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How Smoking Affects Your CrossFit Training

smoking crossfit

The philosophy of CrossFit training is to coach people of all shapes and sizes to improve their overall fitness and physical well-being. Based on high-intensity interval training, it encompasses elements of Olympic weightlifting, powerlifting, calisthenics, gymnastics, strongman, plyometrics, and other exercises.

CrossFitters use all kinds of equipment from gymnastics rings, ropes, dumbbells, barbells, pull-up bars, medicine balls, kettlebells, jump ropes, rowers, bikes and more. This constantly varied and changing training regime often results in athletes becoming stronger, fitter, leaner and above all, fitter!

Many people think that CrossFitters are ‘fitness freaks’ who live stringent, healthy lifestyles. It’s quite unusual to imagine a CrossFit athlete smoking, or with even the best electronic cigarette from vapingdaily on them. However, when people feel stressed, they start to relax in strange ways. Smoking, and vaping as its variation, are often used as stress relievers by functional fitness athletes.

The interesting question, though, is just how much they can affect sports performance.

What is Smoking in Terms of Sports Performance?

Smoking is an activity that is known as threatening, harmful, dangerous and not appropriate for a sports athlete. The fact is that this old habit has a bunch of negative effects, which are not limited only to outer look (like yellowish teeth and nails), but also strongly affects health and body (like possible cancer development or heart rate deviations).

To understand what your body has to undergo when you consume usual cigarettes, in comparison to the best e cigarettes, let’s have a look at the apparent health effects of both. Let’s start with smoking.

#1. Breathing

One of the most harmful aspects of smoking is that nicotine holds off the oxygen supply to the body. By binding blood cells, displacing oxygen, preventing its delivery to the tissues of the body, chemicals that could be found in tobacco multiplies the amount of lactic acid causing muscular fatigue, makes your breathing more complicated and deteriorates the onset of muscle soreness.

All the effects listed above are just the tip of an iceberg. However, they are serious enough to motivate people to stop smoking. Especially if they want to become a successful sports athletes.

In particular, endurance suffers first from lack of oxygen from smoking in general. Nicotine is a strong hit against it. Strength also drops. This means that if you are able to execute four sets of five back squat reps with a barbell of 50 kilos under normal conditions, having smoked you may not be able to perform the same amount of reps as easily.

#2. Faster Heart Beat

Smoking causes increased blood pressure, which, in turn, might lead to the production of cortisol – the stress hormone. Extra cortisol can affect bone density, increase blood pressure, lowering the immune function and cause weight gain.

Research has also shown that smoking cigarettes can tighten major arteries. This can increase heart rates, cause irregular heart rhythm and generally make your heart work harder.

What is Vaping in Terms of Sports Performance?

We often look at vaping as the so-called ‘safer alternative to smoking’. Because of the difference of nicotine form (dry for a cigarette and liquid for a vape), several disadvantages of smoking are easy to avoid, including inhaling of dangerous tars.

The important thing to note here though, is that even the best e cigarette is never completely harmless.

#1. Breathe Freely

Vaping’s major benefit is that you do not get the irritants from the process of burning when you use even one of the cheaper e-cigarettes. This means that you have to work several times harder in order to feel ‘out of breath’ if you are using a vape instead of smoking.

#2. Normal Heartbeat

In fact, when you normally vape, without the usage of extra high doses of nicotine, or adding some narcotic substance, vaping does not affect your heart or vascular system. This means that your heart rate will be normal after vaping and you would be able to perform your enduring exercises without additional risks.

Added Benefits

  1. In case you use a low-temperature vape, you might also get some extra energy if you vape before the training session. Low temperature makes your body more energetic and it helps for, for instance, weight lifting, jogging, and so on.
  2. The other important advantage here is that vaping allows you to control the level of nicotine you consume. You can also now use nicotine-free vape pens. By vaping without nicotine, you are able to restore your lungs and heart rate in a comparatively short period of time and also not to feel depressed as many smoking-quitters do.

Save Yourself

Ironically, many people use CrossFit as a method of fight against nicotine addiction. Those, who are into CrossFit say that being involved in such activities makes you more conscious about your health. They are aware of the fact that the pleasure of even the best e cigarette is not as important as their wellbeing.

This means that professional sports athletes understand the risks of both smoking and vaping and prefer to do neither of these activities. They feel like having enough pressure for their body and do not want to expose it to even bigger stress. Sportspeople are fairly attentive to the process of recovery from the training and try to make this process as fast as possible.

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The Rx Review is an independent fitness website, reporting on the Sport of Fitness, functional fitness news, The CrossFit Games, health and diet related information, and also provides reviews on sports performance products.