Do Zyns kill your gains? In this article we will address whether comfy lip pillows affect your gains in the gym and the track. So buckle up, this might not be the news you want to hear.

Zyns have breached public consciousness to become a phenomenal success in their own right. The famous nicotine pouch is a meme. Many influencers and meme makers have begun to make content lionizing this brand.

Many public figures have praised the effects of popping double-deckies. From its potent nootropic benefits to appetite suppression to performance enhancement, even prominent athletes have even been caught popping Zyns. 

Zyn has, in fact, become so popular that many meme pages devoted to the brand and even its own popular cryptocurrency have popped up.

Traditionally, cigarettes and cigars were the most common ways to enjoy nicotine. Soon, vaping began to eat into cigarettes’ market share among younger demographics. Both methods caused dramatic dips in athletic performance, coating the lungs in multiple harmful chemicals – aside from nicotine’s own unwanted side-effects.

Now, with the rise of nicotine pouches – and Zyns leading their surge – athletes can enjoy nicotine with no immediate repercussions, right?

Well, not is all as it seems.

The Good

do zyns kill your gains

I am going to play Devil’s advocate here, but there are some clear benefits to nicotine consumption in pursuit of your fitness goals. 

Before you shoot the messenger, nicotine proved a very useful tool in my fat loss and entrepreneurial journeys. 

Let’s dive right in.

Appetite Suppression

As we referenced in our article on vaping and weight loss, nicotine in Zyns is a potent appetite suppressant. There’s a reason why super skinny supermodels are famed for championing the C diet – cigarettes, coffee, (and cocaine, optional). 

The reason being, when you’re in a calorie deficit, your body will begin to release ghrelin which will signal to your brain that you are hungry. This is because your total energy expenditure exceeds consumption. Fat, in more primitive times, is an emergency store. Your body WANTS to survive as long as possible. Therefore, being in a calorie deficit is unpleasant. Nicotine takes the edge off hunger pangs making it easier to remain in a calorie deficit until you reach your fat loss goals.


Nicotine is also a stimulant. Popping a zyn when you’re low energy before an intense workout can help drag you over the line. It can help you make it to the gym on a cold wintry morning when you want to lie in. Nicotine can also give you an edge for lifting more weight in the gym in conjunction with a caffeinated pre-workout of your choice. 

Moreover, nicotine has been shown to be a cognitive enhancer in addition to a stimulant. This means you will not only be more productive, but you will also produce higher quality work. There’s a reason why creepy French philosophers of the 20th Century consumed an abundance of filtered coffee and Gauloise cigarettes – it gets the creative juices flowing, for longer.

The Bad

Appetite Suppression

Appetite suppression can indeed be a double-edged sword. It’s fantastic for those who want to lose weight, but not so great for guys trying to bulk. 

You can train as hard as you like, but without the proper nutrition, you will struggle to grow. 

As somebody who has watched tons of shows about eating disorders – both addressing overweight and underweight individuals to help me understand my own eating disorder – there is one stark commonality between the majority of underweight individuals aside from extreme calorie restrictions: consumption of stimulants, including nicotine. 

This means that Zyns can kill your gains if you’re a hardgainer.


Nicotine is one of the most addictive substances out there. Doing a few double-deckies for the memes can end up in lifelong addiction. I smoked cigarettes between the ages of 16-22 and got hooked within 4-6 weeks. Even though I went cold turkey on nicotine for 7 years, the cravings never left. 

Addiction can cause tremendous health issues to wean yourself off something that can pose health issues, in addition to frying your dopamine receptors and thus minimizing the positive effects of nicotine.

Low Energy

Biohacker on X: “Thiamine (B1) isn’t just a vitamin it’s a NOOTROPIC. Here’s how ¹) Binding to Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors – Thiamine binds to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. These are the same receptors that the drug nicotine binds to, giving it cognitive-enhancing capabilities,…” / X (

Paradoxically, even though nicotine is a stimulant, it can actually reduce your energy levels. This is because it reduces your ability to absorb vitamin B1, which is crucial for carbohydrate metabolism. 

Another issue linked to poor energy metabolism could also be the fact that nicotine is a potent vasoconstrictor which comes with a host of issues as fitness aficionados. 

Plus there’s more bad news related to Zyns and fitness. Another study found:

Evidence suggests that nicotine affects brain development and function, as well as cognitive function. According to a population-based study involving 2163 smokers who had difficulties with their attention, working memory, and ability to regulate their motivation, smoking has a negative impact on cognitive abilities4. Furthermore, tobacco use and nicotine dependence are linked to mental disorders such as impaired oral and visuo-spatial learning, mental efficiency, visuospatial recollection, and general knowledge, as well as a number of psychiatric disorders such as suicide ideation, major depressive disorder, and bipolar disorder, with a dose–response relationship between smoking and the risk of suicide and schizophrenia5,6.

In addition, tobacco smoking is a significant risk factor for cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. It reduces maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) and has a negative impact on cardiopulmonary endurance. It can cause immune dysfunction, increasing the risk of infectious diseases7.

This means that over time, your energy levels and productivity may dip – in conjunction with your cardiovascular fitness.


Pump chasers and cardio bunnies, look away now. This is arguably one of the worst immediate effects of nicotine on your gains. 

Vasoconstriction will limit your pump and attenuate recovery as less blood will be able to reach muscles during and after training. Therefore, you will have a weaker pump and a diminished ability to repair torn muscle fibers. 

Even though nicotine offers a boost in energy, cardio athletes may feel a little winded quicker due to vasoconstriction. 

From a study:

The systemic hemodynamic effects of nicotine are mediated primarily by activation of the sympathetic nervous system. Nicotine releases norepinephrine from adrenergic neurons and increases adrenal release of epinephrine (3). Sympathetic stimulation is thought to be a result of activation of nAChRs in the peripheral nervous system, such as the carotid chemoreceptor, as well as by central nervous system nAChR activation.

Cigarette smoking causes a >150% increase in plasma epinephrine and acutely increases cardiac work by stimulating heart rate (as much as 10-15 bpm acutely and on average 7 bpm throughout the day), myocardial contractility, and blood pressure (acute increase 5-10 mm Hg) (3). Heart rate and blood pressure increase regardless of whether the route of administration is tobacco-smoke or nicotine (intravenous, intranasal, chewing gum or smokeless tobacco).

Cardiac output increases as a result of increased heart rate, enhanced cardiac contractility and enhanced cardiac filling, the latter due to systemic venoconstriction. Nicotine constricts blood vessels, including those in the skin and coronary blood vessels, but dilates blood vessels in skeletal muscle. Vasoconstriction of the skin results in reduced skin blood flow and reduced fingertip skin temperature. Actions of nicotine that reduce blood flow in microvascular beds may contribute to impaired wound healing, macular degeneration, progressive renal disease and placental dysfunction during pregnancy.

Nicotine and coronary blood flow

Nicotine can decrease coronary blood flow by acting on vascular smooth muscle α1-adrenergic receptors to constrict coronary arteries, but can also increase coronary blood flow by increasing cardiac output, causing subsequent flow-mediated dilation (FMD), and directly stimulating coronary artery β2-receptor for coronary vasodilation. Thus the net effect of an acute exposure on coronary blood flow is the balance of the two actions, typically a blunting of the expected FMD increase in coronary blood flow that would be expected from the nicotine-induced increase in cardiac output and increased myocardial oxygen demand.

In healthy people smoking a cigarette increases coronary blood flow by up to 40%, but smokers with CVD show decreases in cardiac reserve and increased coronary vascular resistance proportional to the severity of their CAD (3). In patients with stable angina cigarette smoking causes silent impairment of coronary blood supply, mimicking exercise-induced ischemia. Cigarette smoking can cause coronary spasm and is a risk factor for vasospastic angina. It is unclear to what extent these adverse effects of smoking on coronary blood flow are due to nicotine vs adverse effects of smoke constituents on endothelial function.

Despite the initial energy boost, you won’t be able to run as fast for as long. 

There’s a reason why some fitness athletes choose to consume vasodilators such as L-arginine, L-citrulline and beetroot extract as preworkouts. Pump chasers can enjoy a better pump and faster recovery times; cardio aficionados can drive more blood into their fatigued muscles. 


Obviously, nicotine is widely known for being a dangerous addictive substance. But it does have its benefits depending on your fitness or productivity goals. Those fully informed on the dangers of nicotine consumption can choose whether nicotine should become a part of their protocols. In my own experience, going from 100+lb overweight to lean would’ve been significantly harder without nicotine. If you are looking to gain mass, I would strongly recommend eliminating all stimulants to encourage you to eat more calories. Runners and other endurance athletes may benefit from nicotine if they have a big appetite. 

Make sure to cycle nicotine to avoid dependence and to reset tolerance levels if you choose to consume nicotine or Zyns.