Ten out of 12 subjects cycled for longer with NIC administration, and this resulted in a significant 17 ± 7% improvement in performance (P < 0.05). No differences were observed for perceived exertion, heart rate or ventilation. There were no differences in concentrations of plasma glucose, lactate or circulating fatty acids. In the absence of any effect on peripheral markers, we conclude that nicotine prolongs endurance by a central mechanism. -Experimental Physiology
MY COMMENT: I wish I'd taken a look at nicotine and exercise as a grad student masters thesis. I just spent a couple of hours researching the negative effects of smoking on running when I stumbled onto this study. Apparently nicotine increases sweat response at the same time it increases production of vasopressin, an anti-diuretic hormone. In other words, you produce less urine. That could be beneficial to marathon runners.
Nicotine was found to increase vasopressin secretion by all three routes of administration -J of Physiology
Slapping on a 7 mg patch sounds easy, but may not be for everyone.
"All subjects commented on the ‘side-effects’ they experienced overnight after applying the nicotine patch; these included increased heart rate and reduced appetite, headaches and nausea, restless sleep and vivid/bizarre dreams and feelings of having a hangover when they arrived for testing; most subjects reported that these symptoms disappeared once they started exercising"
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