Ammonia Inhalants

Smelling Salts

Ammonia Inhalants: What’s In Them?

You might have already heard of this athletic go-to when looking for a spike in energy.

Ammonia inhalants, or smelling salts can be used to give the user (in most cases, an athlete) a spike in energy and an immediate reaction to the inhalant, kicking something that was already inside them into gear.

If you think of snapping and sniffing, your mind might think immediately of the legality of the issue. However, ammonia inhalants are considered completely legal—moreover, they’ve been used from generation to generation.

So, what’s in this compound that has taken the athletic world by storm? In this article, we’re going to go through all the scientific ingredients found within ammonia inhalants—especially the ones that make them tick.

Main Ingredients in Ammonia Inhalants

With ammonia inhalants, there are a lot of complicated ingredients that you might not have ever heard of before.

The main ingredient, however, is the only one that you would have to recognize or remember, because it’s the most important. The ammonium carbonate is the most common, active compound in ammonia inhalants.

It is normally colorless or white in color. It is labeled as a crystalline solid. However, contrary to what you may think when you think about a “crystal”, you are not just handed a rock and expected to sniff it. This crystalline solid component is then mixed with water, becoming an aromatic spirit of ammonia—rather than just the ammonium carbonate itself.

You can also mix this main ingredient with certain oils to give it a more fluid “smelling” experience. The ammonium carbonate also acts with the oils, like lavender or eucalyptus, to give you that unforgettable experience—whether it’s in the gym or on the field.

It can be degraded and dissolved so easily because the ammonium carbonate can easily head into a gaseous state once it’s heated.

There are two purposes for this compound. It can either be used as a leavening agent, like for baking, and a smelling salt.

Smelling Salts

How do the ingredients react when inhaled?

When taken in, the ammonia carbonate in the ammonia inhalants have a very instant, quick, and effective reaction. Almost immediately, the sensation involves an extreme irritation to the lungs and into the nasal cavity, involving the nose and the mucous membranes.

Once it’s inhaled and then begins this reaction, it then causes even more involuntary inhalation. That sort of reflex is the key to the extreme “awakeness” one feels when they take it.

Since the reflex is stimulated, it will then make your breathing muscles work much quicker than usual. This sort of acceleration than triggers your consciousness to work two-fold, creating an extreme alertness.

The ammonia inhalants, now being used for athletics, were often used when treating or testing for fainting, lightheadedness, and dizziness. They are often used when a medic arrives on the scene and needs a patient to come-to. They can also be used as a first-aid resource. Although there are several other steps to take beforehand, a medic can easily reach for ammonia inhalants as a resource to get the patient awake as quickly as possible.

Smelling Salts Now

That’s because these inhalants, or smelling salts, really irritate the respiratory system and can reverse the effects of a faint. Especially when the fainting came on because of excessive parasympathetic and vagal activity (brain), these smelling salts can have an almost immediate effect. It counters these parasympathetic effects and helps the person come-to.

Some other ingredients found in the ammonia inhalants are:

  • Active ingredients, like alcohol at 35 percent and ammonia at 15 percent.
  • Inactive ingredients, like alcohol USP, FD&C red dye #40,lavender oil FCC, lemon oil FCC, and purified nutmeg oil FCC.

We hope that this article on ammonia inhalants has helped you understand the process of their effects on the human brain a little better and helped broaden the scientific explanation into more everyday terms.

We also hope that with knowing the ingredients that are active—and inactive—within the compound, you can also understand how they work a little bit better.

We here at AmmoniaSport can help answer any questions you may have in regards to ammonia inhalants. Feel free to contact us any time!

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