What Are Smelling Salts

About General Information What Are Smelling Salts

Have you ever heard of smelling salts? These tiny bottles filled with a pungent aroma have been used for centuries as a stimulant and revival aid. But what exactly are smelling salts, and how do they work? In this blog post, we will explore everything you need to know about smelling salts, their benefits, and how to use them.

What are Smelling Salts?

Smelling salts, also known as ammonia inhalants, are a combination of ammonium carbonate and water. The compound releases ammonia gas, which irritates the nasal and lung tissues and triggers an involuntary inhalation reflex. The result is a sudden intake of air, which increases oxygen intake and stimulates the central nervous system.

Smelling salts were first used in the Victorian era to revive fainting women. The practice became popular among athletes in the early 20th century as a way to improve their performance. Today, smelling salts are used in many sports, such as powerlifting, football, and hockey, as well as in medical settings to treat certain conditions. Or to use as a motivation and technique to hype them up for a heavy lift.

How do Smelling Salts Work?

When you break open a bottle of smelling salts, the ammonium carbonate compound reacts with the air to create ammonia gas. The gas irritates the nasal and lung tissues, triggering an inhalation reflex. The sudden intake of air increases oxygen intake and stimulates the central nervous system, which causes the person to become more alert and awake.

The Benefits of Smelling Salts:

  • Boosts Energy and Alertness:

Smelling salts can be used as a quick energy boost, especially when you are feeling tired or drowsy. The ammonia gas stimulates the central nervous system, increases blood flow, and oxygen intake, making you feel more awake and alert.

  • Enhances Athletic Performance:

Smelling salts are commonly used in sports, especially powerlifting, football, and hockey. Athletes use them as a way to improve their performance by increasing their alertness, focus, and energy levels.

  • Helps with Fainting and Shock:

Smelling salts have been traditionally used to revive people who have fainted or are in a state of shock. The sudden intake of air helps to increase oxygen intake and stimulate the central nervous system, which can help the person regain consciousness.

Provides Relief from Sinus Congestion:

The ammonia gas released from smelling salts can help to clear the sinuses, providing relief from congestion and nasal discomfort.

How to Use Smelling Salts:

Using smelling salts is straightforward. Open the bottle and hold it a few inches away from your nose. Take a deep breath in through your nose and hold it for a few seconds. Then, exhale slowly through your mouth. You should feel the effects within a few seconds. 

  • Precautions:

While smelling salts are generally safe to use, they can cause some side effects, such as nausea, dizziness, and headaches. People with asthma, respiratory problems, or heart conditions should avoid using smelling salts, as they can exacerbate their conditions. Pregnant women and children should also avoid using smelling salts. It’s not uncommon for people to bring things like this to the gym. It’s one of the many tool’s that are used for boosting your performance.


Smelling salts are a quick and effective way to increase energy, focus, and alertness. They are commonly used in sports and medical settings but can also be used as a general stimulant. However, they should be used with caution, and people with certain health conditions should avoid using them. If you are unsure about using smelling salts, consult your doctor or a qualified healthcare professional.

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