Who are smelling salts for? Who should use smelling salts?

Athletes looking to reach absolute peak performance is the short answer, but in reality smelling salts are not ideal for every single sport out there.  This quick write up will clarify who should be using smelling salts. 

Salts are used for two primary reasons, pushing performance and rousing consciousness. Smelling salts provide a powerful rush of adrenaline that allows you to push your performance to the absolute max and regain focus.  However the half-life of adrenaline is only 2 minutes.  Although powerful, the effects last a few minutes per use. 

This means that smelling salts are not ideal for any endurance sports.  Long distance running, marathons, distance swimming etc.  Smelling salts (also known as ammonia inhalants) are perfect for any sport that requires short bursts of energy or focus.  The most common sports to use smelling salts are:

  • Football
  • Hockey
  • Powerlifting
  • Boxing
  • Strongman
  • Crossfit
  • Wrestling
  • Combat Sports

The potential list is much longer and we often get emails from customers trying them in sports we've never even thought of, competitive arm wrestling and pole dancing for example!

Smelling salts are used by professionals and amateurs alike.  They are not some best kept secret or only for the elite.  Over 90% of professional football and hockey players either actively use, or have used smelling salts in their athletic careers.  They are equally prolific at the amateur level, and used in training as well, not just on game days or meets. 

Smelling salts are particularly important in training in strength sports.  We get stronger by putting our bodies under new and greater stress/strain, and adapting to it.  That's what gaining strength is.  Smelling salts lets us push our bodies to a new level of strain, load more weights on the bar and squeeze out more pounds, forcing our bodies to adapt.  And it's in training that all of our strength is made, on meet days we show up to perform. 

When it comes to training for powerful performance, smelling salts should be in every gym bag.