Vaping and Running
Vaping is the act of inhaling and exhaling vapors from different vaping gadgets – vaporizers or e-cigarettes. This “activity” has become increasingly popular all around the globe. Different and appealing tastes which can be found on the market attract teenagers and people who like to experiment. Besides flavorings and aromas, vaping involves the presence of water, propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin and a certain percent of nicotine (starting with 0% to 3.6%).
Vaping is also associated with smoking cessation success. People who switch from common to e-cigarettes have a higher success rate in quitting tobacco.
Nicotine and Running
Some data announced by National Health Service (NHS) suggest vaping is “95% less harmful than tobacco”. Since cigarettes contain tobacco and 4000 different chemicals, this statement makes sense. However, vaping implies foreign chemicals intake. How does this affect the body and sport performance like running?
Like every other physical activity, running implies different organs activation – muscles, respiratory system, cardiovascular system, skeletal system etc. The most dangerous substance which may influence running capacity is nicotine, which can be found in most of the vaping gadgets.
Mayo Clinic stated that the nicotine use leads to serious health conditions – lung cancer, respiratory infections and circulatory problems. This data doesn’t seem to worry some athletes since they take nicotine in order to accelerate energy flow through the body. This happens because nicotine intake causes adrenalin release as well as the stimulating effect on the brain and body.
Vaping and Running
Regardless of the temporary stimulating effect nicotine has on running performance, the costs of negative health consequences are too high. Although vaping involves a low nicotine level, it doesn’t mean that that level is negligible. Especially because sometimes people tend to vape too often because they like how different flavorings taste like.
Certain researches investigated the effect of vaping on lungs (popcorn lungs) and cardiovascular organs, and the results were not favorable towards vapers. Since vaping implies foreign substances intake in the body, it is fair to say runners have a greater risk of athletic performance decrease.
Should Runners Who Smoke Switch to Vaping?
According to Dr. Johnathan Samet, a pulmonary physician and epidemiologist at the University of Southern California stated that people who quit smoking before they turn 40 can expect to live as healthy a life as someone who never smoked at all. But what does this mean for vaping?
If comparing vaping and smoking, vaping comes with milder and significantly less harmful consequences. Some runners who switched from tobacco to e-juice said they made some noticeable advantages for themselves. Lungs immediately started to regenerate because accumulated tar is expunged from the lungs so the lung capacity increases.
On the other hand, any foreign chemical substance intake carries a certain amount of risk, and the rate of rejuvenation of lungs depends on the metabolism of every individual.
Runner’s heart should be the portrait of his/her strength and fitness. We know that smoking is harmful for cardiovascular organs health in so many ways. Is vaping just as bad? Can serious and dedicated runners vape? Like in most cases, the answer to this question doesn’t leave us without any doubt.
A study performed by Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos and his team performed a research titled: “Effects of continuous smoking reduction and abstinence on blood pressure and heart rate in smokers switching to electronic cigarettes”. This research was performed with the help of a group of smokers who switched to vaping. The obtained results pointed out that individuals who switched from smoking to vaping experienced significant improvements on their health and a decline in systolic blood pressure.
Furthermore, those who quit smoking and vaping completely showed no further blood pressure decrease than those who continued on vaping.
European Society for Cardiology congress in Rome offered a different side of the story and examined the long term consequences of e–cigarette use. Researchers measured the stiffness of the aorta (main artery which delivers blood to the heart). If the stiffness increases – the risk of heart diseases multiplies.
The results showed that even a 30-minute vaping process effects were similar to those of 5 minutes smoking process. This means that the risk of heart attack is very much present.
Running, Vaping, or Both?
These results make you wonder, especially if you are a runner who likes to vape. However, runners who smoke should consider switching to vaping–read on about the pros and cons of vaping here. By doing so they decrease their risk for heart attack, stroke and increase their lung capacity.