Puffing away? Smoking is bad news for your muscles too


Working out isn’t just about lifting weights in the gym, it’s about your lifestyle too.

Fitness freaks should take note of a new study which says that cigarette smoke is directly damaging the muscles in your body.

The study, which appears in the The Journal of Physiology, says that smoking decreases the number of small blood vessels that transport oxygen and nutrients to the leg muscles.

The research was conducted by the University of California, San Diego along with the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro and Kochi University, and involved exposing mice to smoke from tobacco cigarettes for eight weeks. This was done either by inhalation or by injecting them with a solution bubbled with smoke.

Ellen Breen, the lead investigator, said, “It is vitally important that we show people that the use of tobacco cigarettes has harmful consequences throughout the body, including large muscle groups needed for daily living, and develop strategies to stop the damage triggered by the detrimental components of cigarette smoke.”

Another study had found that smokers have worse diets when compared to former smokers or non-smokers. According to the Biomed Central-led study, smokers had around 200 more calories a day, even though they ate smaller food portions compared to former smokers or non-smokers.

The study found that individuals who had never smoked had around 1.79 calories per gram of food; daily smokers had 2.02 kcal/g and non-daily smokers consumed 1.89 kcal/g.

The study was led by Jacqueline Vernarelli and R. Ross MacLean on 5,293 American adults. Dr Vernarelli said, “Smokers had diets that were high in energy density, meaning they consumed smaller amounts of food containing a greater number of calories. Non-smokers consumed more food which contained fewer calories.”