We want to explain to you which substances in snus contribute to performance enhancement and how they affect physical abilities.
Snus Performance enhancement: What effect does snus have in sports?
Snus has been used for quite some time by some amateur athletes and also professional athletes as a performance enhancement product. The term snus is used for tobacco mixtures for oral use, which originally come from Scandinavia and are widely used there.
Although its sale is considered illegal in many European countries (except Switzerland and Sweden), its consumption is not affected and even in professional sports, snus is not classified as an illegal doping substance. We want to explain to you which substances in snus contribute to performance enhancement and how they affect physical abilities.
What ingredients are in snus?
Snus is a mixture of salt, flavourings, water and ground tobacco and is placed under the upper lip when consumed and consumed until it loses its taste. Since snus contains tobacco, it also contains nicotine, which is found in the tobacco plant. The snus nicotine content depends on the brand, particularly strong products can contain up to 45 mg/g of nicotine.
The salt in the snus ensures better absorption of the tobacco. It is absorbed by the body through the mucous membranes in the mouth and ultimately reaches the brain through the blood, where it triggers a series of reactions. How long the effect lasts depends on the strength of the snus and how long the tobacco mixture is kept in the mouth.
Effect of snus on the body and mind
One of the reasons why some athletes reach for snus before training is because of the effect of tobacco on the body , or rather the effect of the nicotine it contains. When nicotine enters the brain, the reward center is activated and our body releases more of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine improves the communication of nerve cells and spreads positive feelings.
At the same time, nicotine also increases adrenaline, which means that our blood pressure and pulse go up. So not only do we feel less nervous after taking it, but we are also more focused than before. Snusers describe it as an energizing sensation that simultaneously suppresses negative feelings such as nervousness.
Snus Performance enhancement in sports
The actual effect of snus on athletes is still relatively unexplored. Some athletes hope that taking snus will improve concentration and react quickly, while others claim that snus has no effect on athletic performance and that it is only a temporary kick.
Snus has never been a rarity among ice hockey players, and more and more professional footballers are turning to snus for a pre-match energy kick and to increase their resilience.
Legality of snus in sports - Is snus considered a doping preparation?
Officially, snus is not on the list of doping drugs banned worldwide, nor is nicotine. However, nicotine is on the watch list and could be classified as illegal in the future.
In fact, taking snus before training or playing is perfectly legal and athletes do not have to fear disqualification. As long as the snus performance enhancement cannot be demonstrably measured, and athletes do not receive a clear advantage from taking it, it is not considered doping.
When consumed, snus triggers some reactions in our body, which, according to athletes, have a positive effect on their performance. The intake helps to suppress negative feelings, such as nervousness and an increase in adrenaline release in the body. Ice hockey and soccer players in particular are known to consume it regularly before games.
However, this snus performance enhancement is not high enough to be considered an illegal doping substance, so snus is not on the list of prohibited stimulants and can be legally taken by athletes.