Hookahs, also known as water pipes, have become popular around the world as a less harmful alternative to tobacco. However, use among athletes has raised concerns about potential consequences on athletic performance and health. As hookah has become a common social activity, it is important to study its effects on athletes seeking peak physical performance.
This article will explore the consequences of hookah use in athletes based on scientific studies and research and the opinions of experts in the field.
RESPIRATORY CAPACITY RESULTS:
The biggest point of concern related to hookah use among athletes is its effect on the respiratory system. According to pulmonologist Michael Johnson, United States, Wisconsin (2021) has expressed concern about the effects of hookah on lung function.
Although some argue that the water filters out impurities, Johnson points out that hookah smoke can contain toxic and carcinogenic substances that negatively affect athletes’ ability to breathe.
Hookah smoke contains many toxic substances like carbon monoxide, tar, formaldehyde and nicotine, which when inhaled deeply reach the lungs. This can lead to irritation, inflammation, infection and blockage of the airways, as well as chronic diseases such as asthma, bronchitis, emphysema and lung cancer.
For his part, pulmonologist Maromo Fernández Santo Domingo DN (2019) warns that “daily use of hookah will be responsible for a greater risk of chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pulmonary emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis, etc. ” Cancer of lungs and other organs.
Hookah also affects the cardiovascular system by increasing heart rate, blood pressure and blood clotting. This can cause problems like arrhythmia, high blood pressure, heart attack, angina and stroke.
Cardiologist José Luis Palma, director of cardiology at a Madrid Spain hospital, warns that “hookah use leads to a higher risk of heart attacks and strokes.”
These cardiovascular damages directly affect the health and performance of athletes by reducing the flow of blood and oxygen to the muscles and brain. This manifests itself in reduced strength, reduced speed, reduced coordination and concentration.
Effect on muscle recovery:
The effects of carbon monoxide on the blood can reduce the amount of oxygen available to the muscles, which can negatively affect recovery after intense physical exertion.
Sports medicine expert Dr. Thomas Anderson warns about the potential effects of hookah on muscle recovery. The damage caused by smoke can interfere with the body’s ability to repair and recover muscle tissue after physical activity, which can affect long-term athletic performance.
Furthermore, sports medicine expert Dr. Carlos Gomez explains that “chronic inflammation caused by hookah can hinder muscle repair processes and adaptation to training, which is essential for the long-term performance of athletes.”
Hookah smoke also affects the oral cavity, causing irritation, dryness, inflammation and infection in the mouth, gums, tongue and throat. Furthermore, it promotes the appearance of cavities, gingivitis, periodontitis and oral cancer.
Pain, bleeding, bad breath, difficulty speaking, eating, drinking, and changes in sense of taste, these are oral damages that can affect the quality of life and performance of athletes.
Dentist Juan Carlos Llodra is Executive Director of the General Council of Dentists, epidemiologist and professor at the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of Granada Spain. recommends that “hookah smokers should take extreme oral hygiene measures and visit the dentist more frequently to prevent and treat potential complications.”
For a large number of youth, hookah and electronic cigarette use is less harmful than tobacco. Dr. Mariel Pacheco warns that its high-frequency use may increase the incidence of cancers of the airways, digestive tract, kidney cancer, bladder cancer, and oral cavity cancer.
At the conference “Beyond the Lungs”, organized by the Technological Institute of Santo Domingo (INTEC) and the Committee of Medical Students of the Health Sciences Sector (CEMED), Dr. Pacheco, expert in pathology, explained that, recent studies have shown that teeth Minor connections between damage to the enamel, vocal cords and acute lung injury and hookah are evident.
Possible effects on concentration and focus:
In addition to physical effects, hookah can also affect cognitive function. Sports psychologist Dr. Laura Sanchez suggests that “some components of hookah smoke, such as nicotine, can affect concentration and focus, which can be harmful to athletes who require high levels of attention during competition.” it occurs.”
Social and Psychological Aspects:
Hookah not only causes physical problems, but it also produces social and psychological consequences for athletes. The social acceptance of hookah in some circles may increase social pressure to engage in the habit, which can have a negative impact on athletes’ concentration and mental health.
In conclusion, hookah use among athletes in the Dominican Republic presents important consequences on their performance and health in general. Adverse effects on respiratory capacity, cardiovascular health, oral health and muscle recovery are serious concerns that should be addressed.
Increasing awareness of these risks and implementing educational and preventive programs are essential to protect the long-term health and performance of Dominican athletes.