For many people smoking is a pure pleasure. Cigarettes or cigars as a stimulant to relax and unwind. About 50% of the population smokes. The assumption that there are no or few athletes is a rumor. But sports and smoking, does it fit together? No, because actually there are no arguments for smoking, neither for people who love their sport and like to do sports, nor for non-athletes. Cigarettes and cigars are not so much a stimulant as pure poison for the human body. More and more medical studies confirm this statement.

Sports and smoking - the interactions

Whether the smoking of cigarettes or cigarettes has a negative effect on strength and coordination can not be answered on a flat-rate basis. Here every body reacts differently. What is certain is that cigarettes and cigars have a negative effect on the endurance of athletes. For example, a study in which healthy subjects had smoked 10 cigarettes and then had to do a stress ECG showed that their exercise and performance had decreased by 16%. It is therefore clear that smoking has a negative effect on endurance. This also explains the fact that most smoking athletes are strength athletes and not endurance athletes. Sport is healthy, but can be aggravated by regular smoking.

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The different poisons of smoking

The question arises as to why smoking is dangerous and unhealthy. Here are three substances that cause enormous damage to the human body:

  • nicotine
  • Carbon monoxide (CO)
  • tar

But what exactly do these toxins in our body do?

nicotine leads to calcifications and constrictions of the coronary arteries. The consequences are then often bad heart disease such. As angina pectoris or even heart attacks. Nicotine enters the blood via the mucous membranes. Pulse and blood pressure rise. The fact that the pulse and blood pressure rise through smoking, the heart muscle also needs 10-15% more oxygen, To make matters worse, then let the narrows through the nicotine vessels less oxygen through. Not only in sports, but also in everyday life, this can be a real problem. Both in sports and in other daily activities, the human body needs energy and oxygen. By smoking but just these are the body in much lesser quantity available. Carbon monoxide binds to the oxygen-binding hemoglobin in the blood. This can then transport less oxygen. The result may be that your organs can not be sufficiently supplied with oxygen. tarwhich enters the human body through smoking is primarily responsible for many cancers. 9 out of 10 lung cancer patients were smokers for many years.

Passive smoking

Even passive smoking is unhealthy. When you smoke, people in your immediate environment still inhale up to 25% the toxic smoke.

health risk

Although the nicotine remains only a few hours in the body, the CO a few days, but the consequences are usually enormous. Irritations and sequelae last for months or even years, and in the worst case, can also be fatal. A study has revealed that around 1/3 of the cost of our healthcare system due to smoking.

On average, life expectancy for smokers is 7.5 years lower.

Sport helps against withdrawal symptoms

Sport can reduce the craving for nicotine according to a study (see below). The decisive factor is not the intensity, only the exercise itself seems to reduce the withdrawal symptoms and that up to one hour after the sport.

Source: Taylor AH, Ussher MH, Faulkner G. The acute effects of exercise on cigarette cravings, withdrawal symptoms, affect and smoking behavior: a systematic review. Addiction 2007; 102 (4): 534-543.


Non-smokers live healthier and longer, are fitter and more efficient, both in sports and in all other life situations. Exceptions prove the rule.

Here, too, is finally the Frequency and duration decisive for the respective effects. Nobody should be lectured here, most of them are aware of the "dangers" these days.

What experiences have you made?

Do you find all this nonsense or can you confirm that smoking z. B. diminishes your performance in sports?

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