Smelling salts are used for a variety of different purposes. It is used to keep people from fainting, to awaken unconscious people, and to wake up or give maximum alertness and focus to athletes such as powerlifters, strongman competitors, and football players.
Smelling salts are also known as ammonia inhalants, and the active ingredient is ammonia carbonate. Ammonia carbonate is also found in some brands of cough syrup to relieve bronchitis, and in smokeless tobacco. In case you were wondering.
Does it Actually Help You Lift More Weight?
Yes. It can help you lift more weight, but it doesn’t magically make you stronger. Smelling salts work by giving you a sudden jolt of alertness and focus like nothing you’ve experienced before. Sniffing ammonia inhalants right before attempting a PR will hype you up, give you confidence, and put you in the zone. A lot of lifters report setting new PRs after sniffing this stuff. I can attest to this as well.
If you’ve ever watched a powerlifting competition, ammonia inhalants are a pretty common thing, especially among elite lifters and veteran lifters.
Are Smelling Salts Dangerous?
Smelling salts are generally considered to be safe, although they can upset your mucous membranes and burn your nasal passages if you get a very strong whiff, or use them too often. Ammonia inhalants are typically not used on a regular basis. Most lifters only use them when going for a PR.
Which Smelling Salts Are Best For Powerlifting?
Smelling salts typically come in capsule form, and are usually good for one use. You snap the capsule to activate it, and throw it away after you’re done. I have personally had success with saving a used capsule in an airtight prescription pill bottle and used it multiple times without it losing its potency.
You can also buy it in little bottles, the most popular example is Nose Tork. This will give you many uses. We’re talking several months here. Some people report using one bottle for up to a year.
Which option is cheaper? If you are simply throwing the capsules away after each use, the bottles are going to be the cheaper option. But if you’re saving the capsules in an airtight container and reusing them, that might be the better option.
As far as which brands are the best…ammonia carbonate is ammonia carbonate. Get whatever is cheapest and has good reviews.