Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Maureen Dunn, Kinesiology

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A variety of ergogenic aids have been researched in the past to assess effects on athletic performance. One potential aid relatively unstudied is ammonia inhalants (AI’s), commonly referred to as smelling salts. AI’s have been found to enhance peak and mean power output (PPO/MPO) in anaerobic activities. Because shot put throws rely primarily on anaerobic power, there is the potential for AI’s to improve performance. This study was designed to determine whether an acute, one second inhalation of a commercially available AI immediately prior to a shot put throw would increase the total distance a college athlete shot putter (n=10) could throw in meters. Following a baseline analysis, subjects were matched into two separate groups based on initial shot put throw distance without the use of AI’s. During the first testing day one group performed three trials using a one-second acute inhalation of AI immediately followed up by a maximal shot put throw. Shot puts were thrown using a standing/power throw, rather than with full technique (glide or spin) to reduce error. The second group performed the same procedure but with a placebo inhalant. Ten minutes of passive rest separated each trial. The second testing day involved the same procedure with the exception that the substance each individual used was switched. It was hypothesized that the three second inhalation of AI would significantly increase the shot put distance thrown. Significant results would suggest that an acute ammonia inhalation may improve shot put throw distance. This study is ongoing and the results will be available during the spring research poster celebration.


This study was funded by the Hope College Kinesiology Department.

Title on poster differs from abstract booklet. Poster title: The Effect of Ammonia Inhalation on Shot Put Distance

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Kinesiology Commons