Tobacco has long been considered harmful, especially when it comes to lung function and cardiovascular health, which influences users’ physical strength and endurance. With the increasing popularity of nicopods as a safer alternative to traditional tobacco products, questions have emerged about how nicotine itself may affect muscle development and exercise performance. 

So, do nicotine pouches affect muscle growth? To understand the connection between nicotine and exercise, learn how nicotine affects your body and how it relates to building muscle mass. You’ll also get practical tips on using nicopods responsibly when exercising. 

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Nicotine and Muscle Growth—What’s the Connection?

Nicotine can interfere with protein production in the cells, which is vital for muscle repair and growth. The substance reduces testosterone, a hormone essential for muscle growth, and increases cortisol, which can lead to muscle breakdown. The impact of nicotine pouches alone on muscle growth hasn’t been researched yet. 

A study conducted on smokers in 2007 showed that smoking impairs muscle protein synthesis and suppresses genes that maintain muscle mass. A 2017 peer review, however, calls for more research to establish a direct link between nicotine and its impact on muscle growth.

A 2020 study revealed that the nicotine in tobacco smoke causes inflammation and oxidative stress, both of which can hinder muscle repair and growth. 

Based on the research so far, it’s clear that nicotine can have some negative effects on muscle repair and protein synthesis. Still, we need more data on the impact of nicopods on muscle growth to draw definitive conclusions.

How Does Muscle Growth Happen?

Source: John Fornander

Muscle growth or hypertrophy happens as a response to resistance training. When you lift weights or do other forms of strength training, you put your muscles under tension, which causes tiny tears in muscle fibers.

In response, your body activates a repair process, where satellite (or muscle stem) cells fuse to damaged muscle fibers and form new ones. This ultimately increases muscle size, strength, and endurance. 

To achieve this growth, your body needs these three essentials:

Muscle Building EssentialsDescription
Progressive overloadGradually increasing the intensity of your workouts to keep challenging your muscles (e.g., by adding weights, increasing reps, or reducing rest time between sets)
Adequate nutritionConsuming enough protein and calories to support muscle repair and growth(protein provides the building blocks for muscle tissue)
Rest and recoveryGiving your muscles enough time to repair and grow between workouts. This involves getting enough sleep, avoiding overtraining, and incorporating active recovery days into your routine

How Does Nicotine Affect Exercise? 

Nicotine’s impact on exercise performance is a complex topic. While some athletes use it as a potential booster, the effects of this can be both positive and negative. Let’s see how nicotine can influence workouts and whether it can:

  1. Be beneficial for exercise
  2. Affect cardio

Benefits and Downsides of Nicotine for Exercise

Nicotine is a stimulant, potentially improving focus, attention, and even endurance during exercise. That is why some athletes use this substance to boost their physical performance.

Studies suggest that nicotine might give you that extra push during short bursts of intense exercise (like sprinting or weightlifting) and help you feel less pain while working out, so the idea of taking it during workouts or even professional competitions sounds promising.

Still, the amount of nicotine you take is crucial. While it might offer some benefits, using nicotine during exercise also has its downsides. For example, nicotine can:

  • Restrict blood flow—That means less oxygen and nutrients reach your muscles, which can slow their growth and recovery
  • Diminish your abilities in the long run—While nicotine can enhance performance, these effects are short-lived and don’t outweigh the long-term health risks
  • Lead to unwanted side effects—Overconsumption of nicotine can cause many side effects, including nausea, dizziness, headaches, anxiety, restlessness, heartburn, and hiccups
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Do Nicotine Pouches Affect Cardio?

Source: bruce mars

Yes, the nicotine in pouches can affect cardiovascular health, both positively and negatively. It can increase heart rate and blood pressure, which can enhance performance during physical activities like running or weightlifting. Still, this means you put extra strain on your cardiovascular system, especially during intense workouts.

Prolonged use of nicotine can be harmful to cardiovascular health and increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular problems. Since nicotine is highly addictive, over time, it can change the neural pathways associated with motor function, reward, and attention. 

If you haven’t used nicotine pouches before, it’s best to avoid them altogether, as they cause withdrawal symptoms if you discontinue consumption. It’s also advisable to refrain from nicotine pouches and other forms of nicotine if you are:

  • Underage (below 21 years of age)
  • Pregnant
  • Breastfeeding
  • Suffering from a cardiovascular disease

You should consult your doctor for personalized advice on whether nicotine pouches are safe for you.

Source: SnusBoss

How To Use Nicotine Pouches While Exercising—Can They Work Together?

If you’re a nicopod user who exercises regularly, there’s no reason you should quit either of those activities. Nicotine pouches and running or some other form of physical activity can mix together if you follow the proper usage guidelines.

Here’s what to do:

  1. Start with milder products to get used to the effects. Gradually increase the strength and duration of use as needed
  2. Limit the number of pouches used in a day and avoid using them before bedtime to prevent sleep disturbances. A 1–2 hour break between pouches is recommended
  3. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water before, during, and after exercising to prevent dehydration and dry mouth
  4. Get enough rest between workouts to avoid overtraining and allow your muscles to repair and grow
  5. Keep track of the amount of nicotine you consume from pouches and other sources (like smoking or vaping) to prevent nicotine overdosing
  6. Listen to your body and stop using pouches if you experience side effects or discomfort

Since not all brands follow strict quality control protocols, it’s best to purchase nicotine pouches from reputable vendors to avoid counterfeit products. These products can contain inconsistent nicotine levels or artificial additives that may affect your physical performance. Premium products give you a pleasant buzz without compromising your health or exercise routine.

Where To Purchase High-Quality Nicopod Brands

Source: SnusBoss

SnusBoss offers a diverse selection of premium nicotine pouches for U.S. consumers. The industry experts at SnusBoss source nicopods from the EU, ensuring pure and safe products made according to the highest standards. EU-manufactured nicopods deliver a stronger kick, have a richer flavor profile, and offer more moisture.

At SnusBoss, you can choose pouches of various flavors and strengths from the world’s leading brands, such as:

  1. ZYN
  2. Velo
  3. Killa
  4. White Fox
  5. Hit
  6. Dope
  7. Klint
  8. Skruf
  9. Thunder
  10. Snatch
  11. Kozmo
  12. Pablo
  13. Kurwa
  14. Chapo
  15. GOAT
  16. Jäger
  17. Oryx
  18. Pik
  19. Denssi
  20. Glitch
  21. Kick
  22. Siberia
  23. Roger
  24. Paz
  25. Thor

Once you select your desired flavor and strength, provide your payment and shipping info. If you select express delivery, you’ll get your package in 2–3 days. SnusBoss also offers free shipping on all orders over $249.

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How Other Nicotine Consumption Methods Affect Physical Strength and Endurance

Like nicopods, other nicotine-based products—cigarettes, vapes, classic snus, and chewing tobacco—can impact physical strength and endurance

Cigarettes

Smoking affects muscle strength and cardiorespiratory fitness. With reduced lung capacity, the level of oxygen in your blood drops, which constricts your blood vessels. This makes it harder for the body to deliver oxygen and nutrients to muscles during exercise, limiting physical endurance and leading to fatigue faster.

A study that examined the connection between smoking and physical fitness levels revealed that smokers had significantly lower muscular strength and cardiorespiratory fitness compared to nonsmokers. As smoking affects organs vital for physical activity—your brain and heart—it’s no surprise it impacts athletic performance.

Smoking also increases the risk of injury and slows healing time due to decreased blood flow and oxygen supply to injured tissues. Since it suppresses immune function and reduces the number of cells that repair the damaged tissue, smoking also impairs wound healing.

Vapes/E-Cigarettes

Vaping has similar effects on physical strength and endurance as smoking. The nicotine in vapes can increase heart rate and blood pressure but also constrict blood vessels, reducing oxygen and nutrient delivery to muscles during physical activity. 

Chemicals from e-cigarette vapor can also cause inflammation and damage to lung tissue, which diminishes lung function and can lead to respiratory health problems. Vapers tend to have:

  • Less muscular strength and endurance
  • Shortness of breath
  • Increased risk of lung infections, bronchitis, and asthma attacks
  • Chest pain and tightness

A study on U.S. soldiers found that those who vape ran two miles 27 seconds slower than nonsmokers and completed fewer sit-ups and push-ups.

Classic Snus and Chewing Tobacco

Classic snus and chewing tobacco may not require combustion or inhalation, but they still have harmful chemicals and a high concentration of nicotine, which can have detrimental effects on physical performance, such as increased heart rate and blood pressure, and constricted blood flow.

Without enough oxygen in your blood, which is necessary for nutrient delivery to your muscles, you might experience fatigue, weakness, and decreased physical endurance.

Featured image source: Anastase Maragos

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