Hilarious TikTok video of British dad trying world’s strongest smelling salts goes viral

A British dad’s hilarious reaction to trying his gym-goer son’s “world’s strongest” smelling salts has gone viral online after being shared to TikTok. 

If you were thinking of trying smelling salts yourself, you might not be so eager now. Kai Sheps is a fitness influencer who regularly shares gym and body-building content online.

Smelling salts have been around for a long time and have historically been used to awaken an unconscious person, but have been used in recent times by bodybuilders ahead of big lifts at the gym. Smelling salts are made of diluted ammonia, water and ethanol and offer a stimulant effect due to the ammonia. The ammonia is reported to irritate the nasal and lung membranes when sniffed, causing an inhalation reflex which makes a person involuntarily inhale and breathe faster. This sends more oxygen to the brain and increases the breathing rate, which creates adrenaline.

Kai’s dad tried the world’s strongest smelling salts

The video was posted to Kai’s TikTok account on October 10 and has since gained over 1.3 million views, with viewers massively entertained by the hilarious aftermath.

Kai tried the smelling salts first, holding his face near the top of the salts. Almost immediately, he catapulted backwards while his body dramatically shook. To bring himself back to normality, Kai had to repeatedly slap his own head, after jumping around the kitchen.

For most, that reaction would be a warning not to, but not for this date who came in for his turn next. “Don’t get too close, I’m telling you Dad,” Kai warned his father.

Kai’s dad stood around half a metre from the “world’s strongest smelling salts” and waited for a few seconds without a reaction. That’s when it hit. The father’s body flew backwards, tumbling around the kitchen and forcing himself to cling to the fridge for support while he simultaneously grabbed his chest.

“Why the f**k would anyone do that in the gym, why would anyone do that full stop?” he yelled out, as his son laughed along.

In true British mum fashion, the mum joined the shenanigans not-so-happily. She stormed in and asked the question likely in many viewers’ heads: “Are you stupid?” 

Dad trying smelling salts.
Stills of @kaisheps TikTok video.

Why do people use smelling salts at the gym?

According to Men’s Health, the inhalation reflex caused by smelling salts stimulates the body’s “fight or flight” response, which causes a release of adrenaline, which in turn enhances gross motor skills (this includes lifting weights.)

The effect however doesn’t last very long and is why lifters often smell the salts almost immediately before lifting.

TikTok viewers loved the dad’s first try at smelling salts

With so many views on the clip, many were left deeply entertained by the scene and took to the comments to share their relatable experiences.

“My mate put my nose in it and I started dying on my street,” wrote one user.

“I dipped my nose deep in it and had tears in my eyes the whole workout and my face was numb,”

Another noted: “Tried those but put my nose to the bottle…indescribable.”


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