Want To Be A Star Athlete? Start Smoking

11.28.11 5 years ago 3 Comments

The headline reads “Report: Smoking may be beneficial to long distance runners”. Some of the reasons presented?

-Serum hemoglobin is related to endurance running performance. Smoking is known to enhance serum hemoglobin levels and (added bonus), alcohol may further enhance this beneficial adaptation.

-Lung volume also correlates with running performance, and training increases lung volume. Guess what else increases lung volume? Smoking.

-Running is a weight-bearing sport, and therefore lighter distance runners are typically faster runners. Smoking is associated with reduced body weight, especially in individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (these folks require so much energy just to breath that they often lose weight).

In the discussion, [author Ken Myers] goes on to point out that:

Cigarette smoking has been shown to increase serum hemoglobin, increase total lung capacity and stimulate weight loss, factors that all contribute to enhanced performance in endurance sports. Despite this scientific evidence, the prevalence of smoking in elite athletes is actually many times lower than in the general population. The reasons for this are unclear; however, there has been little to no effort made on the part of national governing bodies to encourage smoking among athletes.

Disclaimer: This study was posted in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, so it could be completely wrong. You know how they are in Canada. Don’t start smoking and send me an angry e-mail when you’re on your knees in the middle of the hurdles throwing up your guts.

Of course, when you dig a little deeper you find out that this was written less to advocate smoking for runners and more to prove that you can prove anything with a review article. I’ve been arguing this for years. Eventually you learn that everything in recorded history is wrong and the science we’ve been raised to believe as fact has been erased and rewritten every hundred years. And people are always like, “oh, no, this is true, I proved it with a bunsen burner” and I’m like “RAHHH PEOPLE USED TO PROVE THE EARTH WAS FLAT WITH A BUNSEN BURNER SHUT UP”.

Regardless, it’s a compelling argument. Next, he should prove how eating more will boost your metabolism and help you be skinny. Yeah f**king right.

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