If you’re a keen runner or you’re looking to get started with running in order to improve your health and fitness, it’s important that you think about the health of your lungs and heart and how vaping may affect them when combined with cardio exercise.
The NHS has suggested that vaping carries “a small fraction of the risk of cigarettes” as vaping equipment doesn’t produce tar or carbon monoxide which are two of the most harmful elements in tobacco smoke. However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take a closer look at how vaping may affect your cardio performance and overall health while running.
Does vaping affect cardio?
Vaping is often hailed as a less harmful choice than smoking when enjoying cardio activity thanks to the lack of tar production in the lungs. If you’re changing from smoking to vaping, some runners claim that the switch from tobacco to e liquid had a noticeable impact on their breathing; without the damage of smoking, lungs begin to regenerate as the tar is expunged which can increase your lung capacity.
If you’re starting to vape without having previously smoked, however, you may find the reverse is true as any chemical substance passing through the lungs that isn’t ordinarily there carries a small amount of risk to lung rejuvenation.
Another improvement that many people claim to see as a result of switching from smoking to vaping is that systolic blood pressure declines. Systolic blood pressure is the measure of pressure on your arteries during the contraction of your heart muscle. Smoking dramatically increases this pressure.
As with lung recovery, if you already smoke and switch to vaping, you’re likely to see an improvement in your blood pressure. However, if you start vaping without previously having smoked, you could still put yourself at risk in the long-term if you take part in heavy cardio activity such as running.
Does vaping make you fat?
Many people choose to start running in order to lose weight as well as improve their overall fitness. However, stories of people who have switched to vaping from smoking gaining weight can often be off putting to those who are considering making the switch themselves.
The simple answer is no, the act of vaping doesn’t make you gain weight. Stopping smoking, however, can cause you to gain weight. This weight gain is down to your nicotine intake. Nicotine is a natural appetite suppressant which can lower your insulin levels and increase your metabolic rate. When you’re smoking nicotine, you therefore don’t feel hungry, don’t crave sugary foods as much, and have a heightened metabolic system.
If you stop smoking suddenly, the lack of nicotine in your system will likely reverse causing you to have a much bigger appetite, seek out sugary foods and have a slower metabolic system which causes you to gain weight.
Those who find they gain weight when they switch from smoking to vaping are likely choosing e liquids without any nicotine; this causes the body to experience the reversed effects of nicotine which can contribute to weight gain. If you choose to vape nicotine, chances are you’ll either maintain your smoking weight, or depending on the nicotine strength you choose, you could stand to lose further weight.
Does vaping have calories?
Often, weight gain concerns arise from the fact that e liquid does contain calories. While there are some calories in vaping, they’re pretty negligible (around 3-5 calories per ml). There’s much debate around whether you even absorb these calories as they pass through your lungs. For those with type 2 diabetes, many experts claim that vaping hasn’t been shown to have any effect on blood sugar levels.
So, what’s the verdict?
Switching from smoking to vaping is likely to help improve your running performance as you may see benefits such as increased lung capacity and reduced blood pressure and most likely won’t be putting your body at risk of unhealthy weight gain. Always make sure that you consult a healthcare professional before making lifestyle changes that could impact your health.
Looking to quit smoking?
Your running performance stands to benefit from quitting smoking, but if you’re worried about reducing your nicotine intake why not consider our nicotine salt e liquid to keep nicotine in your system without the tar and carbon monoxide of smoking.