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NFL player using smelling salts on the bench

 Why do NFL players use smelling salts?

NFL players use smelling salts more than a lot of people think.

Smelling salts are used normally when a player has fainted or blacked out on the field. When we see a player go limp due to a hit from another player, the trainers bring out smelling salts to bring them back.


Let's take a look at what smelling salts are made of and how NFL players use them other than its recommended usage.

What ways do NFL players use smelling salts and what are they made of?


Smelling salts come in a sealed white plastic wrapper. The plastic wrapper consists of a mixture of alcohol, ammonia and water. Smelling salts work when the package is broken open the ammonia gas immediately releases into the nose of the NFL player.


The ammonia gas begins to irritate the nasal membranes and the lungs. Once the gas irritates the nasal membranes and lungs it sends a sharp reflex. This reflex adds air to the lungs and helps oxygen flow quicker to the brain.

What makes the smelling salts work for NFL Players is the feeling that it has on the players. The NFL player who sniffs the smelling salts begins to breathe faster and they feel more alert.

NFL players do not always use smelling salts for what they are intended to be used for. A lot of NFL players use smelling salts to help them become more alert. Some NFL players say that they sniff smelling salts before every game to get them hyped up to play.

One player that has admitted to using smelling salts before every game is Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott. Prescott told the USA today that he would sniff smelling salts before every start. He would do this to make himself more alert and ready to play.


Dak Prescott said that smelling salts did not give him anything extra on the field other than being more alert. He also said that he would take them to help with getting hit as a quarterback.


NFL Hall-of-Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw also came out publicly and said that he would use smelling salts. He would explain that when he would get his bell rung by a defender he would go to the sideline and sniff smelling salts. Once he was done sniffing the smelling salts he would run back on the field to continue playing.

Smelling salts are not the best thing for players to sniff on a regular basis. The ammonia in the smelling salts can really have an impact on the players health. NFL players will continue to use smelling salts to get them more alert on the football field until they are banned. Unfortunately that most likely will not happen until something happens to one of the players.

Edited by
Amaar Burton
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