Tobacco and Muscle Gains: Not a Good Pair
Did you know that tobacco use in all forms can negatively impact your hard work at the gym? While you can still build muscle, ditching tobacco could help you see much better results (and crush your fitness goals!).
Need more convincing? Here are four reasons your muscles will be better off if you quit tobacco:
- Better gym performance. You will be able to accomplish more at the gym when you quit tobacco. Nicotine increases the heart rate and narrows the blood vessels, making the heart work harder to move blood throughout the body. When you quit tobacco, your heart won’t be working overtime and you will be ready for more intense workouts (think: not being as winded after cardio and feeling stronger when lifting heavy weight).
- More energy to smash that lifting session. Your ability to endure intense anaerobic (non-cardio) exercise will improve when you quit tobacco. This improved endurance may help you increase the amount of weight you can lift, do more reps and workout longer.
- Higher-functioning and stronger muscles. Quitting tobacco improves your blood flow and allows more oxygen to reach your muscles. This helps your muscles thrive and grow because they’ll be able to function at a higher capacity. That means you can feel stronger AND more stable and mobile!
- Better breathing. Quitting tobacco positively impacts your breathing. The tar in your airways from smoking cigarettes will decrease, you’ll have less phlegm and you’ll be able to breathe in more air and oxygen. If you use e-cigarettes, quitting decreases lung inflammation caused by vaping. With these improvements, your muscles will have the amount of oxygen you need to be healthy and strong.
Exercise and muscle gain is an important part of your fitness and overall health as a Service member. If you’re not sure about quitting tobacco, it could be helpful to think about the negative impacts of tobacco use on muscle gains. Ready to quit? Check out the YouCanQuit2 Quit Plan, an interactive tool that guides you step-by-step on how to quit tobacco.