Saturday, November 28, 2020

10 Best Smelling Salt Products Reviewed For 2020

Try one of these for a jolt of energy before your big lifts!

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Smelling salts or ammonia inhalants are used as a psyching aid by athletes to improve performance and are also commonly used to prevent and treat fainting.

These inhalants could actually be defined as aromatic spirits of ammonia since the contents also contain water and alcohol. But most products available typically have an effective dose of ammonia.

Smelling salts are commonly used by strength and other athletes to get a jolt of adrenaline before a big lift or during endurance activities. Although, research suggests some of the effects may be psychological. 

But we’ll try and explain further.

Here are 10 of the best smelling salts for 2020…

1. Crains Nose Tork Smelling Salts – Editor’s Pick

Nose Tork Smelling Salts
Nose Tork Smelling Salts

This incredibly potent smelling salt product has been around since 1993 and it’s still a top pick among users. In other words… it totally rocks! And it’s much stronger than ammonia caps/ampules. But what’s different about this specific product is that the salt contents are open in the bottle. 

So, all you have to do is open the bottle, give a quick sniff and close it immediately to preserve the potency. But be extremely careful as these types of products are very strong and you should not be too close when smelling. 

Key features

  • Open and sniff smelling salt

Makers: Crains

Ingredients: Ammonia 

Pros

  • Super potent
  • Very easy to use
  • Long-lasting if used properly

Cons

  • Contents can be dangerous if held too close to the nose

Best Price

Nose Tork Smelling Salts

Nose Tork Smelling Salts has super potency and long-lasting for professional heavy lifting.

2. Dynarex Ammonia Inhalants

Dynarex Ammonia Inhalant
Dynarex Ammonia Inhalant

This product contains several ampules that you simply crush and inhale. It’s labeled as a respiratory inhalant and has plenty of ammonia to really get you going. Take these with you to the gym or anywhere that requires you to function at your best. 

Maybe you get nervous or you feel low on energy? Crack these open and have a sniff… you’ll definitely wake up.

Features

  • Crush and inhale ammonia ampules
  • 0.33cc each
  • 15% ammonia

Makers: Dynarex

Ingredients: Ammonia and alcohol 35%

Pros

  • Convenient
  • Low-profile

Cons

  • Can irritate sinuses
  • Complaints of ampules breaking in package

Best Price

Dynarex Ammonia Inhalant

Dynarex Ammonia Inhalant is respiratory stimulation for inhalant use only.

3. First Aid Only Ammonia Inhalants (10/pack)

First Aid Only Ammonia Inhalants
First Aid Only Ammonia Inhalants

A basic ammonia product, this aromatic stimulant comes in disposable ampules as the previous product on our list, and it contains the same amount of ammonia at 15% per each ampule. The 10 pack is ideal for those who want a cheap, yet effective option.

Features

  • 15% ammonia ampules

Makers: First Aid Only

Main ingredients: Ammonia

Other ingredients: Alcohol USP, FD&C red dye #40, lavender oil NF, lemon oil NF, nutmeg oil NF, purified water USP

Pros

  • Cheap
  • Works pretty well for quick use

Cons

  • Complaints of ampules breaking 
  • Oils can irritate sinuses

Best Price

First Aid Only Ammonia Inhalants

First Aid Only Ammonia Inhalants help to prevent or treat fainting. They offer different range of tea flavors and mixtures.

4. AmmoniaSport Ammonia Ampules (25/bottle)

Ammoniasport Athletic Smelling Salts Ampules
Ammoniasport Athletic Smelling Salts Ampules

These powerful ampules are made to boost athletic performance. So whether you play hockey, football, or lift big weight, this product is a top-notch option. Take them anywhere with you and get a nice jolt of adrenaline.

Features

  • 15% ammonia ampules

Makers: Ammonia Sport

Main ingredients: Ammonia 15%

Other ingredients: Alcohol USP, FD&C red dye #40, lavender oil NF, lemon oil NF, nutmeg oil NF, purified water USP

Pros

  • Gives a nice adrenaline boost

Cons

  • Some users don’t feel the effects
  • Oils can irritate sinuses

Best Price

AmmoniaSport Ampules

AmmoniaSport Ampules is the athletic smelling slat, supports maximum strength, explosive energy, and sharp razor focus. Prevents and treats fainting.

5. Ward Smelling Salts

Ward Smelling Salts
Ward Smelling Salts

Ward smelling salts is a proud Canadian company that makes one heck of a product. Their salts come in a bottle that you simply open and sniff. But you have to add a teaspoon of water first to activate the salts, then you shake and let sit for 5 minutes before sniffing. Once it’s activated though, you can reuse it over and over again and the formula is long-lasting according to the company. 

Label states to keep the bottle twelve inches away from the nose as it’s super potent.

Features

  • Hardcore smelling salts product

Makers: Ward smelling salts

Main ingredients: Ammonia 

Pros

  • Very potent

Cons

  • Contents can be dangerous if held too close to the nose

Best Price

Ward Smelling Salts

Ward Smelling Salts design for the maximum adrenalin rush. Long-lasting formula. It unleashes your insanity.

6. Atomic Rhino Smelling Salts

Atomic Rhino Smelling Salts
Atomic Rhino Smelling Salts

Another great option for the hardcore folks, Atomic Rhino smelling salts are an open and sniff product after activated with water. From user experience, it may not be as potent as other similar products but it should still get the job done in most cases. 

Product states to hold the bottle about 6 inches from the nose.

Features

  • Open and sniff smelling salts

Makers: Atomic Rhino

Main ingredients: Ammonia 

Pros

  • Decently potent

Cons

  • Not as potent as some other similar ammonia open and sniff products

Best Price

Atomic Rhino Smelling Salts

Atomic Rhino Smelling Salts is scientifically formulated. Within seconds Ammonia production will begin and last until your workout. Easy to use.

7. Ammonia Sport Raw

Ammoniasport Athletic Smelling Salts Raw
Ammoniasport Athletic Smelling Salts Raw

This is Ammonis Sport’s most potent smelling salt product so we expect to be pretty gnarly. It’s a twist and sniff so you’ll just add a little water, shake, let sit for a few minutes then open and hit new PRs. 

Features

  • Twist and sniff bottle 

Makers: Ammonia Sport

Main ingredients: Ammonia mixture

Pros

  • Strong formula

Cons

  • Complaints of broken bottles

Best Price

Ammonia Sport Raw

Ammonia Sport Raw can be used in the gym, field or any professional disciplines. It's strongest smelling salt, gives instant sensation. Prevent dizziness and nausea.

8. Zenith Wicked Strong Smelling Salts

Zenith Wicked Strong Smelling Salts
Zenith Wicked Strong Smelling Salts

This is an ultra-potent product on the same tier as some of the best on the market. Add water to the cotton ball inside and be prepared to be awakened! Then use it several times thereafter and if it stops working, simply add more water to get the maximum effects. 

Product label states to keep salts at least 6 inches away from the nose. 

Features

  • Top-tier twist and sniff ammonia product

Makers: Zenith

Main ingredients: Ammonia

Pros

  • Very potent formula

Cons

  • Few complaints about quality

Best Price

Zenith Wicked Strong Smelling Salts

Zenith Wicked Strong Smelling Salts provide extended ammonia production while you train, strong enough for professional athletes and easy to use.

9. First Aid Only Ammonia Inhalant Ampules (100/box)

First Aid Only H5041 Ammonia Inhalant
First Aid Only H5041 Ammonia Inhalant

These inhalants are pretty basic and not much different from the other ampules. But you get 100 ampules in one box which saves dough and gives you more to use for your sessions. They’re small and convenient which is a big benefit too so you can easily tote them around.

The product also has a warning label for chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm.

Features

  • 15% ammonia ampules

Makers: Ammonia Sport

Main ingredients: Alcohol 35%, Ammonia 15%

Other ingredients: Alcohol USP, FD&C red dye #40, lavender oil NF, lemon oil NF, nutmeg oil NF, purified water USP

Pros

  • Conveniently potent for most situations

Cons

  • Oils may cause sinus irritation

Best Price

First Aid Only H5041 Ammonia Inhalant Ampules

First Aid Only H5041 Ammonia Inhalant Ampules treat fainting and dizziness.

10. First Voice Ammonia Inhalants (Pack of 30)

First Voice Ts 1401 Ammonia Inhalants
First Voice Ts 1401 Ammonia Inhalants

The last product on our list is ammonia ampules from First voice which are high quality and will definitely work to give you a nudge when you need it. They’re a bit pricey but you get what you pay for. Simply break and sniff for a rush! 

Features

  • Ammonia ampules

Makers: First Voice

Main ingredients: Ammonia mixture

Pros

  • Easy to use and portable

Cons

  • A little pricey for the quantity
  • Some users don’t feel the effects

Best Price

First Voice TS-1401 Ammonia Inhalants

First Voice TS-1401 Ammonia Inhalants prevents/treats fainting and dizziness. Pack of 30 in the bag.

How We Ranked

The product selections on our list were based on certain criteria to ensure we recommend only the best quality options currently available on the market. 

Here are the main factors we took into consideration…

Ingredients – Each product should contain an effective dose of smelling salts.

Effectiveness – This will depend entirely on the ingredients in the product but we only picked quality options from reputable companies.

Manufacturing Standards – Products should be of high quality to ensure your safety and have a noticeable effect.

Side Effects – Side effects are sometimes inevitable when it comes to supplementation which doesn’t always mean there’s something wrong with the product as one person may experience a side effect and someone else may not. 

However, products should only contain ingredients that are generally considered safe for most people with little chance of causing undesirable effects. User feedback is also sometimes a good way to determine the overall quality of a product.

Who Should Buy Smelling Salts?

We recommend only healthy individuals with no breathing problems (asthma or emphysema) use smelling salts. 

If you’re a lifter or any athlete, smelling salts may result in improved performance. Some people even go as far as to use them for anxiety and situations where nerves are high. Although, we’re certainly not condoning their use for this purpose or frequently as it’s not a proper treatment for health-related issues.

Hafthor Julius Bjornsson
Hafthor Julius Bjornsson

How Do I Pick A Good Smelling Salt Product For Me? 

Literally, any of the products on our list will have an effect on focus and alertness but product selection depends on personal preference and budget. Although, quality and effectiveness may vary based on the ingredients/dose and cost. 

Plus, you can get a good idea of an optional product for you by considering user feedback and the information we’ve provided to you about smelling salts.

Ampules are more discreet whereas the bottle is not as much, so this may also play a factor in your decision. 

Benefits of Smelling Salts 

Most smelling salts are a mixture of ammonium carbonate and perfume which contain a percentage of ammonia in combination with water and alcohol. 

These salts were most notably used to treat dizzy spells and fainting back in the Victorian Era although the Romans were supposedly the first to use them. (1

And although it’s used for the same purpose today, athletes have found smelling salt to give them a jolt before a big performance.

When you sniff the salt, it stimulates the senses through the release of chemicals into the nasal passage and lungs which causes irritation of the membranes. Well, this stimulation affects respiration via inhalation reflex and it results in increased oxygen delivery into the brain. Then your breathing rate increases and you’re more alert. (1

This explains why it’s used for fainting and preventing fainting. But as far as the effects of smelling salts on physical performance, well, this may not be as well understood. 

However, these chemicals can activate the sympathetic nervous system due to the increased heart rate and this causes a rush of adrenaline. As a result, we see increased performance. One study found that smelling salts can increase muscle activity when effective. But this isn’t the case in every situation and is by no means conclusive. (2)

Now, smelling salts can also contribute to improved performance via the placebo effect which is a purely psychological factor (It’s definitely a real thing and no one could dispute that). 

So it’s possible that sports athletes may find that they perform better after a whiff of ammonia, even if it’s not actually doing much for them. But hey… to each his own

Do Smelling Salts Have Side Effects?

There hasn’t been much evidence to suggest that smelling salts can cause adverse reactions to where it affects health. This is typically due to the small concentration of ammonia. Otherwise, large concentrations of ammonia being sniffed in excess can be fatal.

Sniffing too much ammonia can also cause headaches as you’d probably imagine. 

But it’s also recommended to keep the nostrils several inches away when smelling as the gas can cause a burning sensation. 

How To Use Smelling Salts?

There are different methods of use so there’s no one answer to this. 

Ampules are made to be snapped and sniffed but they have to be used immediately because the effects wear off rather quickly. They’re also disposable and made for single use. 

The bottles are made to be used over and over again although the potency of the content in the bottle will eventually diminish. You simply open the bottle, sniff, and then close the bottle immediately to preserve potency.

But whatever the method, always make sure to follow the instructions on the product label and never hold the salts too close to your nostrils. Keep the salts at least 4-12 inches away from your nostrils (depending on the product and label instructions) for your safety.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What are smelling salts?

Smelling salts are typically used as a psyching aid which boosts focus and alertness. It’s commonly used for fainting and even athletic performance as it can cause a rush of adrenaline.

What are smelling salts made of?

Most smelling salts are a mixture of ammonia, water, and alcohol. Although, some products may vary in the ammonia concentration.

How do smelling salts work?

it stimulates the senses through the release of chemicals into the nasal passage and lungs which causes irritation of the membranes.

Well, this stimulation affects respiration via inhalation reflex and it results in increased oxygen delivery into the brain. Then your breathing rate increases and you’re more alert.

Do smelling salts have side effects?

Smelling salt products are typically safe when used properly. Inhaling too much ammonia for too long is unhealthy and it can also cause headaches.

Always read label instructions for safe use and never hold the product too close to your nostrils as it can cause nasal burning.

Can I use smelling salts on someone to help them regain consciousness?

This is not recommended as the use of smelling salts can result in the masking of a more serious problem. It can also worsen certain injuries, especially related to the neck and spine due to the inhalation reflex.

Wrapping Up

The smelling salts we’ve reviewed today are all quality options. They’re perfectly legal and can absolutely give a cognitive boost although we don’t recommend everyone use them. Many athletes, fitness enthusiasts, or anyone looking for a mental edge can safely use these products if done properly so make sure to always read the instructions carefully. 

While smelling salts are generally safe for use in conscious and healthy individuals, you never want to get careless especially with chemicals. 

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Matthew Magnante
Matthew Magnante
Matthew Magnante is the senior writer for Fitness Volt. He has had a passion for fitness since elementary school and continues to research and learn how to build muscle effectively through training and diet. He also loves to help others to achieve their fitness goals and spread the knowledge where needed. Matthew's other passions include learning about mindfulness, strolling through nature, and always working to improve overall.

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This article was written by one of our qualified writers, and fact-checked by our experts. The numbers in parentheses (e.g. 1, 2, 3, etc.) throughout the article, are reference links to peer-reviewed studies.

Our team of experts include a board-certified physician, nutritionists, dietitians, certified personal trainers, strength training experts, and exercise specialists.