without sitting down or becoming short-of-breath. So the damage he does now is going to come around in years to come.

Also, your friend is more prone to getting infections, especially respiratory, which can put a hinder on his working out.


#3

It fucks with your recovery...


#4

I believe the general consensus is that smoking = bad.


#5

Dead people have a hard time working out.


#6

Yup. Do you just want to look good? Or would you like to live a long time and be healthy in the process too?


#7

Cumulative poison. One won't kill you. Ten won't kill you. Ten thousand, and you are a hurting pup. It is also a poison that leaves long lasting, slow acting traces behind. The sooner he quits, the better the odds are that his body will be able to remove those traces.


#8

Not sure if its the same with cigarettes, but Harvard did a study a few years back about the effects of chewing tobacco (I can't seem to fuckin quit) on weight lifting performance - they found that people who chewed tobacco up to 90 min. before their workouts were 9% weaker than when they didn't chew


#9

It is very bad. I quit 17 weeks ago!

I kick ass for that.

Don't smoke.


#10

I went from chew to cigarettes, then chew, cigarettes, chew.....well you know what to do. Friggen quit.


#11

You either have to be for your body or against it. regardless of studies, the surgeon general etc. there is no way a reasonable person could look at a cigarette and think it will not have ill effects on one's health. i believe health habits like that will catch up with you.


#12

I agree with all that's been said...

Just to add:

Smoking decreases overall lung capacity and endurance. In turn, that affect's one's workouts, ESPECIALLY over time.

Rockscar:

CONGRATULATIONS!

No way in hell you should be beatin' yourself up, brother! Smoking cessation is a) hard b) not everyone can do it and c) it's been PROVEN that one's lung's improve in every measurable parameter once smoking stops.

Mufasa


#13

If you just want strength, I'm not sure how much it really matters. In Turkey and those areas everyone smokes, I remember reading stories of how 3 time Olympic champ Naim Suleymanoglu (spelling?) was smoking backstage in between attempts lol. I have known some guys who could run crazy times (<6 min miles for multiple miles) while still smoking a lot, but some of the more knowledgeable people on here say it will catch up with them too.


#14

Smoking a single cigarette will greatly increase the level of Carbon Monoxide (CO) in your blood for a good hour or more. When we get burn or smoke inhalation victims in here (emergency room), we have to ask them if they are smokers before we treat them, because the normal level of CO in a smoker would be a treatable toxic level in a non-smoker. In other words, if you smoke and have a slightly to moderately high CO level, we basically ignore it medically because it's normal for them. If you don't smoke and have a high CO level, we watch you for a while.

Carbon Monoxide is a deadly poison. It is the number one fatal cause of accidental poisoning deaths in the US. Interestingly though, it is an important component of smooth muscle contraction and digestion:

http://www.obgyn.net/newsheadlines/headline_medical_news-Physiology-20030709-7.asp

So the CO has a relaxing effect on smooth muscle, but it is common knowledge that CO and Nitric Oxide (NO) are potent vasodilators, allowing more blood to flow into various tissues. You would think that this would help in an exercise effort, but you have to remember that the vessels are dilating because the blood is actually getting thinner in useful oxygen, and the body is trying to adapt the bloodflow to maintain a decent usable oxygen level in the tissues (perfusion). I say "usable" oxygen here because CO is NOT usable oxygen. When a CO molecule contacts a red blood cell, it attaches irreversibly to the cell, permanently lowering its capacity to deliver good oxygen to the tissues. Normal red blood cells live about 120 days, so that's about four months that you are stuck with a crappy red blood cell. Multiply this times how often you smoke, and how much you smoke (non-filter, filter, lights, whatever), and it's obvious to anyone with common sense that smoking has a deleterious effect on an athletic performance which depends on good perfusion such as bodybuilding or strongman or sports, etc. I can't imagine that it wouldn't have an effect on powerlifting, too. Don't powerlifters ever get out of breath? Why make it harder to catch it again?

Smoking won't kill you right away, but in training it's like putting a governor on a race bike. You're kinda shooting yourself in the foot. And it's not even that fun, is it? If you wanna smoke, smoke weed for cryin' out loud! At least then you'll want to eat. :slight_smile:


#15

i quit smoking a little over 5 yrs ago,
and i dont miss it bit, and i did it
for about 13-15 yrs. stop smoking now
and your life improves dramatically.

just the image of smoking and lifting
is really repugnant.

Barton


#16

I smoked for 15 years. I quit just over a year and a half ago, and I feel better now than I have in lots of years. I used to not remember what life was like without cigarettes, and now I can't imagine life smoking.

I've lost a lot of fat since I quit smoking, and my friends tell me that I no longer have a gray complexion. My wife is much happier about it as well. I can wrestle around with my kids now and not die after 2 minutes.

Also, there is no way I could lift like I do if I still smoked. No way. Smoking is not compatible with my lifestyle.

-folly


#17

hey bro...just quit, and find something more productive to your lifestyle. Trust me, you won't regret it.


#18

Alright,thanks for all the replies.
How do you think smoking affects your sex drive and also your weightloss goals. If a person was to quit how would you go about to detox your entire system. Would antiox. help speed up the process. How long do you think it would take to reverse the effects of smoking?


#19

I have yet to see one single report or study which says smoking is good for you. Since everthing we do has some consequence - for better or worse, then my ironclad Sherlock Holmes reasoning leads me to believe smoking is bad. Questions ??

troop


#20

Keep talking fellas. I need inspiration to quit