Does nicotine supress muscle growth?

Funny observation, but over the 2 weeks since I cut out nicotine I am noticing an increase in muscle growth, primarily on my arms.

It could just be coincidence, and as I've gained a bit of weight the same number of press ups etc find me lifting a greater weight but it seems surprising.

Does anyone know if nicotine can have an adverse effect on things like the hormones or proteins involved in muscle growth?

4 Replies

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  • Well, smoking suppresses the oxygen supply in your blood and constricts the blood vessels - so muscles are effectively permanently half starved of fuel.

    I would presume that anyone who excercises a lot will probably notice the difference pretty quickly. Not to mention, those that excercise a lot will be able to excercise more intensely and for longer. I'm not a sports nut or anything but even I have noticed the difference - as has Mrs StuartH! :D

    I dunno if it directly affects muscle growth, but logically it sure as hell does indirectly.

  • As someone who has always exercised on a regular basis I can honestly say since giving up those awful little sticks I can exercise for much longer and my breathing is deeper and much more even,I don't gasp for air anymore,It really has surprised me how quickly this has happened!

    I am sure smoking can and does alter muscle growth the muscle needs oxygen to function properly so lack of oxygen will probably shrink the muscle,

    I'm not an expert but I think the fact that your noticing these changes says it all.

  • So far, having spent some time googling, my hypothesis seem unlikely.

    I was thinking that nicotine as found in NRT rather than the broader issue of smoking could have an inhibiting effect on the growth of muscular tissue.

    It seems more likely that it is due improved circulation.

    As to why it seems to have happened since I quit NRT. Probably coincidence.

  • Sorry,I thought you meant Smoking.

    I surpose there are plenty of things that Nicotine can damage that we still dont know about,Im sure eventually it will all come out.

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