Ok, so in an effort to cover all the different uses for smelling salts I ran into a very interesting one. Long haul truckers are always looking for ways to keep themselves alert and awake longer when driving. Why? Because the quicker they finish and the more often they make hauls, the more they get paid. I want to look at this from an impartial view as there are both positives and negatives to the use of smelling salts in this situation.
Smelling Salts Affect Safety
The is no doubt that smelling salts keep any driver awake and alert after use. The question then becomes two-fold. (1) is keeping a driver up longer than they are normally capable a safe practice? (2) Truckers have limits imposed on them for a reason. If they aren’t getting enough sleep , whether or not they are “alert” enough to drive is up for debate. On the other hand, you could make the arguement that truckers (heck, any driver) already use other substances such as energy drinks, caffeine gum, and soda to keep them alert for long periods of driving. Is smelling salts really any different, or just more efficient?
Do They Work?
This is an absolutely essential question to answer because there are some differences between riding in a vehicle and playing in a football game when it comes to physical activity. In the middle of any sports game, you use smelling salts for the quick, instant boost of energy. After a few minutes, your adrenaline and natural energy will carry you the rest of the way. In the case of a truck or long-distance trip driver, you will take the initial hit with a boost of energy, but sitting there will likely cause you to get tired again fairly quickly. The reason for this is that there is no chemical introduction involved like there would be with energy drinks and caffeine.
Does this mean it doesn’t work? No, actually. Although the effect would be different than an energy drink and perhaps need to be repeated, there are other factors that go into the situation as well. In fact, recently released Go Time Smelling Salts have treated this problem in a very interesting way including essential oils in the smelling salts’ key ingredients. What does this mean? It means that for people like truckers (or even marathon runners, who also need a sustained boost) can get both the instant energy from the ammonia inhalant portion as well as continuous sustained energy from the inhalation of the essential oils. That means instead of having to use 4-5 ampules an hour to stay awake, you can reuse the same ampule for an extended period of time (obviously with less of an effect considering the ammonia will lose its potency).
Needless to say, recent innovations and use cases have made smelling salts a very useful product indeed for a number of people across various different activities.