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No Effect of Smelling Salts on Vertical Jump Height or Sprint Time

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INTRODUCTION
The use of inhalants in weightlifting, resistance lifting sports, and eld
sports have been popularly reported to psych up athletes so they can
perform at a higher level. However, there is little scientic research on
their use, particularly related to non-resistance explosive performance.
PURPOSE
To investigate the eects of inhalants on vertical jump height and
sprint time.
METHODS
Eight men and three women with at least two years of resistance
training experience volunteered to participate (age=24.4±2.2yrs,
ht=171.53±9.57cm, mass=77.52±11.03kg). The rst day was used as
baseline (B) with no inhalant. Subsequent days were three random
conditions of inhaling a smelling salt (S), menthol oil (M), or high
potency ammonia (HP) (Figure 1). Participants performed three
countermovement vertical jumps (Figure 2) on a force plate and two
20m sprints indoors on a basketball oor with electronic timing gates
(Figure 3). Before each trial of jump or sprint, they took a deep breath
of one of the inhalants through the nose then waited 30s before
testing. The best of the trials was used for analysis.
ABSTRACT
The use of inhalants in weightlifting, resistance lifting sports, and eld
sports have been popularly reported to psych up athletes so they can
perform at a higher level. However, there is little scientic research on
their use, particularly related to non-resistance explosive
performance. PURPOSE: To investigate the eects of inhalants on
vertical jump height and sprint time. METHODS: Eight men and three
women with at least two years of resistance training experience
volunteered to participate (age=24.4±2.2yrs, ht=171.53±9.57cm,
mass=77.52±11.03kg). The rst day was used as baseline (B) with no
inhalant. Subsequent days were three random conditions of inhaling a
smelling salt (S), menthol oil (M), or high potency ammonia (HP).
Participants performed three countermovement vertical jumps on a
force plate and two 20m sprints indoors on a basketball oor with
electronic timing gates. Before each trial of jump or sprint, they took a
deep breath of one of the inhalants through the nose then waited 30s
before testing. The best of the trials was used for analysis. RESULTS:
For vertical jump height, a 1x4 ANOVA revealed no signicant
dierences between conditions (B=57.32 6.16cm; S=56.98±7.82cm;
M=57.73±7.60cm, HP=56.97±7.51cm).There were also no dierences
for 20m sprint time (B=3.39±0.21s; S=3.36±0.16s; M=3.38±0.19s,
HP=3.37±0.18s). CONCLUSIONS: Inhalants did not enhance vertical
jump or sprint performance compared to baseline. PRACTICAL
APPLICATIONS: Strength coaches should not encourage their
athletes to use inhalants prior to explosive performance.
David C. Archer Cameron N. Munger Michelle Rivera Whitney D. Leyva Saldiam R. Barillas Casey M. Watkins Megan A. Wong Ian J. Dobbs Lee E. Brown, FNSCA
Human Performance Laboratory Department of Kinesiology California State University, Fullerton, CA
No Eect of Smelling Salts on Vertical Jump Height or Sprint Time
RESULTS
For vertical jump height, a 1x4 ANOVA revealed no signicant dierences
between conditions (Table 1).There were also no dierences for 20m sprint time
(Table 1).
Table 1. Mean and (SD) of vertical jump (VJ) height and 20 meter sprint time by
condition.
CONCLUSIONS
Inhalants did not enhance vertical jump or sprint performance compared to
baseline.
PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS
Strength coaches should not encourage their athletes to use inhalants prior to
explosive performance.
VJ (cm)
20 m sprint (s)
57.32 (6.16)
3.39 (0.21)
Baseline
57.73 (7.60)
3.38 (0.19)
Menthol
56.98 (7.82)
3.36 (0.16)
Smelling
Salts
56.97 (7.51)
3.37 (0.18)
High
Potency
Ammonia
Figure 1. Inhalants.
Figure 2. Vertical jump.
Figure 3. 20 meter sprint.
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