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Top 5 Best Smelling Salts for Lifting in 2022

Need that extra push when working out? Then these smelling salts could be just what you need to lift those weights.

The best smelling salts for lifting

Struggling in the weight room?

Don’t worry, even the strongest and most well-trained athletes experience that. But while it may not feel like it, sometimes all you need is a little extra push to finish that last set or push your PR to new heights.

And for many weightlifters and athletes, one of the ways to do that is with smelling salts.

The usage of smelling salts can be traced back to the 13th century, and while there have been some changes to the recipe in the past couple of centuries, the concept has remained mostly the same.

Smelling salts are made out of chemicals such as ammonia that have a strong scent. When athletes need an extra push, they take a small whiff of the salts and that pushes them to the next level.

But if you’re considering using smelling salts, you have to make sure that you get the right ones. That way, you can rest assured that they are safe and effective.

And in today’s market, we understand how the sheer number of options can overwhelm a lot of people. So, we’ve compiled a list of the top 5 smelling salts on the market today, where we get into why they are the best and why you should consider using them for your workouts.

Best overall

Ammonia Sport Raw Athletic Smelling Salts

92 %

Ammonia Sport Raw Athletic Smelling Salts

You won’t find that many smelling salts on the market as strong as this. One whiff of these salts and you’ll be ready to break your existing PRs. And while they aren’t great for beginners, experienced powerlifters and athletes would definitely want to give this a try.

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Our favorite pick on the market today is these Athletic Smelling Salts. The reason we chose these Raw smelling salts is that they are very strong. So, once you get a whiff of this, your body will be ready to hit the weights and break your existing PR.

This is a great option for powerlifters, but we found that it works well for other sports as well. As long as you play a sport that requires an extra boost from smelling salts, this is the best option for you.

The key ingredient in these smelling salts is ammonia. Since it’s loaded with ammonia, it instantly increases your heart rate and gives you exactly what you need. On top of that, it’s very easy to use since all you have to do is splash a bit of water in the bottle, reseal, and give it a whiff.

The effects are almost instant, which is characteristic of good-smelling salts.

The one downside we noticed with these salts is that they aren’t for beginners. While it can give you just about everything you would want from smelling salts including increased focus, these are very strong salts.

So, if you’re new to using smelling salts to help with your workouts, we recommend checking out the other options instead.

Best affordable

Crains Nose Tork Smelling Salts

92 %

Crains Nose Tork Smelling Salts

You won’t find smelling salts this strong at this price. If you’re looking for an intense boost to break your standing personal records, these salts can help you get there without requiring you to bust the bank.

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If you’re on the hunt for smelling salts on a budget, this is a great option for you. The thing about top-quality smelling salts is that they will usually cost you a fair amount of money. This isn’t great for people who are just starting out, since you probably won’t have the budget for these premium salts.

But on the flip side, most of the affordable ones on the market today are either unsafe or don’t give you the desired effect. And the reason we nominated this brand of smelling salts to this list is that it’s safe, affordable, and effective.

So, if you’re new to powerlifting, hockey, and other physically demanding sports, these are great smelling salts to get you started. With that said, this is still a fairly strong mix of smelling salts, which is why it’s important to start slow if you’ve never tried them before.

These salts are best used right before big lifts. Since they are very potent, getting a single whiff is usually enough to give you the energy boost that you need. Additionally, since it comes in a really strong bottle, you don’t have to worry about it losing its potency any time soon.

Another reason we like this is that it’s so easy to use. With these smelling salts, you won’t have to worry about adding water, mixing it, or doing anything before use. All you have to do is open it off, give it a sniff, and hit the weights.

In our research, we found these salts to be the best balance between effective, safe, and affordable, so putting them on this list was a no-brainer.

Best with bottle & refill

Ward Smelling Salts Asylum Refillable

93 %

Ward Smelling Salts Asylum Refillable

Most of the smelling salts available today are meant to be used until they run out, then you throw it out. With this bottle, you don’t throw it out after, instead, you just have to buy refill packs to fill it up again whenever you run out. This is much better for the environment and could also be cost effective in the long run.

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You’d be surprised at how fast smelling salts run out. For a lot of people, a bottle of smelling salts can last anywhere between 4-6 months. However, if you’re going through a serious training schedule with definite goals, you’d be surprised at how quickly this goes by.

And if you’re using smelling salts regularly to help you lift that little bit more weight, you’re going to need a refill sooner rather than later. So, if you get this bottle of salts, you get the added benefit of a refillable bottle that will last you a long time.

This is a really durable bottle of smelling salts with a great design. The reason we chose to feature it on this list is because of how long it could last you. So, even after you finish the refill pack, you can just buy another and use the same bottle.

If you like buying gear that will last you a long time, this is the right option for you. And while it might be a bit expensive at first, once you realize how much you save only buying the refill packs, you’ll realize that it’s worthwhile.

Best for lifting

Atomic Rhino Smelling Salts Red Line

85 %

Atomic Rhino Smelling Salts Red Line

Atomic Rhino Smelling Salts are an incredibly strong concoction specifically designed for weightlifters. That way, you et a very intense and quick boost of energy that allows you to clean and jerk, snatch, and even deadlift a variety of heavy weights that you may not have been able to lift beforehand.

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When buying smelling salts, one of the most important things to consider is your own sport. If you’re playing football and hockey, you might need different smelling salts than a powerlifter or strongman. And if you plan on using smelling salts solely for breaking your PR for a variety of exercises, then this is the right option for you.

This Atomic Rhino option is specifically designed for weightlifters. So, it will give you that quick, instant, and intense boost that you need right before lifting a heavyweight. This is a very powerful concoction and all you need to do to use it is give it a splash of water and give it a good sniff.

From there, you will notice your heart rate rise and you’ll slowly get pumped up. This will allow you to lift heavier weights while also improving your focus, so you don’t have to sacrifice form or safety.

The one downside to this option though is that it’s really strong. If you’re a beginner, this might not be the best pick for you since it wasn’t what it was designed for.

Beginners who are looking to try smelling salts might want to stick to weaker options for safety reasons. Additionally, you really want to get used to the feeling of smelling salts before you decide to try out this formula.

But if you’re a serious powerlifter ready to compete with the strongest athletes, then this could be just what you need.

Best boost focus

Westside Barbell Smelling Salts

90 %

Westside Barbell Smelling Salts

There are no smelling salts on the market that can improve focus like this option from Westside Barbell. It is by far a very unique blend designed to give your body the boosts that it needs while also allowing you to concentrate on the task at hand. And compared to other salts on the market today, this option by far does it the best.

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Smelling salts aren’t just to give you a boost of energy. On top of that, they are also used to improve your focus. That way, you can concentrate more on the play, your form, or the opponent you’re guarding. And when it comes to boosting focus, not a lot of options do it as well as Westside Barbell Smelling Salts.

This is not your average bottle of smelling salts. Even if you’ve tried out a bunch of different brands and mixes in the past, there’s a high chance they weren’t like this one. The second you inhale these smelling salts, you get a new and enhanced sense of alertness.

That way, you can react more quickly to your opponent’s movements if you’re playing football or hockey. And if you’re lifting weights, this allows you to make the tiniest adjustments to get your body to lift the weights while still practicing the proper form.

On top of that, these salts are really easy to use. All you have to do is open the bottle, give it a strong whiff, then you’re good to go. No need to mix it with water, shake it, or do anything else to the bottle to activate the salts.

What to look for in good smelling salts

As mentioned earlier, smelling salts can trace their roots back centuries.

Originally, smelling salts were used in the medical field. Since these chemicals had such a strong scent, they were used to wake up people who fainted. When a person faints, doctors would put smelling salts under their nose, which is what wakes them up.

And while smelling salts have fallen out of style in the medical field, they have since found a new use: for athletes. These smelling salts can give athletes an extra push to help them lift heavier weights, run faster, or have more power in general.

But if you want to get the most out of the smelling salts, you need to buy the right option for you. So, to make it easier for you here’s a quick and short guide on the things you need to consider when shopping for smelling salts.


The first things to consider are the ingredients of the smelling salts. While original smelling salts were simply made out of ammonia, modern iterations are very different. Ammonium carbonate is still part of many smelling salt recipes, but you can now find options that have caffeine, lavender oil, glycerin, and more.

Everyone has different needs and preferences, so it’s important to find a combination of ingredients that works for you. However, a good general rule to follow is to find smelling salts that use natural ingredients, so that you can ensure that the salts are safe.

The reason smelling salts have ingredients aside from ammonium carbonate is to make it more pleasing to smell. Additionally, these extra ingredients like essential oils stimulate your senses further, which gets your blood pumping and muscles ready to do the work.


Another major thing to consider is how long the smelling salts last. Generally, smelling salts are only supposed to give you a short and quick boost. They are not supposed to have any longer effects and feelings. So, if the sniffing salts are giving you an odd feeling that lasts longer than usual, you may have low-quality salts or you did not give yourself the proper dosage.

Side effects

The thing about smelling salts is that they aren’t supposed to have side effects. Smelling salts are designed to give you a short boost that will help you lift a little more weight than usual. In fact, sniffing salts are only supposed to be similar to an adrenaline rush from listening to intense music or screaming before lifting the weights.

So, if your smelling salts give you any side effects, we recommend staying away from them. While smelling salts are useful and helpful, misusing and abusing the salts can result in some major problems down the line.


Are smelling salts safe?

Yes, smelling salts are generally considered safe. However, that doesn’t mean that you can take as much as you want. Remember, moderation is key when using smelling salts to give you that extra push when lifting weights and working out.

If you’re a power or weight lifter, we recommend saving the smelling salts for tournaments and competitions. You don’t want to risk taking too many smelling salts while working out and prepping, which is why we only recommend taking the proper dosage of smelling salts.

What do smelling salts do?

Smelling salts actually work by slightly irritating the nose and lungs. This results in the person breathing better and feeling a boost in their body. Smelling salts were originally used to wake up people who have fainted since they have that signature strong scent that wakes the brain up.

Many modern athletes use smelling salts to give them a boost before they do their workouts. Since the smelling salts irritate the lungs, they cause a dramatically increased breathing rate. When that happens, your heart rate increases at the same time, which is why you get that extra kick of energy.

What are smelling salts made of?

Smelling salts are made out of a variety of ingredients. Some of them contain lavender and other essential oils, while there are others that may have caffeine to give an additional boost. However, one thing that unites most smelling salts is that they contain ammonia. This is the key ingredient that irritates the lungs and nose to just the right point where the breathing patterns change and the person smelling it feels a boost.

The ammonium carbonate in smelling salts is the main reason your breathing rate changes and your heart rate increases. However, to make it more pleasing on the nose, there are also different perfumes added to the mix that also stimulate your senses.

Final verdict

If you’re into sports like football, hockey, and powerlifting, you understand how much it takes to get good at the sport. Whether you’re looking to lock down the opponent’s offensive lineup or break your current personal record in the gym, smelling salts can give you just the boost you need.

With that said, you have to choose the right option. To do that, you need to compare your own sport and goals with the options available on the market. Additionally, you need to consider your own history with smelling salts, as if you’re new to the game you might need to try out some of the weaker options.

While that is a lot to consider, once you do that and put in the work to find the right option, you’ll notice the huge difference that smelling salts can make and why they are such a great tool for football players, hockey players, and powerlifters alike.

However, keep in mind that smelling salts are meant to enhance your natural strength and skills. So, you will still need to put in the effort in training while also using smelling salts to be able to attain your goals as an athlete.

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