If you are interested in or participate in sports, you’ve probably seen some people using smelling salts. Smelling salts are more than just some hyped-up superstitious magical wonder for athletes. They are proven to have results. So when sports greats like Muhammed Ali, Tom Brady, Alex Ovechkin, and Peyton Manning have all been seen using them multiple times, there has to be something to them. Let’s take a look at what smelling salts are and whether they’re safe.
What are they?
Smelling salts, also known as ammonia capsules, are simply a combination of ammonium carbonate and perfume to improve their scent. To use them, you inhale them as the name suggests. In World War II, the British Red Cross ensured smelling salts were a common addition to first aid kits. Why? Because the concentrated ammonia scent increases consciousness and alertness. When smelled, they trigger your inhalation reflex and improve the way you breathe.
Do they work?
As mentioned earlier, smelling salts are used by many athletes. Their main uses are to increase alertness and reduce the feeling of faintness. The irritation initially sparked in the membranes of the nose and lungs can cause a slight increase in energy and strength. These initial reactions after inhaling smelling salts are caused by the increase in heart rate as your breathing rate increases. With all of this happening simultaneously in your body, it’s no wonder you have a sudden surge in energy!
Are they safe?
This brings us to the big question, safety. Smelling salts do have their disadvantages, but only when used incorrectly. Athletes tend to use a higher concentration of solutions and capsules before games or events, such as just before a round of weightlifting. When inhaling, you should hold them at least 3 to 5 inches away from your nose to avoid burning your nasal cavity. Overuse of smelling salts can also lead to some adverse health conditions such as headaches and head and spinal injuries due to violent head jerks. Always use smelling salts in moderation to avoid these side effects. When used properly and as intended, smelling salts can be an effective advantage to any athlete.
Should you use them?
Consult with your coach or trainer before taking the plunge. Overall, smelling salts are a non-threatening substance, but they need to be used properly. You need to pay attention to how much you’re using and when you’re using them. A coach or trainer can help you make the best decision for your sport.
If you want to add smelling salts to your workout or sports activity, check out our selection at House of Gains. We carry several safe and effective smelling salts that provide an instant boost of strong and long-lasting alertness!