The effects of smelling salts on hockey players' reaction time, anaerobic performance and sympathetic nervous system
Master of Science
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Background/Objectives: Smelling salts are a commonly used ergogenic aid in various sports, particularly in elite hockey. However, the extent of performance enhancing effects of smelling salts on reaction time and performance remains unclear. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to compare the effects of smelling salts vs. no salts on: 1) simple and choice reaction time tasks; 2) anaerobic power through measurement of peak power, mean power, and power drop of a Wingate test and; 3) the sympathetic cardiorespiratory response as measured by heart rate and breathing rate. It was hypothesized that smelling salts would stimulate the sympathetic nervous system, which may in turn improve reaction time and anaerobic performance that may improve hockey player performance.