Previous research has shown that tobacco smoking damages the cells in males that synthesize testosterone. Testosterone levels within the body govern the muscle growth/anabolic process from training.
Thus, smoking may well hinder optimal testosterone production and interfere with the body’s ability to build muscle. However, another recent study shows how smoking may impair muscle building efforts.
Cigarette Smoking Impairs Optimal Recovery From Training
This research examined the effects of smoking on exercise recovery and revealed that smoking retards the glycogen accumulation process in muscle cells. In this study, a group of non-smoking young males were compared to a group of young men that smoked 20 or less cigarettes a day.
The subject’s muscle glycogen levels before and after a bodybuilding workout was measured. Even though both groups consumed the same amount of nutrients after training, the smoker’s muscles showed a much slower uptake of carbohydrates. This resulted in significantly lower glycogen levels in the smoker’s muscles.
Muscle glycogen levels determine the intensity and results of training. Optimal glycogen replenishment is essential to obtaining the most anabolic response from weight lifting. Smoking is now thought to impair this key process.