What Are the Best Smelling Salts for Athletes in 2018?

A drone shot of athletes casting long shadows on the red running track, the best one leading, after some smelling salts.

Smelling salts have been around for centuries for medicinal purposes. Their use has had a revival in the last two decades with athletes and have become a very popular stimulant for professionals and amateurs alike. But what are the best smelling salts for athletes in 2018? Let us take a look and find out.

What Are Smelling Salts?

Centuries ago, smelling salts would have had pride of place in any physician’s bag and were used to revive those who have lost consciousness.

By definition, smelling salts are “any of preparations of ammonium carbonate ((NH4)2CO3H2O) and perfume, sniffed as a restorative or stimulant.” (source)

In the early 17th century, a solution of ammonia was made from the distillation of shavings of harts’ (red deer) horns and hooves. This turned out to be an ammonia salt when crystallized and when mixed with perfume became smelling salts. This ammonia salt was also used as a precursor to many popular leavening agents of today such as baking soda.

Product
Details
Our Rating
Our #1 Rated
Dynarex Ammonia Inhalants

Dynarex

Dynarex Ammonia Inhalants

5 out of 5

In the Supplements category

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  • Ammonia inhalant to prevent or treat fainting
  • These powerful ammonia inhalant ampoules, sometimes known as smelling salts, provide immediate relief of lightheadedness.
  • Crushable to open quickly and easily
HealthAmbition Stamp

Our #1 Rated

5 out of 5

In the Supplements category


Our #2 Rated
Nose Tork Smelling Salts

Crain

Nose Tork Smelling Salts

4 out of 5

In the Supplements category

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  • LONG LASTING Bottle, no more breaking Ammonia Caps
  • SUPER STRONG and POTENT professional Grade
  • Powerlifters, weight lifters, upgrade from caps to this
HealthAmbition Stamp

Our #2 Rated

4 out of 5

In the Supplements category


Our #3 Rated
Zone Smelling Salt

Serious Steel

Zone Smelling Salt

4 out of 5

In the Supplements category

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  • INCLUDES ONE BOTTLE. Highest quality Aquatic Ammonia inhalant.
  • Bottle is not activated until water is added (15ml).
  • Zone is a powder and NOT a liquid so it will not spill or leak (must add 15ml of water to activate)
HealthAmbition Stamp

Our #3 Rated

4 out of 5

In the Supplements category



Our #5 Rated
First Aid Only Pac-Kit LilsB Ammonia Inhalant Capsule

Pac-Kit

First Aid Only Pac-Kit LilsB Ammonia Inhalant Capsule

3 out of 5

In the Supplements category

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  • 20 Crushable capsules of ammonia inhalants
  • Great addition to any first aid kit
  • Perfect for standalone first aid or as a refill for a kit
HealthAmbition Stamp

Our #5 Rated

3 out of 5

In the Supplements category

How Do Smelling Salts Work?

Smelling salts are used to arouse consciousness. When released, they irritate the the membranes of the nose. This causes the nostrils to open triggers a natural reflex to inhale, thus, sending a rush of oxygen to the brain.

This is why they work so well at reviving someone after a fainting spell. When already conscious, this rush of oxygen offers extreme clarity and delivers one heck of an energy boost. For this reason, smelling salts have become popular stimulants with athletes.

Over the past 20 years, smelling salts have expanded across sport and can be seen in football, hockey and most prominently, bodybuilding.

You will see smelling salts most in powerlifting due to the immediate energy boost they offer. Lifters will most often take a whiff of smelling salts right before a big lift in order to get the very most out of their energy.

When it comes to football, smelling salts are used more as a pick me up when a player starts flagging. They allow players to remain alert and focussed. (source) Chances are, you may have even noticed some high profile players using smelling salts and not even realized.

In sports like marathon running, the use of smelling salts is documented in order to get the runner through the race.

Are Smelling Salts Legal in Sport?

Smelling salts, although a stimulant to some extent, are completely legal and safe. There are however, a couple of instances in sport where the use of smelling salts have been banned.

Firstly, their use is banned for safety reasons in boxing. It is pretty obvious really, if you are on the brink of unconsciousness and are continuously revived with the use of a stimulant, this is going to do some serious damage to the body. Plus let’s face it, if you have been knocked around so hard that you need smelling salts to think straight, that is probably a sign that enough is enough!

Secondly, most contact sports have stopped using smelling salts as a way to revive players who have been knocked unconscious. Simply because the use of smelling salts causes a natural reflex to jerk away from the source, of course this could be detrimental to a player where a neck or spinal injury is involved.

What Are The Best Smelling Salts For Athletes 2018?

When choosing a smelling salt product, the options can be endless with numerous brands and variations on offer. Smelling salts come in a number of different forms including wipes, ampules and liquid, but don’t allow this to confuse you as the difference is mostly down to personal preference.

In order to help make the buying decision a little easier, I have taken a look at the smelling salts available and have chosen 5 products to share with you today. I have listed pros and cons for each in order to help you make an informed choice.

Our #1 Rated
Our pick our #1 rated

Dynarex

Dynarex Ammonia Inhalants

  • Quality
    Quality

  • Quality
    Price

  • Quality
    Our rating

These smelling salts come from the well known brand Dynarex who are popular manufacturers of medical supplies across the world. These ammonia inhalants come in traditional ampule form and are designed to treat lightheadedness, although they are also suitable for use in sport.

They are excellently priced, actually the lowest of all the other products and are made in the USA.

Pros
Pro Smelling salts
Pro Ampule form
Pro Excellent price
Pro Trusted brand
Pro Made in the USA
Cons
Con Can cut fingers when broken
 
 
 
 

Our #2 Rated
Our pick our #2 rated

Crain

Nose Tork Smelling Salts

  • Quality
    Quality

  • Quality
    Price

  • Quality
    Our rating

Nose Tork smelling salts are one of the most potent of all equivalent products on the market. They’re aimed at powerlifters and designed to give them that boost they need to beat their personal best in the gym.

This product comes in liquid form and is therefore prone to leaking which of course can be an issue, but they are reasonably priced and made in the USA. These would certainly be the best option for those specifically looking to use them for bodybuilding.

Pros
Pro Liquid form
Pro Super potent
Pro Designed for powerlifting
Pro Good price
Pro Made in the USA
Cons
Con Prone to leaking
 
 
 
 

Our #3 Rated
Our pick our #3 rated

Serious Steel

Zone Smelling Salt

  • Quality
    Quality

  • Quality
    Price

  • Quality
    Our rating

These smelling salts from Zone come in the form of a powder which are activated when you add water. This is a good option for those who want to avoid ampules while also not having to worry about leaking.

The only downfall on this product is that it is quite weak when it comes to potency.

Pros
Pro Powder form
Pro Good price
Pro Made in USA
Cons
Con Weak
 
 


Our #5 Rated
Our pick our #5 rated

Pac-Kit

First Aid Only Pac-Kit LilsB Ammonia Inhalant Capsule

  • Quality
    Quality

  • Quality
    Price

  • Quality
    Our rating

This product from First Aid Only offers a 10 pack of crushable ammonia capsules. Intended as an addition to your first aid kit as a cure for lightheadedness, this is a quality product made in the USA.

Although this product is incredibly popular with users, it is ridiculously expensive! In fact, so much so, that you will most definitely need one to revive you after you see the price listed on your credit card bill!

Pros
Pro Crushable capsule form
Pro 20 capsules
Pro Made for first aid kits
Pro Available in bulk buy option
Pro Made in the USA
Cons
Con Very expensive
 
 
 
 

Our Pick for the Best Smelling Salts for Athletes

Although most of the smelling salts I have looked at are fit for purpose and the choice mainly comes down to your budget and preference in form, for me the Dynarex brand is the clear winner.

Not only do they come from a well known and trusted supplier, which gives you confidence in the level of quality you are buying, they are also the best priced option.

For most athletes looking to use smelling salts, they are something that you would continue to use on a long term basis, therefore, a quality product at an affordable price definitely makes it worthy of the title best smelling salt for athletes in 2018.

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