Smoking on Bodybuilding

Most people might not realize the adverse effect of smoking on bodybuilders. In this article, we will discuss how smoking can limit your bodybuilding success.
We all know that smoking has adverse effects on our health. But some bodybuilders tend to think that they are immune from the ill effects of smoking. They incorrectly assume that since intense workouts are a part of their daily lives, smoking won’t affect their health.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The truth is that the damage from smoking is universal. A person’s fitness levels won’t count if he/she smokes three packs a day. He/She will still be subject to the massive damage to organs and overall health deterioration that is typically associated with tobacco smoking.

Let’s look at the top 6 adverse effects of smoking and some smart ways to quit smoking.

Top 6 Effects of Smoking on Bodybuilders

Smoking Breaks Down Your Bodybuilding Effort

At the time of smoking, the inhaled carbon monoxide combines with the blood’s haemoglobin. It prevents your muscles from getting the required oxygen to use for energy.

The reduced level of oxygen makes your lungs less efficient by limiting their capacity to work. This means that due to a lower level of oxygen, your muscles tire quickly.

Smoking Impacts Your Breathing

The tar released from cigarette smoke generates more phlegm than a non-smoker. This gets lodged in the airways and makes breathing laboured. Because of loss of breath, you can’t continue exercising for a longer period.

Your ability to carry on longer workouts or high-intensity routines gets impaired due to your habit of cigarette smoking. This loss of stamina forces you to cut down your muscle-building efforts, limit the number of repetitions you can do, and abbreviate the time you spend developing muscle.

The outcome – way more effort being put for a small impact in bodybuilding.

Smoking Lowers Testosterone Levels

For “Manly” shape and looks, a healthy testosterone level is a must. It helps in building muscles. Smoking actually kills the cells which generate testosterone within the body. The healthy levels of testosterone drop down due to smoking.

Lower testosterone leads to a higher concentration of estrogen. This hormone has the ability to decimate your bodybuilding efforts. This is done by adding fat to the least expected areas like the chest and abs.

Smoking Forces Your Hearts to Beat Faster

It is an ascertained fact that a smoker’s heart beats an average 30% faster than a non-smoker. So, it tires out speedily. During their workout sessions, bodybuilders require more energy so their heart needs to work harder to attain adequate blood circulation.

Increased heart rate can be a reason for increased blood pressure as the heart muscles are not able to get adequate oxygen-rich blood. So, your body starts producing lactic acid which is the main reason behind the burning feeling in your muscles. Due to this, the intensity of your workouts decreases dramatically.

Smoking Restrains the Self-cleaning Mechanism of Lungs

The presence of toxic particles like tar in cigarettes gets in the way of your lungs’ natural cleansing mechanism. It lets other contaminants collect and stick on it which gradually accumulates and diminishes airflow.

As your lungs are not able to perform at the optimal level, the muscle starts starving for oxygen. It ultimately affects your physical performance and reduces your stamina. Because of all this, you build less muscle as compared to a non-smoker.

Smoking Makes You Insulin Deficient

Insulin is very important to achieve your bodybuilding goals. Insulin gives a signal to the muscle cells to absorb glucose that is unused in the bloodstream. When you smoke, it makes you insulin resistant. As a result, your muscle cells aren’t able to absorb glucose from the blood.

So, while your bloodstream may have a lot of glucose, you still lack the energy to continue the workouts. Additionally, since glucose cannot be absorbed properly, it prompts a fat deposit around the stomach reason. These two triggers play havoc with the bodybuilder’s resolve to have a fit appearance.

How to Quit Smoking?

If you have thought about quitting smoking, you will find that it will be a smart move to accelerate your health and bodybuilding efforts. It will also prevent the onset of life-threatening conditions like cardiovascular disease and cancer. It is better to quit as soon as possible so that your body can recover and repair itself.

Smoking Cessation Strategies

You can talk to your doctor and get knowledge about smoking cessation programs or tools as a way to quit smoking.

You can get connected with e-cigarettes to quit smoking. E-cigarette smoking or vaping is less harmful than smoking regular cigarettes. Since there is zero tobacco, vapers can see the logic in transitioning from a cigarette to an e-cigarette. Plus, they get to control the level of nicotine intake with an e-cigarette.

Behavioural therapy such as individual counselling is also helpful to quit smoking.

Another viable alternative is to manage cravings by diverting your attention to another area when the cravings strike. By staying busy with other activities or chewing gum or candy, you can take your mind off the thought.

There are prescribed medications to reduce the urge to smoke. But before taking any medicines, it is wise to consult your doctor.


Smoking not only slows down your bodybuilding efforts but also leads to weight gain and lower cardiovascular health. These completely reverse your efforts to maintain a fitter body. Smoking gives a momentary high but the side effects limit your stamina.

Why undo your months of bodybuilding work for a harmful item? Make sure to make your mind work hard in its resolve to stay away from cigarette smoking. This will help you achieve a state of total control over your mind and augment your bodybuilding efforts too.

Author Bio:

Lynda Arbon is a passionate and enthusiastic health blogger. She likes keeping herself updated on health trends and blogs. Her favourite pastime is learning history and solving crossword puzzles. Follow her on Twitter.