Is it possible that a few drags from a vape could let runners go faster for longer? Or is the total opposite, and smoking vape closes off the arteries compromising runners’ performance?
In the next sections, we’ll get to the bottom of it, and explore the true impact of vaping and running.
Vaping for Seasoned and Rookie Smokers
For a person who’s been smoking regular cigarettes for ages, taking up veep would feel like a quick detox. The harmful compounds that go in the making of real cigarettes aren’t present in e-cigarettes or vapes.
In addition, smokers can regulate their nicotine intake. Decreasing it gradually, till they can quit smoking altogether, or stabilizing their daily nicotine to a fraction of what they used to smoke before.
This improvement doesn’t necessarily extend to vapers who weren’t in the habit of smoking. In fact, they could show clear signs of rapid exhaustion, moodiness, and lowered overall performance.
Getting in the Mood
Smoking has always been linked to ‘being in a good mood’. Smokers could feel the burn of the smoke in their throats, lose their sense of smell, become unable to discern different flavors, and yet, they report clear happiness after taking ‘that first drag’.
Chilling, focusing, and prepping for a big event are all situations where smokers would take out their pack, and light a cigarette. That’s because nicotine and other chemicals hit the pleasure receptors in the brain, and induce a feeling of instant bliss.
Athletes know full well that this chemical good mood comes at a high cost. When the vape offered a similar boost minus the complications, several players and runners rushed in.
One of the reported benefits of vaping is decreasing anxiety. Some vape smokers went as far as recommending it as a means of overcoming depression. These are of course highly controversial claims.
Having said that, we might as well add that most athletes have a few tricks up their sleeves for dealing with anxiety.
As for depression, to our knowledge, it requires a medical consultation. It’s a condition that stays with inflicted people. They need to develop ways to tame it and keep it at bay.
Getting ready to compete is hard work, mentally and physically. Sometimes, a little jolt could get the machine running more smoothly.
As long as it remains a ‘little jolt’, that is. Higher intake could have a very different effect, and jittery chain smokers are a sight most of us have seen before.
Does Vaping Increase Stamina?
This part is where the big debate comes in. Some reports demonstrated that a few hours after vaping some athletes performed better. Runners kept going past their averages, and weight lifters stepped up their game with heavier lifts.
The timing is crucial, as vaping right before working out or running gave a very different result.
It usually constricts the arteries, increases heart rate, and decreases the oxygen content in the blood. All this tends to lower an athlete’s overall energy, stamina, and capacity to show any distinction.
The type of vaping juice has a direct impact as well. Smoking too much nicotine would have negative effects on a person’s health, even when the tar is out of the equation.
The Biological Effects of Vaping
Conclusive research of the exact effects of vaping needs at least three decades. That’s why there’s still little evidence on its biological effects. The following are initial findings that were collected from observing thousands of vapers.
The Heart and Circulation
Most studies show a direct correlation between vaping and significant changes in the heart. Some research even went as far as linking vaping to increased susceptibility to cardiac diseases, and even to strokes.
This area still needs more research, however, several findings indicate that any kind of vaping, whether it includes nicotine or not, could have detrimental effects on the lungs.
The Teeth and Gums
Some studies showed that vaping could make the teeth more prone to bacterial growth, and hence the formation of cavities.
E-cigarette aerosol is also said to be responsible for the inflammation of gums. This is a painful condition and often requires a lengthy treatment plan.
The hot smoke is also known to cause irritation in the throat and cellular damages in the oral soft tissue.
The DNA and Brain Function
The effects of vaping could be quite serious in some groups. Young smokers are especially at risk if they consume large amounts of smoke, whether in regular or e-smoking.
Changes in DNA often result from the continued exposure to toxins and chemicals foreign to the human body. These materials have the opposite effect of anti-oxidants, which are known to detox, heal, and rejuvenate the body.
Brain damage is caused by the direct effect of decreasing the oxygenation of the blood reaching brain cells, as well as the toxins that compromise overall body health.
Dependence and Addiction
Too much of a good thing becomes a bad thing. And smoking vape is a case-in-point when it comes to forming a habit and growing dependence.
Wanting more is a typical sensation in smoking cigarettes, vape, or any other form of burned and inhaled materials.
At the extreme end of dependence, vape smokers could suffer extreme exhaustion, digestive disturbances, respiratory unease, and they might need to be admitted to the ER.
Subsequent escalation of the physiological dysfunction happens sometimes, and in 2019, about 29 vape smokers lost their lives.
Some professional athletes show a rapid degradation in their performance shortly after starting to vape. That’s because the occasional draw eventually becomes a frequent drag and a chemical overload.
Some even need to solicit the help of a rehab center to regain their original physique. If such athletes are in the public eye, the effects might extend to their image and popularity.
There’s also their status as role models, especially for the younger generation, and the up-and-coming athletes.
The Bottom Line
Races are won or lost on account of incremental differences in timing and stamina. That’s why runners are always on the lookout for new methods to enhance their performance.
Vaping is up for debate nowadays, after reports presented its benefits in increasing runners’ stamina and improving their focus.
Other research, cautioned from its side effects. The consensus seems to lean towards light usage and using vape to quit smoking real cigarettes.