Snus and sports performance

Snus is an orally consumed form of tobacco which is smokeless and contains more nicotine per portion than a single cigarette. It is typically placed between the gum and upper lip at the front of the mouth. Traditionally produced in Sweden among other Scandinavian countries, snus has become much-hyped in the sports world, with an increase in its use over the past decade by several well-known athletes. This is mainly due to anecdotal evidence which suggests that nicotine increases performance capability, particularly if the athlete is/was a smoker. Here we look at the recent hype to find out why snus has become a favourite for some athletes. 

Snus in Football 
Perhaps one of the most highly publicised cases of snus use in sports is in British football. Noted footballers such as Ashley Cole, Charlie Adam, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Jamaal Lascelles, Victor Lindelof and Jamie Vardy have all admitted to taking snus, often in the form of a nicotine pouch to be placed under the player’s lip. Despite the Football Association’s (FA) attempt to restrict and reduce its use (snus is on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s watch list despite not being banned), snus remains a popular form of nicotine intake due to its quick and long-lasting effect. In fact, some players don’t just resort to using snus as a means of relaxation, but they take it on the pitch during a game. 

Most stimulants are banned and restricted for athletes, with the exception of nicotine. Along with caffeine, nicotine (of which snus is made of) is one of the most widely taken psychoactive substances on the planet. Although nicotine isn’t primarily associated with performance enhancement, it has been understood to improve alertness and coordination which in turn improves cognition and motor skills. This is mostly because nicotine intake increases the user’s heart rate and blood pressure. Studies have shown that snus — along with other forms of nicotine use — is used by individuals with a nicotine addiction to feel “normal”. This in turn may improve levels of sports performance by maintaining an “allostatic state” (achieving stability). Although research into the effects of snus in sports are mostly inconclusive, there have been several studies into snus’ effects on cardiovascular response. Some noted no difference; some noted a difference. 

So why do sportspeople take snus? In general, smokeless tobacco was introduced by Scandinavian players into the UK football scene, where they are used both to relax whilst satisfying a nicotine craving. For snus and other associated products, visit SnusDirect to get more information about the product as well as the possibility to purchase it yourself. They also provide worldwide shipping.

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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