When smoking began its inevitable decline due to social pressures the lungs of the world inhaled a collective sigh of relief. But as what typically happens when a forced displacement occurs technology began to build a "better" device which would cut the carcinogen values, and vaping was born.
So then, does vaping affect cardio? While vaping is still in its overall infancy there haven't been many studies that show a large beneficial or detrimental effect to cardio activities. Current understanding is that it increases oxidation but less than standard tobacco smoking would, this would mean there is some detrimental possibilities.
This study from NIH(1) explains that while the overall effects were less than tobacco smoking it wasn't as low as non-smokers. This study also calls out that much more research is necessary as to the effects of electronic cigarettes, vapes, on your bodies circulatory system.
Looking into vaping and your cardiac system yields some pretty surprising results currently where, unlike with tobacco smoking, there appears to be far less issues with your overall cardiovascular system when you choose to vape.
Does vaping affect your ability to run? Yes your system is impacted more than if you were a non-smoker but in a much smaller way than a similar tobacco smoker would have. This will mean it is good for you to run but note that you will have increased cardiac functions like heart rate and blood pressure over a non-smoker.
So while it is immensely better at this point than smoking a cigarette you will have an impact to your system. This doesn't mean you shouldn't but it does mean you need to weigh your goals against your wants to decide whether you want to vape.
Versus a non-smoker running will be harder on you as your body will have a decreased lung function and if you recently vaped your body will be working to clear out the materials from the smoke from your lungs.
The increase in heart rate and blood pressure will make it harder to maintain faster speeds for longer distances without the chance of becoming winded and having to stop and take a breather.
This will definitely be an additional stressor on your body and could have other unintended results, it would be good to speak with your doctor prior to any hard cardiac exercise if you are concerned about your vaping.
Since it can impact your lungs and your cardiovascular system it is very possible that it will impact your stamina, especially on heavily cardiac based activities.
Can vaping affect your stamina? Since the nicotine it contains constricts the blood vessels it will definitely impact your performance and stamina. Though many have been quoted as stating stopping 45 minutes to 2 hours prior to exercise they see no ill effects this is not available in study data for validation.
If you are wanting to maximize your stamina then you would really want to look at avoiding vaping overall, but if you choose to vape then it may be more useful to remove the nicotine and just have the vapor and taste without the nicotine as it is the main cause of oxidation in your system.
Vaping is shown to increase lung inflammation which can lead to issues with overall capacity to hold oxygen and use oxygen,
Here is a a study that was published in 2016 that reports on nicotine-containing vaping products trigger lung inflammation and lung tissue damage. In addition COPD development is also heavily associated with these effects.
Nicotine is a highly addictive chemical which makes is dangerous but its secondary effects are tied to cardiovascular issues with increased heart rate and blood pressure.
Nicotine in a vape is the same as from a tobacco cigarette but does include less additional chemical additives. This does typically make people believe it is much safer than cigarettes but the science to show that aren't complete and what has been done just shows a lesser effect than cigarette smoking.
Researchers, in this study, found that inhaling a vapes e-liquid minimized blood vessel dilation and also increased the levels of C-reactive protein contained in the bloodstream.
Together, these effects can lower your VO2 max and this can have negative effects to your workouts if you are pushing hard.
Whats interesting is in this paper I read, actually shows no real issue or deviation in results when using a non-nicotine based vape device, so the issues with VO2max would be possibly linked only to the inclusion of nicotine into your vape causing the issues.
While the effects of vaping do appear to be overall negative the one large benefit that it shares with tobacco smoking is that it can help with weight loss.
Does Vaping Make You Gain Weight? Vaping will typically help you maintain or lose weight due to the effect of causing you to snack less instead substituting vaping for this snack period, this leads to less calories in intake and weight loss.
Now this doesn't mean vaping will cause you to lose weight as you can overeat regardless of your decision to vape. Weight loss and gain comes from managing your caloric intake versus energy output and if you eat more calories than you burn you will gradually gain weight.
While it may seem counter intuitive where smoking tobacco would cause issues with lungs and long term exercise much of the information available shows that it may help athletes to control their appetites, relax, and workout harder.
According to American Football International they have positive effects from improved cardio, stamina, energy, mood, and weight control. This would seem to be backwards from its tobacco smoking cousin, the standard cigarette.
While knowing you may have cardio issues from vaping many look to lessening their vaping around their workouts instead of quitting it overall. As to this they wondering how to improve their lungs after vaping.
If your intended results are to perform a cardio workout like running or other workout then it appears quitting an hour to two hours prior may remove most of the issues which can be caused by vaping.
I couldn't find any real studies which discussed this in depth but the anecdotal data from a great volume of vapers is available online in forums, Reddit, quora, and similar sources.
Most people assume that vaping is a better choice alternative to smoking and perfectly fine before or after a workout. The problem with this thinking is that while the vapor in e-cigs is much more kind on your lungs, it does nothing about the nicotine contained.
Lets get this out there in the open, the nicotine is just as detrimental to a good, solid workout as the smoke. This is multiplied and can be even more hazardous to you if the e-liquid you are using contains a higher nicotine level.
Nicotine is a stimulant, this means it is going to make your heart beat incredibly more often and much faster than it regularly would. During a workout this is bad and unwanted because it is going to cause you to burn through your energy quicker than normal.
This same issue applies to you after a workout also. If you are vaping after your workout, you are preventing your body from properly cooling down. You may feel relaxed due to the vaping, unfortunately, in reality the nicotine is actually preventing your body from resting and recovering.
Nicotine also reduces the overall levels of oxygen contained within your blood. Your muscles desperately need high levels of oxygen after your workout to maximize their growth. If you are vaping after a workout, you are reducing your possible gains from your session.
While smoking cigarettes is on a huge decline the vaping industry has been exploding in popularity and this has led many to want to understand their health impacts from vaping.
Unfortunately, like with cigarette smoking, the data comes slowly and over a great length of time. There is only around ten years of real study time from the release of vape pens in the US in 2006.
Then you have issues with people who have got really sick from additives put into the vape juice and the popcorn lung makes me worry there is more health issues possible than what is stated publicly, very much similar to tobacco companies burying data.
If you choose to vape they do seem to be much more healthy than tobacco smoking is which is a positive, but this is still worse in performance than a non-smoker. So when you are looking to decide to vape you need to know your goals as you may be making them virtually impossible.