Many NFL players use aromatic salts to be more alert. Some NFL players say they smell fragrant salts before each game to get excited about the game. One player who has admitted to using aromatic salts before each game is Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott. Aromatic salts are usually very strong ammonia compounds.
When you inhale high concentrations of ammonia, your body's fight or flight response is triggered and you receive an adrenaline boost. This is useful both to make unconscious people wake up and to make athletes perform at a higher level at critical times. Aromatic salts, easily and legally available, have long ceased to have their intended purpose of helping in the treatment and prevention of fainting to become a popular stimulant among athletes, especially at university and professional levels. As noted in a recent article in ESPN The Magazine, its most widespread use can be found in the NFL.
When I played for the Steelers and the bell rang, I would pick up aromatic salts and go out right away. So why have aromatic salts, better known as a way to revive someone after a faint or to help boxers who have been stunned during combat, become part of the pre-game routine of some Everton players? While the use of aromatic salts dates back to Roman times, there is no definite time period that indicates when athletes began using the packs as a type of energy boost. Then there's injury prevention, with the risk that players excited about the smell of salts could push their bodies too far. While the use of aromatic salts in sports isn't generally considered to be dangerous, experts still don't recommend them, in part because they don't have any proven benefits.
The instant stimulation of aromatic salts and the increase in respiration, blood pressure, and the body's heart rate can help a person regain consciousness. Instead, they continue to focus on anecdotal evidence that suggests that the ammonia in aromatic salts irritates the highly sensitive membranes of the nose and lungs, alters normal breathing patterns, and induces what is known as an inhalation reflex, or the body's emergency survival instinct to restore stasis. Extra strong aromatic salts from brands like Nose Tork and Wake Up Motherfxxxxr are aimed at the weightlifting market. Lawrence says he can't drink coffee to give himself a quick shake during the game because it could affect his stomach, so he's resorted to odorous salts.
If you have an amateur player who suffers a blow to the head and suffers a concussion, but the smell of salt causes him to return to the field of play, that could hide some very serious health problems. Dr. Malone suggests that, for some players, aromatic salts have become part of their pre-performance routine, which is often shaped by habit and superstition. Former NFL quarterback and current Fox NFL co-host, Terry Bradshaw, said that his teammates used aromatic salts regularly when he played in the 1970s.
But that simple explanation, like the whole fashion for aromatic salts in and of itself, doesn't quite pass the smell test. Despite numerous testimonies from athletes who support aromatic salts and their benefits, there is no scientific evidence to validate this argument. There have also been concerns about the use of aromatic salts when it comes to concussions, particularly in the NFL.