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What Smoking Do To Your Muscles

We all know that cigarette smoking increases the risks of many diseases such as lung cancer, heart diseases, high blood pressure, stroke and so on and so forth. Do you know that smoking also can severely damage your muscles and inhibit your quest of building a muscular body? This are the findings of researchers at the Nottingham University (NU), United Kingdom.


In a study of smokers in their sixties, the NU researchers discovered that the subject of their studies have about 25% less muscle than the non-smoker. The smokers also continue to suffer break down of muscle proteins at a much higher rate than non-smokers. Another bad news for smokers.

Although the study subjects are elderly people, the lead researcher Professor Michael Rennie said he would be surprised if this phenomenon is not common in younger smokers too.

Professor Rennie warned young, gym workout lovers who think they can carry on smoking because they are active that this health bashing habit severely decreases muscle-forming processes. So if you want to build a lean and muscular body, you should quit smoking now.


The good Professor said: "This is an entirely new finding of another damaging side effect to the body caused by cigarette smoking which was not ascertained before. Although the study concentrates on the effects of smoking has on muscles in older people, I would eat my hat if it turned out not to be true for people of all ages".


He went on to say, "Some people like the gym-rats who think they can just carry on smoking just because they still have muscular bodies are wrong. It will really mean that they can't carry on having muscular physiques in a matter of time".  Hear ye, hear ye, muscle lovers and bodybuilders.


Muscle Loss

In the NU study, the researchers measured the rate at which muscle protein was created in eight people who smoked at least 20 cigarettes a day for at least 20 years, and eight non-smokers with the same lifestyles.


They gave all the research subjects an infusion of blood with a "tagged" amino acid - substances that help form proteins. Then samples of muscle were taken from the thighs of the subjects before and after the infusion to measure the rate of muscle protein creation which helps in the daily maintenance of body muscle mass.


They found that the rate of muscle protein creation was "substantially less" in smokers, with them making about 25% less muscle protein. In otherwords, if you are a young and healthy individual who is building muscles, your muscle growth rate could be 25% slower than your non-smoking counterpart.

Easy Way To Quit Smoking

Another negative effect was that smokers had more myostatin. Myostatin not only inhibits muscle growth, it also breaks muscles down. Professor Rennie, a professor of clinical physiology said the muscle-wasting effects of smoking were particularly damaging to older people because the muscles on their thighs in particular are badly affected and they are more prone to falls and accidents and these falls could sometimes cause permanently disability and even death.


"While I am sure this phenomenon is happening to people of all ages, it is especially worrying for smokers as they get older. As these smokers age, their ability to maintain muscle is drastically curtailed”, the Professor said.


One of the main areas where muscle mass is being rapidly lost is in the thighs (quadriceps and hamstrings), which stabilizes the movement in hips, so these are too precious muscles to lose.


Senior citizens who smoke should imagine not being able to get off the toilet as their muscle mass decreases. And then once they lose more than a certain threshold they can even lose the ability to move. That is indeed tragic because they will start losing their balance and having frequent falls which could be fatal. So you gym rats, is it time to give up smoking?


How To Quit Smoking Easily

Some of you who know me may ask why am I writing this article since I am a heavy smoker for more than 30 years, right? You know something? I finally quit smoking after several attempts over the last few years.


Quitting smoking through sheer will power and dogged determination may not be effective for most people because nicotine is a very addictive drug, and especially so if you are a heavy smoker like I was.

So how did I do it? Well, I used quit smoking aids such as "quit smoking self hypnosis" and also nicotine gums. So, for the sake of your muscles, QUIT SMOKING NOW.

Best Wishes

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