Know what’s really dumb? Cigarettes. I doubt I’ll find many people, smokers included, who will disagree with me on that one. The reasons are obvious. The product is laden with more chemicals than most people can count, is a well known carcinogen, and is highly addicting.
In Canada, all cigarette packages have full color, graphic images of people dying and shit… just in case you were too stupid to realize that inhaling the smoke of thousands of different substances was a bad idea in the first place.
But you know what’s not dumb? Nicotine.
And you know what’s really fucked up? Since nicotine is in cigarettes, and cigarettes have a bad reputation, nicotine by default has ended up with a similar reputation. That’s like blaming a German farmer in the 1940′s for World War 2.
So I’m here to tell you today that nicotine, as an isolated substance, is pretty god damn fantastic!
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My curiosity for nicotine was piqued by two distinct moments in my life: the first was when I heard about how the Japanese (the crazy bunch they are) were using it in their energy drinks. The second was during a month-long cigarette experiment I did. During the experiment I smoked regularly so I could get inside the head of a smoker to see what exactly made this fag stick so addictive in the first place. Yes, I’m crazy like that.
Needless to say, I now understand the whole “smoking” phenomenon a lot better. I’ve come to realize there are two things that go really well with cigarettes: coffee and sex. Both of which I indulge in regularly. Still, after the experiment was over, quitting came down to what I had always hypothesized – it’s all in your fucking head. If you want to do it, you will do it. And you can.
I noticed one other thing during my time with the cancer sticks. I got a slight buzz every time I lit one up. After doing some digging, the culprit happened to be nicotine.
So I decided to do another experiment, one where I would use nicotine as my stimulant of choice over caffeine whenever possible for a month. This usually meant in the mornings, before a workout and/or during the afternoon for a quick pick me up. Mind you, I still had my coffee. There’s no way in hell I’d ever give up that heavenly brew. But I wanted caffeine and nicotine to be separate from each other during time of ingestion.
Why? Partially due to boredom, partially due to curiosity, and partially due to the fact that I’ve been on the hunt for a stimulant that is awesome and cannot be banned by the nosey stuck-ups at WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency).
My delivery method of choice was smoker’s quitting gum. Also known as nicotine gum. Cost me $10.99 for a pack of 30 ($0.33 per serving), since I got mine on sale.
A few fun facts you should know about nicotine before I reveal my personal experience with it:
- There was a rumor floating around that Tim Hortons (popular coffee/donut chain in Canada) used to lace their ever-famous coffee with nicotine, which is why it is so addicting. This rumor was verified false(1), but it did get me thinking about the effects nicotine would have on my body once my gum supply was extinguished. Besides being responsible for the “buzz” you get from cigs, was it also responsible for their addictive qualities? More on that soon…
- Like caffeine, nicotine has been shown to increase heart rate in both men and women (2)(3). Logic therefore says that you should never stack the two, lest your heart may explode. Well near the end of the experiment I did just that, and I’m well and alive while I write this. Am I just one lucky case? Read two bullet points down to find out.
- Nicotine could be a potential fat loss aid since it assists in lipolysis(4). In plain English then, this means it helps break down lipids into FFA’s (free fatty acids), which can enter the blood stream, and then be used by the body for energy. Anyone that knows their shit about fat loss, knows that lipolysis is a stage that MUST occur in order for you to burn fat. If it doesn’t, fat loss is out of the question. If you’re interested, I go into more detail about the whole fat loss process in my book.
- Another interesting benefit I found was that nicotine (when stacked with caffeine) could be a good potential appetite suppressant(5). This could be of huge benefit to anyone following an extreme diet – either to make weight for a contest, or lean out for beach season. I guess it can also be useful for anyone that generally keeps their mouths open every time the thought of food enters their head.
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