How Does Smoking Affect Bodybuilding?

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How Does Smoking Affect Bodybuilding?


By Team Muscletrail
17 March, 2023

Cigarette smoking is certainly one of the most destructive habits that one can have, and we can agree upon the fact that it could be considered the worst. Smoking affects all the organs in the body majorly as it is loaded with a multitude of toxic compounds in its smoke. As for how smoking affects your workout, you must note that smoking harms your ability to exercise and be physically fit. There are several ways in which smoking hurts your athletic performance. 

If you work out, then you must be aware that you are supposed to quit smoking, and even though it may sound absurd to some, it is quite a hard pill to swallow that you need to stop smoking if you want results. Without any further ado, let’s ponder upon the negative effects of smoking on bodybuilding. 

Side Effects of Smoking on Bodybuilding

Sticky Blood

The first and foremost thing that you must note is the fact that carbon monoxide and nicotine from smoking make your blood sticky, and due to that, your arteries may become narrow. The narrower the arteries, the reduced the flow of blood to your heart, muscles, and other organs in the body. During exercise, blood flow assists in boosting the oxygen supply to your muscles, and if your muscles are not able to get oxygen fast enough, your body won’t be able to work as well. 

Reduced Lung Capacity

You will surely be able to work out better when your lung capacity is good and your lungs are working at their full capacity. The tar in cigarette smoke is helpful in coating your lungs resulting in the air sacs getting less elastic. In addition to this, smoking produces phlegm, which can make your lungs cram-full. Smoking reduces your body’s ability to utilize oxygen effectively. 

Increase in Resting Heart Rate

Smoking leads to an increase in your resting heart rate. When you smoke, the number of beats per minute your heart produces when you are not being active. You must note that your heart rate could possibly rise to dangerous levels in order to perform physical activities. Moreover, it should be laid an emphasis that a heart rate higher than normal can increase the risk of death. 

Carbon Monoxide’s Negative Effect 

Carbon monoxide has a two-fold negative effect, and it reduces the overall amount of oxygen absorbed into the blood from the lungs and the amount that is absorbed into the muscles from the blood. It should be noted that any mechanism that tends to mess with oxygen transport and uptake directly interferes with energy production and, ultimately, athletic performance. 

Affects Cleansing Mechanism

The tar contained in cigarette smoke adds to airway resistance, coating the lungs and allowing pollutants to remain in the bronchial tubes and lungs. Increased phlegm and coughing, and damage to the cilia are the results. 

Decrease in Maximum Oxygen Intake

The reduction in maximal oxygen intake is also a result of smoking. Even though exercising can facilitate the increment in maximal oxygen uptake by up to 20%, smoking can cause a reduction in this effect of roughly around 10%. 



Bodybuilding requires dedication and commitment, and that is certainly the most important thing that is required in bodybuilding Smoking is a direct hindrance to your growth and fitness goals, and if you are aimed at achieving the perfect physique, you must ensure that you are not smoking or doing anything harmful to your body.

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