Weightlifting is not a walk in the park; for weightlifting, you need to make necessary arrangements, like ensuring you’re wearing weightlifting shoes to avoid accidents and taking creatine or pre-workout supplements like bang or finaflex, hence there many things to take into account before lifting weights.

As a result, a person undergoes stress, muscle tension, and Anxiety while lifting heavy weights above their shoulders. A focused mind and consistent hard work are two key essentials for a bodybuilder to perform effective weightlifting.

Many weightlifters keep ammonia on their sleeves to keep the mind alert and fatigued at bay. Strange right? Ammonia might sound harmful, but it’s actually helpful when taken moderately in the form of sniffing salts. It is a very popular booster amongst weightlifters involved in continuous heavy lifts.

The negative sides are weighed down by the positive sides of smelling ammonia just before lifting weights. This article revolves around what ammonia sniffing salts are and why bodybuilders smell ammonia before a big lift.

What Is Smelling Salts Or Ammonia?

If we just talk about ammonia, it’s a chemical compound made up of a mixture of 1 part nitrogen and three parts hydrogen (NH3). It is formulated in many industries for cleaning products. It is present naturally as well in all living organisms, including nature.

Smelling Salts are special sniffing mixtures made of moderate ammonia, water, and alcohol. It may also contain perfume for a pleasant smell. They are also sold in the market as “Aromatic Ammonia spirits.”

Concentrated ammonia is lethal for human consumption. But sniffing salts have a safe amount of ammonia which will not cause harmful side effects.

 So, when you hear of bodybuilders sniffing ammonia, know now that it’s not pure ammonia but a trace amount of ammonia in sniffing salts, producing the necessary effect before lifting weights.

Why Do Bodybuilders Sniff Ammonia Before lifting Weights?

The most important virtue for any weightlifter is to be sound and alert throughout the session. He must also be able to lift weights without getting tired too easily. Fatigue can cripple further performance as the mind focuses on pain.

Ammonia helps them overcome all this for some time. It drives up an adrenaline rush in the body, making the weightlifter feel revitalized. It allows the bodybuilders to momentarily forget their pain and exhaustion and gives them the strength to continue for a longer time. Ammonia sniff salts are used as capsules or powder before the minute weightlifters start their vigorous routine.

Reasons To Sniff Ammonia For Weightlifting

Reasons To Sniff Ammonia For Weightlifting

Ammonia Sniffing has multi benefits on a bodybuilder’s mind, body, and ability. The correct dosage can uplift the performance of the bodybuilder considerably. Here are a few reasons for smelling salts for weightlifting:

1. Reduces Anxiety

Sometimes strength and physical ability are not enough to climb the mountain. It’s the self-confidence and self-esteem which drives you. Fear of height can nullify all your potential. Similarly, Anxiety and fear can be on your nerves no matter how muscular you are.

It’s natural for weightlifters to self-doubt their abilities in competition and feels weak in their knees before lifting a heavy weight. Ammonia works like a charm to relax your mind. It pushes you forward by wiping out nervousness and insecurities. It calms your racing thoughts and heart so that you can just give your best without thinking about results.

2. Reduces Body Aches And Pains

Body aches and pains are a part of the weightlifting competition. Lifting weights puts pressure on your muscles, tendons, and bones. Minor injuries and pains can shake your focus and force your mind and body to think and feel the persisting pain unwillingly.

These negative thoughts will only bring down the act of weightlifter. Ammonia does not cure the ache but puts your mind away from it for those few minutes of lifting weights. This allows you to use every body part to the fullest and does not limit your movement.

But there is a risk. Since ammonia dulls the pain, it can further make weightlifters unknowingly harm and hurt their pre-aching muscles.

3. Increases Focus

Focus is the discipline of weightlifting. In order to win any competition, the focus should be on the point to hit the bull’s eye. Stability of mind and goal is necessary throughout the competition. Ammonia creates an inhalation reflex” phenomenon in your body by producing an adrenaline rush in the body and ultimately increasing focus.

Increased concentration saves you from any random distractions and thoughts before the final showdown. A weightlifter cannot afford to divert his focus, and he will end up doing a mistake or low performing. Sniffing Salts aid immensely in keeping the focus pinned to the lift.

4. Helps In Lifting More Weight

Ammonia increases the flow of adrenaline in your veins. Adrenaline gives the body a rush of instant energy and prevents easy exhaustion. It also covers fatigue and keeps the weightlifting going without passing out soon. It does not make anybody stronger; rather, it just activates the existing strength with multiplied intensity.

The psychological effects of ammonia on the brain and mood also create a positive impact on self-confidence and inner power.

5. Prevents Faintness 

Low energy and profuse sweating lead to fainting. Fainting can be really dangerous, especially if you are lifting weights. Weights might fall on your body resulting in extreme and life-threatening wounds. Sniffing ammonia before lift restricts the occurrence of light-headedness by filling a temporary zest in the body.

It keeps the weightlifter alert and wide awake. Even sometimes, ammonia-sniffing salts are used to revive fainted weightlifters after they have fallen.


You are welcome! We hope you got answers to all your questions about ammonia for weightlifting. To sum up, Ammonia salts are safe sniffing supplements used as a physical and mental balancer during competitions. It extends numerous benefits to weightlifters by decreasing anxiety levels and increasing self-confidence.

It’s also very effective in building unwavering concentration to bag that trophy. It doesn’t let you pass out easily after a tedious lift. Despite controversies about its safety, it is completely secure and suitable for most sports. We recommend you consult your trainer or doctor for usage.


Smelling Salts are allowed in weightlifting, considering the hardships and obstacles that weightlifters might face. It has no obligation on use to reduce those physical and mental pains that reduce the quality of their performance.

Unaffordable risks are very dangerous for weightlifter health, and smelling safe ammonia can save them from losing out in competitions and prevent any health hazards. Smelling Slats have been existing for years in the history of weightlifting to ease out weightlifters before the battle.

Smelling Salts erupt adrenaline in your system. It’s not advised to use smelling salts if you have asthma, respiratory issues, or head injury. If you use ammonia to regain consciousness, be mindful of your head or brain if your got knocked down due to any injury on your head, as it can show up more seriously later on.

Smelling Salts are also not advised to be used in severe body pains, muscle aches, etc., because they cause you to keep all pains backseat which may revisit you with more intensity if you don’t take any remedy for it

Concentrated or pure ammonia is not at all fit for human inhalation. It can mess up your health system adversely. In some cases, it can be fatal. But, sniffing salts or ammonia is specially made by combing a small and safe percentage of ammonia, water, and alcohol which poses no serious issues to weightlifters. It’s neither toxic nor unsafe. That said, excessive and improper dosage can cause minor discomfort.

No, there hasn’t been any medical research that links smelling slats with heart disorders. Smelling salts with low ammonia content for weightlifting competitions is completely safe for health. It has a very less ammonia percentage tolerable by the human body.

Sniffing salts indeed causes rapid heart rate for some mins, but it’s short-lived and necessary for game energy. The only problem occurs with extra and non-supervised inhalation of ammonia.

Being a performance enhancer, ammonia sniffing is legal in most countries and competitions. If you see its constituents, it doesn’t qualify as a harmful or addictive drug. Almost all major weightlifting and athletic organizations allow its possession and use in a competition for an instant energy boost.

It’s always better to check with your state/city local laws along with organization laws for better legal clarity. Mostly ammonia sniffing is banned in boxing matches. It is allowed in hockey, football, and weightlifting.

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