You've started vaping, but naturally, you still have a few questions unanswered. One of these could well be how does vaping affect cardio? We all know that smoking does you no favours with regards to exercise and sports performance, limiting your cardiovascular fitness. Yet vaping is so different from smoking that it doesn't necessarily mean that they both affect your body in the same way.
Vaping and Cardio
At this point, vaping is still a bit of an unknown in several respects, so unfortunately it's not definitively known how vaping can impact your fitness. This is particularly true of long-term effects, as it simply hasn't been around long enough to do that kind of study. So, what we're left with is anecdotal evidence. While these kinds of accounts should be taken with a pinch of salt, they shouldn't be ignored either if lots of people are saying the same thing; that their cardio has improved after giving up smoking for vaping.
Many vapers report that their running, swimming and cycling times have all improved, as well as being able to perform better during sports, in the gym and more. This isn't to say that vaping is better for your cardiovascular fitness than not vaping, because obviously the ideal would be not to put anything into your body that shouldn't be there. When compared to the effects of smoking, though, vaping seems a great alternative.
Is This Down to Quitting Smoking?
This could well be the reason why people notice a supposed improvement in their cardiovascular fitness after taking up vaping, as most of them are coming from a smoking background. While not all vapers quit smoking altogether, many significantly reduce the number of cigarettes they're smoking.
Here are some of the ways smoking can affect your body:
Causes constriction of the arteries, hardening of blood vessel walls and even blood vessel death. This prevents blood cells from getting to your muscles and organs, whether in daily life or during exercise. If your muscles aren't getting enough blood (and therefore oxygen) they won't be able to perform as well
Carbon monoxide, produced when cigarettes are smoked, displaces oxygen in the blood and prevents it going to where it's needed in the body
Speeds up heart rate, making your heart have to work harder since the vessels and blood cells aren't working as effectively
Tar and chemicals coat the lungs, causing them to lose elasticity. Increased phlegm production and bronchitis can also impact their effectiveness
These are just a few of the ways smoking can affect the body, and naturally this will have a negative impact on your cardio performance. Vaping doesn't contain harmful chemicals like tar and carbon monoxide, and, as far as we know it doesn't cause the same long-term side effects so it definitely seems like a better option if you're an active person.
I Want to Go to the Olympics
That's great, it's an excellent spectator event. Oh, you mean as an athlete? Chances are you won't reach elite levels while vaping unfortunately, otherwise we'd have seen Usain Bolt puffing out some clouds on the 100m start line. Scoring a few more goals in your local five-a-side team? Maybe. While we don't have the science to back it up yet, if vaping works for you and you see improved performance, then that's what matters!