It goes without saying that E-cigarettes are widely championed nowadays as a healthy alternative to poisonous tobacco cigarettes; vape pens allow users to mimic the feeling of smoking without inhaling all the nasties that come in a regular cigarette (rat poison, tar, we could go on…)

However, what is less widely recognised is the fact that recent studies suggest that e-cigarettes are actually a great way to get ripped.

(Yes you read that right!)

If you’re a body builder/fitness enthusiast reading this, you probably know the main components of achieving a lean (aka ripped) physique.

You have to eat clean and train hard; essentially this means lifting heavy, eating a diet high in protein and relatively low in carbohydrates and – depending on your individual plan/goals – incorporating some cardio into your routine.

It’s well known that you can’t out train a bad diet; even if you’re doing all the right exercise, for bodybuilder abs your nutrition needs to be on point.

Diet is 70 percent of the battle (compared to 30 percent exercise) and this is where the benefits of nicotine in a vape pen come into play.

Nicotine as an appetite suppressant

One of the reasons people are unwilling/afraid to give up smoking cigarettes is due to the fact that research suggests giving up nicotine will lead to an increase in their appetite and hence, weight gain.

Nicotine in e-cigarettes acts in exactly the same way, therefore those who are afraid of giving up smoking in case they gain weight (especially those for which bodybuilding is a lifestyle) can instead move to vaping and achieve the same effect.

Scientific Proof

A recent study undertaken by Yale School of Medicine determined that inside the brains hypothalamus (centre of the brain which controls appetite amongst other things) there lies a particular nicotine receptor which reduces appetite and therefore encourages less consumption of food. The study was done by Dr Marina Picciotto, a professor of pharmacology and neurobiology at Yale School of Medicine, and was done using laboratory mice.

Dr Picciotto said “We found that nicotine reduced eating and body fat through receptors implicated in nicotine aversion and withdrawal rather than reward and reinforcement.”

As well as reducing appetite, there’s also evidence to suggest that body fat is reduced due to the effects of nicotine in other ways.

Firstly, it causes increases in metabolic rate and thermogenesis, hence causing increased caloric expenditure and the more calories burnt, the more likely fat loss.

Secondly, nicotine has an effect on the pancreas which causes reduced insulin secretion; without ample insulin, the body is forced when working out to draw upon fat stores for energy.

Should all body builders take up vaping, then?

Let’s get something straight –  in no way are we saying non-smoking body builders should begin vaping to try and reap the benefits for their physique – what we’re saying is smokers would do well to switch to e-cigs and potentially notice some positive changes in physique as a bonus.

Obviously the fact that nicotine has these positive effects on fat loss and appetite reduction make it an attractive choice for some bodybuilders, and an e-cigarette is a much better choice than inhaling the aforementioned nasties you get in a poisonous tobacco cigarette.


If you’re using e-cigarettes as a bodybuilding aid and appetite suppressant, then you must ensure to still take in enough calories; without adequate calories your body will be in a deficit and this will negatively impact on your training and ability to grow muscle. Balance is key here!Conclusion

In conclusion, Vaping is a much better choice for bodybuilders than smoking is and nicotine does seem to offer some benefits with regard to body fat reduction.  However, it’s also vital to remember that body fat reduction can be achieved in a number of different ways, and more research still needs to be done into the relationship between nicotine and fat loss before we can say anything for certain.

Chris Polenski
Chris Polenski