What Are The Best Smelling Salts For Athletes in 2017?
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 2017? 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.
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 2017?
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 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 2017.