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Does Nicotine Affect Stamina?

October 08, 2023

Stamina is essential in exercise and competitive sports, improving performance and allowing for increased exercise periods and higher personal and collective results. Better stamina also has a positive impact on general health.

But we all need stamina daily. Life is a long game of energy and endurance, and sometimes, it's just a matter of getting through the day.

Plenty of things affect mental and physical stamina positively and negatively, and often, the picture is more complicated than it appears at first look.

Let’s take a peek at how nicotine affects stamina!

Does Nicotine Make Your Stamina Worse?

For fitness enthusiasts, giving up smoking is known to positively affect health, well-being, and exercise performance.

The Government of Canada details the impact of smoking on the human body. No wonder you feel better and can increase exercise tolerance if you quit.

Dropping out cigarettes includes losing harmful substances like nicotine plus the other negative impacts smoking has on the body. This can bring a tremendous competitive advantage in endurance-specific sports like long-distance running, swimming, and boxing.

But what about vaping? Vape devices also contain nicotine, so this must also affect stamina. However, vape devices typically contain less nicotine than cigarettes, and you can choose how much nicotine is in the product, reducing the effect nicotine has on your stamina.

Vapers should purchase carefully as some vaping products can contain even more nicotine than regular cigarettes.

Does Nicotine Have Any Positive Effects?

Mood Enhancing

Sometimes, nicotine can provide that essential mental uplift that makes all the difference when the body is tired.

Nicotine gives a mood-enhancing boost, which can elevate and heighten mental determination and effort because it stimulates the release of dopamine in the brain, one of the ‘feel good’ hormones.

Sometimes, we all need a boost in mood to keep us going; this might be on the sports field, or it could be to cope with a rigorous work day or stressful time.

In case you're wondering, the World Anti-Doping Agency currently doesn’t classify nicotine as a banned substance in sports. 


Stimulants are substances that increase the activity of the central nervous system and are associated with pleasurable and invigorating feelings. 

Nicotine, when inhaled, passes rapidly into the bloodstream and impacts the brain within seconds, stimulating the central nervous system. 

As a result, the hormone epinephrine is released, which further stimulates the nervous system, releasing that 'kick' which induces feelings of pleasure.

Nicotine also promotes the release of the hormone beta-endorphin, which inhibits pain, perfect for the athlete or sportsperson who has 'hit the wall.' American scientists have studied the link between back pain and the rewarding effects of nicotine on pain perception.

Improved Concentration and Agility

Nicotine has cognitive-enhancing effects, improving concentration, focus, and agility, and contributing to improved physical performance. 

Vaping before you play could make the difference to acing your game or smashing that work presentation.

Does Nicotine Have Any Negative Effects?

Lower Endurance and Stamina

Nicotine reduces coronary blood flow, which means the heart muscles receive less oxygen, so physical performance is poorer, and fatigue sets in more quickly.


Nicotine causes dehydration because it acts as a diuretic, reducing water levels in the body and increasing urine production - otherwise known as diuresis. Dehydration leads to a loss of strength and stamina unless fluid levels are replaced quickly.

Faster Fatigue

Nicotine causes an adrenaline rush - that’s why people enjoy tobacco and vaping products, as the ‘feel good’ impact can be pretty immediate. 

The problem with that adrenaline rush is that when it wears off, you may feel tired, possibly more fatigued than before. This is sometimes called ‘the crash’ after a burst of energy and focus, so there’s a payback.

Higher Injury Rates

There’s also a correlation between shorter stamina and more extended recovery periods caused by nicotine consumption. Scientists have already made this connection with the nicotine in cigarettes and smoking. 

Trying to push through when stamina is fading may lead to increased rates of injury due to reduced muscle strength and flexibility. This doesn't just affect sports people but can impact daily life if you have an active or physical job.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Vaping Affect Your Stamina?

Vaping affects stamina in a multitude of ways, both positively and negatively, so much depends on the individual and their current circumstances.

It's a fine judgment call as, sometimes, the mental boost that vaping offers can make a real difference in performance and outweigh any adverse impacts.

Final Thoughts

Nicotine affects stamina and endurance in many ways, impacting the body and the mind. Whether this is a positive or negative experience depends on the individual's mental and physical state, actions, and what they're trying to achieve.

Some people believe that the enhanced mental state brought on by a well-timed vape outweighs any adverse reactions, improving cognitive performance and providing a strategic boost when needed.

Ultimately, it's a matter of balance and down to personal choice. 

Looking for a new vape? Check out our selection at WAKA Vape!

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