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Table 2 Summary of the effects of nicotine on performance

From: The effects of caffeine, nicotine, ethanol, and tetrahydrocannabinol on exercise performance

WADA status: in order to detect potential patterns of abuse, nicotine has been placed on WADA’s 2012 monitoring program
Acute effect Effect on performance Nicotine dose Reference
Likely delayed development of (central) fatigue by nicotine receptor activation and/or dopaminergic pathways; no evidence of altered substrate metabolism or cardiorespiratory effects 17% improvement in time to exhaustion 7 mg nicotine patch per 24 hours Mundel et al. [93]
No mechanism proposed No effect on anaerobic performance (Wingate test) nicotine gum Meier [94]
Unclear Improvement in the degree in a real-life motor task, i.e. handwriting (more pronounced in smokers than non-smokers) 2 and (4 mg) nicotine gum Tucha et al. [95]
No mechanism proposed No effect on cognitive functioning 2 and 4 mg nicotine gum Heishman et al. [96]
No mechanism proposed No effect on speed and accuracy of motor activity among non-smokers (but improvements in smokers) 2 and 4 mg nicotine gum Hindmarch et al. [97]
Likely by the action of nicotine on cholinergic pathways Positive effects on fine motor abilities like finger tapping 2 mg intranasal West et al. [98]