Effects of Smoking and Excessive Alcohol Intake on Bodybuilders

Both drinking and smoking can have several negative effects on one’s body. The adverse impact on one’s health may lead a person to consider or, in the best case scenario, totally quit the habit. Unfortunately, several metabolic problems emerge when long-time smokers or drinkers decided to quit the habit. In regular male drinkers, lowering the alcohol intake causes a decrease in High Density Lipoprotein cholesterol and systolic blood pressure, whereas the effects of smoking in men is associated with significant increases in insulin, triglycerides, glucose, waist line measure, and overall body mass index (BMI). Regular women smokers also experience an increase in their HDL-cholesterol, BMI, and waist circumference after quitting smoking. From this information, it is clear that it would be much better not to start smoking in the first place since it is really much harder to quit the habit than to refrain from having such an addiction.

The effects of smoking could also have an impact on one’s diet and normal metabolism. One’s diet can influence the effects of nicotine on body weight regulation. Chronic nicotine exposure results in adaptive changes in both the central and peripheral molecules which regulate a person’s eating behavior and energy metabolism. This applies especially to bodybuilders looking to put on or hold onto muscle mass. Nicotine is known to decrease body weight in individual smokers, whereas nicotine withdrawal is accompanied by increased expression of the orexigenic peptides neuropeptide Y and Agouti-related protein in the hypothalamus; and decreased expression of the metabolic protein uncoupling protein-3 in brown adipose tissues.

In relation to this, a conclusion can be made that for a bodybuilder looking to hold onto muscle mass, or get lean, there is some difficulty getting involved with smoking in the first place. In extreme cases, a smoking cessation clinic may be the best place to go. A French study was made to assess the effectiveness at one year of a hospital clinic that provides individual management of persons seeking to stop smoking and the factors predictive of failure. This descriptive study included smokers seeking assistance at this hospital clinic over a one year period. This analysis excludes people with schizophrenia and those who came only to one consultation.

All in all, however, as with everything else, the addiction to smoking begins in one’s own mind. Food, cigarettes, alcohol and various drugs can all leave a mental imprint on one’s brain, and it is up to the person to control his or her habits in a positive way in order to achieve whatever goals they have set for themselves. A bodybuilder’s life is one where extreme control must be exercised on one’s desires, if adequate progress is to be made. We need to be very careful in choosing what to put into our own bodies. But what really comes first is the necessity with being careful with what we choose to place into our minds. The effects of smoking such as bad breath, cancer, lowered testosterone, increased caloric intake from alcohol and accompanying poor eating habits when drunk, will eventually harm a bodybuilder’s health and performance.