10 Best Nasal Sprays Reviewed
When running, there are many barriers to getting the best time and the best performance. One of the most pesky of these can be a blocked nose, whether through allergies, an illness or just being run down. If you’re looking to treat your nose and clear your sinuses, it can be a good idea to carry a nasal spray. If you go for a top-quality one, it’ll get you unblocked and breathing freely, ensuring better performance and greater comfort. In this article, we take a look at the best nasal sprays on the market, considering some which fight allergies, some which fight colds and flus, and some which do both. These aren’t typically designed specifically for runners, but they’ll all do exactly what you need, and offer a great addition to your running toolkit.
Mucinex Sinus-Max Decongestant
This provides powerful and quick relief from sinus pressure and nasal congestion, and gets to work way quicker than most other nasal sprays. It moves excess mucus really effectively and has a 12-hour formula. In practice, it probably only lasts about 10 hours, but that is a lot longer than other similar sprays you’ll find on the market. This really does work incredibly well and insanely quickly, which is exactly what you need pre-run and mid-run.
This has menthol and eucalyptus along with the oxymetazoline hydrochloride. A small amount of users find the menthol to be a little too strong, but they are definitely in the minority.
It's about an average price for this list.
- Works really quickly
- Lasts a very long time
- Decongests and reduces pressure
- Only requires one treatment to fully work
- The menthol sensation is a little too strong for some.
Nasal Crom Nasal Spray
This does a decent job of preventing allergic symptoms and nasal blockages, but excels in curing them. It doesn’t work as quickly as some other options, which isn’t great for on-the-run effectiveness, but it’s great over a long term, which is especially good if you have allergies. Where this really excels is building up long-term defences, so if that’s what you’re seeking, this is perhaps the best option for you. It’s best to spray this pre-run, not mid-run.
This includes benzalkonium chloride, which can cause long-term nasal damage in some users when used over a long period of time. Aside from this, the cromolyn sodium is a great ingredient and really effective.
It's a little pricey, but it's absolutely worth it.
- Very good long-term effects with prevention in addition to cure
- If your focus is allergy prevention, this is great.
- Won’t really do the job mid-run
- The benzalkonium chloride ingredient can, for some people, be damaging long-term.
Zicam Intense Sinus Relief
This is non-drowsy and really does get to work very quickly. For a mid-run blast, this is a fantastic option and won’t interfere with your runs. It’s also non-trickle, so it won’t run down your throat and irritate you while you’re running. The scent is pretty good. It burns a little upon use, but it’s nothing too uncomfortable.
In addition to the active ingredient, it contains menthol and eucalyptus for a nice scent and a refreshing hit of coolness. It’s just the right amount for a run – cooling without too much intensity, so it won’t catch your breath.
It's another average offering, thought the bottle is smaller than most.
- Great for mid-run
- Works quickly and effectively
- Refreshing with cooling ingredients
- Doesn’t trickle down the throat
- A little smaller than some other options
- Burns a little for some users, but only a tiny amount
- Given the size, a little pricier than some options, but it’s absolutely worth it
Vicks Sinex Moisturizing Decongestant
It’s another great option for a mid-run blast, and relieves all symptoms associated with blockages, colds, flus and allergies. It gets your breathing back to normal really quickly and does a decent job of reducing pressure. It doesn’t have the smell that you might associate with a Vicks product, but that could be good or bad depending on your preferences.
In addition to the active ingredient, you have aloe to provide a little bit of coolness. This coolness is complemented well by the fine spray.
This is a pretty good bargain option.
- The fine spray is good for delicate noses.
- Decent smell
- Gets to work pretty quickly
- You can feel your breathing improve well with this.
- A little cheaper than some other options
- Not as popular (and therefore not as well-proven) as some other options. If you’re seeking guaranteed quality, maybe you might want to look elsewhere.
Xlear Xylitol Sinus Care
Again, for a short relief, this isn’t great, but if you’re looking for a long-term solution to stuffiness and blockages or allergies, this does it really well. Over time, you’ll notice a massive difference. The sprayer is a little big for some, but it otherwise seems to work well for most users. The taste is sweet rather than chemical, which makes a big change from most other options on the market.
The major draw here is the all-natural approach. If you’re tired of medicating yourself with drugs, this might be the best option for you! The non-chemical approach also gives a good flavor and smell. This also contains purified water and grapefruit seed for cooling relief.
Given the size of the bottle, this is a good bargain option!
- Good price
- Great natural approach
- Excellent over the long-term
- Nice sweet taste and smell
- Isn’t great for a quick blast
One spray of this can work up to a mega 24 hours, which is fantastic. Of course, it won’t always last this long, but it does a decent job in attempting it. It works immediately and you can feel the relief right after a spray. Strangely, the active ingredient seems to not work at all for a small amount of users, but these people are in the minority.
Budesonide is not a popular of an ingredient as some other more common active ingredients, so if you’ve never used it, give it a go. It’s perhaps slightly less reliable than something like oxymetazoline hydrochloride, but it works really well for some users.
It’s quite expensive given the size of the bottle, but if it works for you, then it’s absolutely worth the price!
- Gets to work quickly
- Budesonide is a slightly rarer ingredient, so you mightn’t have tried it before.
- Good for a spray on the go
- Can work for up to 24 hours
- A little expensive
- Some users find that this doesn’t work at all, but as always, some active ingredients work for some users better than others.
- Smaller bottle than most other options
This perhaps works best as an immediate remedy to allergies, so if you’re looking for something to reduce the effects of allergy quickly, this is absolutely one of the best options. It’s great for reducing pressure and swelling and will eliminate decongestion quickly. However, lots of users have experienced allergic reactions to this, so although it works very well, you should absolutely check the ingredients list before you proceed to buy it.
The active ingredient works just fine, but do check properly before buying since other users have experienced bad reactions to this.
For the size, the price here is great. A nice bargain option!
- Good price
- Well-known brand
- Works very quickly
- Best if you’re looking to relieve allergy symptoms
- Works for up to 12 hours
- Many users have experienced bad reactions to this.
ClearLife Allergy Relief
This clears the sinuses in seconds and also offers long-term effectiveness and relief when used over a decent period of time. Because of the natural ingredients, the effect isn’t as strong as some others on this list, but it’s still a great option if you’re looking to use something which isn’t exclusively drug-based.
Where this is unique is that it has loads of active ingredients rather than the one or two which you normally find. These ingredients include alium cepa and galphimia glauca, but you can check the bottle for a full run-down. The ingredients here might cause an adverse effect if you have asthma, so if this is the case for you, have a check before you proceed.
The price point here is pretty good!
- Decent price
- Works quickly
- Good for allergy relief
- Many active ingredients
- If you’re looking for something natural, this might work for you.
- Doesn’t work for colds and flus
- Not as effective as some non-natural options
- May cause bad side effects if you have asthma
Zicam Cold Remedy
This is quite unique in that it can do three things: prevent colds, provide immediate relief and provide long-term relief. So it’s handy for during a run, before a run and preventing any nasty colds before a big race. It relieves well overall, though some users don’t seem to benefit from it in a small amount of cases. Just to be clear, this is only for relief of colds and flus, not for allergy relief.
The three active ingredients here are galphimia glauca, luffa operculata and sabadilla. You also have menthol and eucalyptus here to give you a nice cooling sensation, which helps both immediately and over time.
About what you’d expect – not expensive, not cheap.
- Great at fighting and preventing colds
- Works quickly
- Three active ingredients
- Nice cooling feeling from the menthol and eucalyptus
- Won’t provide allergy relief
- Not as proven and reliable as some other options on this list
This works well long-term and provides a decent amount of relief short-term. It’s also great in cold conditions and if you’re looking for something moisturising. This sits on the list as an option for something mild and long-term, not as something which is going to quickly blast away a huge blockage.
It’s mainly saline-based, which might appeal to some. There are otherwise very few extra ingredients, so it’s a pretty natural affair!
Given the size of the bottle, this is absolutely the cheapest on the least.
- A good long-term option
- Good if you’re seeking something mild
- A big bottle
- If you want intensity, you won’t find it here.
- Doesn’t work against allergies or big colds and flus
- Better for long-term than short-term
So for cold relief, flu relief, allergy relief or just a long-term sinus-issue solution, there’ll be something here for you! Unblock, feel fresh and improve your performance!