Tag Archives: amoking vs athletes

How Does Smoking Affect Athletes?

Lung Health
One of the main impacts of smoking on athletic performance is a decrease in lung function. The lungs consist of delicate membranes which are able to filter oxygen out of the air and send it into the bloodstream. Oxygen is essential for muscle function, especially during exercise, when muscles demand more oxygen. Smoking breaks down tiny hairs called cilia which are meant to prevent foreign bodies, such as dust and other particles, from interfering with respiration. Eventually the lungs become less efficient in drawing oxygen from the air, which can lead to asthma, bronchitis and other lung ailments. For athletes, this means a decrease in stamina and performance, as muscles that get inadequate oxygen become fatigued more quickly. Smokers also tend to suffer from shortness of breath more often than nonsmokers, as their muscles and heart demand more oxygen than their lungs are able to supply.