What’s actually inside the bottle?
A magic fucking genie.
Shut up. What’s inside the bottle?
Smelling salt crystals that have a super strong smell.
What do they smell like?
What are smelling salts?
Smelling salts are chemically stuffed compounds (in this case, stuffed with ammonia) used to regain an alert state of mind and/or enhance performance.
Are smelling salts legal?!
Yes. They always have been.
What do I use smelling salts for?
Use it before preparing for a heavy lift PR or before you want to nail a skill that you’re very close to accomplishing. Also good for AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible) sets. It’s also useful to help you stay awake when you’re severely sleep-deprived while driving… just to last you until the next stop where you can pull over and nap. It’s also great as a party prank: revive someone who got knocked out, someone who drank too much alcohol and passed out, or someone who you suspect is faking a faint spell to get attention. Finally, if you’re trying to get your mind off sex so you can continue to focus on other things, this can distract you well enough to transition to another place, to a cold shower, or to the start of your next task to accomplish.
How do I use smelling salts?
Whatever you do, don’t “smell” smelling salts. Instead, open the bottle and “waft” it underneath your nose gently until you feel it. You may sniff closer to the bottle opening if you want the sensation of a snake biting your brain.
So this is what you’re sniffing in videos all the time?
Yes. We call them ammonia inhalants. They come in two forms.
- Ammonia inhalant ampules: These contain a tiny glass bead with the active ingredient inside. You crush them and then sniff.
- Bottles: These contain crystallized compounds stuffed with the same active ingredient. That’s what’s in these bottles available here.
Difference between ampules and bottles?
The ampules are more convenient and ritualistic, but the bottle form is way stronger and approximately 3-6x more cost effective (depending on care of preservation, see below).
How do smelling salts work?
They activate the inhalation reflex by irritating the mucous membranes in your respiratory tract. This causes muscles that control the breathing process to perform faster. It’s a negative sensory sensation, enhancing activities of the heart and brain by activating the sympathetic nervous system. It reproduces an acute pain response, like the kind you get when you accidentally hit your finger with a hammer. This type of moment gives you a tiny, but significant boost of adrenaline. Besides the physical pain, if you recollect these types of moments, you’ll know that there is a full body response to it: an increase in alertness and an inattentiveness to most everything else except the acute pain. That’s exactly what inhaling ammonia does to your body globally: it causes a tiny, yet significant, boost of adrenaline that lasts up to a minute. However, unlike a bodily injury, you don’t have to get a band-aid, and it doesn’t swell, bruise, or hurt for hours or days afterward. There is no damage.
Can sniffing smelling salts cause a heart attack?
No more than banging your knee against the coffee table on accident.
Can you hurt yourself using it by pushing the body too far?
Yes. Smelling salts will make you say “time’s up, let’s do this, LEEROYYYYYY JENNNNNNKINNNSSSS!!!”. It can kill doubt, fear, and worry for a short moment. Your brain stops thinking and just reacts. In which case, you have a chance to act without your brain getting in the way. So, if you’re using it before a trick you’re not competent at, or before lifting heavy with a new exercise, you could very well get hurt. You might, indeed, snap a shoulder, blow out a knee, or roll an ankle, all due to the strength boost accompanying your terrible technique. So…
What’s the best way to use smelling salts for training?
ONLY USE THIS FOR THINGS YOU HAVE TECHNICALLY MASTERED
Personally, I only use it for hard things I’m good at that I want to do fucking great, or lifts I’m good at that I want to PR again in. Not a single injury of mine, zero, none of them, have ever come after using smelling salts before something. Why? Because I follow the advice I just gave you.
An exception is a skill you’ve been crashing for a long time that you are very close to (such as a flip). In that situation you’ve patterned the movement and you might just need a little boost to get your feet underneath you. Don’t use them to help overcome fear.
Will I build a tolerance to smelling salts?
No. Every whiff is like the first time all over again if you just wait 10 minutes or so between uses.
It doesn’t seem to be working anymore!
Your bottle needs recharged. Cap it tightly and wait. The crystals are aromatic and the amount of vapor in the bottle needs time to build back up. Also, the vapors like to settle at the bottom at times. Giving the bottle a shake and waiting for them to rise will help if your bottle has been used many times. If you’re like me, you’ll keep a couple bottles around and switch between the two. So while one is recharging the other is ready to go again.
It doesn’t work at all?
Improper storage can cause this: don’t keep it in the glove compartment of a very hot car. If improper storage isn’t the issue, then you’ve probably just expended the entire bottle’s worth of potency.
How often do you use smelling salts?
I would usually only use one good whiff for any maximal training session. Not everyday is maximal, so I don’t use them everyday.
I just googled it and smelling salts are ammonia derived and ammonia can be fatal.
It’s diluted, not pure. And you’re not eating it, you’re whiffing it. Stop freaking out you wimp. It’s the difference between getting electrocuted by lightning and getting electrocuted by an electric bug zapper. One could kill you or cause long term damage, the other one will make you say “OUCH FUCK” and then pull away and laugh about it afterward. You take a whiff of this diluted ammonia product, you say “OUCH WTF”, and then you pull it away and enter beast mode.
Are smelling salts unhealthy long term?
No human on the planet would sit and huff this stuff enough to start causing damage to the point where this would cause long-term health problems. You’d have to sit on a couch and just breath them in for hours, everyday, before it would cause any potential problem.
I’ve been using it since I was 18, just a few moments per week or month, on average. I’m 32 now. I am healthy, not unhealthy. To use the electric bug zapper example again, it is about as unhealthy long-term as occasionally touching an electric bug zapper for a moment. And about as addictive…
Are smelling salts addictive or recreational?
No! It fucking hurts! It does NOT feel good. It is not cocaine. You are whiffing vapors that stimulate via a short-lived acute pain response, not snorting caustic powders that stimulate via tricking out your dopamine feedback loop. One whiff hurts for 5 seconds and alerts you for up to a minute. There is no comedown or crash. In fact, it opens up the airways and helps you breathe better. It makes you feel better for several minutes afterwards (much like a cold shower makes you feel rejuvenated). That’s the opposite of a strong upper (like cocaine or meth) which makes you feel good for an hour or so, but then makes you feel like a fucking piece of shit for one or two days afterwards. It is NOT a recreational drug and it is not addictive. There’s no comedown, crash, down-regulation, or anything else associated with recreational drug use. And again, it is not unhealthy unless you’re a screwy person who just sits there for hours everyday and sniffs this stuff. That person will never exist because this stuff hurts your nose!
Ok! Smelling salts are awesome! Any other suggestions?
Yes! Finally, you’ve stopped being a shy wuss and have embraced the smelling salts! So, to get your money’s worth, store these bottles appropriately. For maximum longevity, you should put the top back on these smelling salts right after using them and make sure it is on as tight as you can get it. Also, store them between 8 and 20 degrees Celsius (46 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit), which basically means in the fridge, if possible. If you can’t store it in the fridge, don’t worry, I’m the only person I know that really does that anyway. A bottle will likely last 1-2 months or more with regular use. The most important thing is resealing it after use though. If you leave the top off for 24 hours it’s not going to be potent anymore.
No really, get you a bottle, you’ll love this stuff!