Why Do Soccer Players Use Vicks? 

Why Do Soccer Players Use Vicks? 

Have you ever noticed professional soccer players rubbing a substance on their chests before or during a game? Or, their shirts are drenched in one spot (hint: it’s not drool)? That magical substance is called Vicks VapoRub.

Why Do Soccer Players Use Vicks

Vicks is a popular topical ointment used to relieve nasal congestion and coughs. Some soccer players use it to relieve nasal congestion and help players concentrate better on their performance.

Key Takeaways From This Article:

  • Soccer players use Vicks VapoRub to breathe better and use the smell to focus more.
  • Typically, Vicks is rubbed on the chest or jersey.
  • Some players have allergic reactions or it may burn. We suggest trying it out on a small area first.

In my son’s case, he gets seasonal allergies and seems to be congested a lot. He’s recently used this and it has helped clear his pathways but he puts almost an unnoticeable dab on his shirt. He doesn’t use it every practice and game but only when he needs to breathe better.

The use of Vicks VapoRub by soccer players is a rather common practice that has its benefits but can also have a couple of drawbacks. We’ll explore the reasons Vicks works so well and if you should jump on the bandwagon!

Why Soccer Players Use Vicks

Vicks soccer players

Soccer players use Vicks for two main reasons:

  1. To relieve nasal congestion and to open up their airways. When you’re playing a game of soccer, it’s essential to be able to breathe easily, especially if you’re running around for 90 minutes. Vicks can help to clear your sinuses and make it easier to breathe, which can improve your performance on the field. The effects are almost immediate.
  2. Some soccer players use Vicks to help them focus during a game. The strong scent of menthol can help to clear your mind and keep you alert, which can be beneficial when you’re trying to make split-second decisions on the field.

Benefits of Using Vicks in Soccer

Along with using it for nasal congestion, Vicks has other benefits that can help soccer players perform better on the field.

Reducing Muscle Pain and Soreness

Soccer is a physically demanding sport that requires a lot of running, turning, and kicking. This can cause muscle pain and soreness, especially after a game or intense training session.

Applying Vicks VapoRub on sore muscles can help reduce pain and soreness. The active ingredients in Vicks, such as camphor and menthol, have a cooling effect that can provide quick relief to sore muscles.

Enhancing Breathing and Oxygen Intake

Deep and unobstructed breathing is important for soccer players, or any athlete for that matter. It helps players breathe better so they can maintain their stamina and endurance during a game.

Applying Vicks on the chest can provide relief for nasal congestion, allowing players to breathe more easily and naturally during intense physical activity.

Preventing Nasal Congestion

Nasal congestion and sinusitis can be common problems for soccer players, especially during the winter and spring. These outdoor conditions can make it difficult for players to breathe. As a result, they could be spending more time focusing on their nasal passage than playing soccer.

Applying Vicks VapoRub on the chest can help prevent nasal congestion and sinusitis by clearing the sinuses and keeping them open for the entire game.

How to Use Vicks in Soccer

By applying Vicks on your chest, it helps to open up your airways, making it easier to breathe during the game. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Scoop a small amount of Vicks on your finger.
  2. Rub it on the jersey’s chest area.
  3. Reapply as necessary during the game if you feel your breathing becoming more difficult.
  4. Remember to always wash your hands after touching Vicks. The stuff burns!

Vicks is very potent so apply a very small amount and increase it from there if you wish. If you use too much near your nose, it can cause an unnecessary stinging sensation.

Safety Precautions and Potential Side Effects

When using Vicks Vaporub, it is important to take certain precautions to ensure your safety. Additionally, there are some possible side effects that you should be aware of.

Possible Side Effects of Vicks Vaporub

While Vicks Vaporub is generally considered safe, there are some possible side effects that you should be aware of. These include:

  • Skin irritation: Some people may experience skin irritation or a rash when using Vicks Vaporub. If you experience any redness, itching, or swelling, stop using the product immediately.
  • Allergic reactions: In rare cases, Vicks can cause an allergic reaction. If you experience any difficulty breathing, hives, or swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat, seek medical attention immediately. This can also be exacerbated for soccer players because the sweat opens up the pores.
  • Eye irritation: Avoid getting Vicks Vaporub in your eyes, as it can cause irritation and redness.

Precautions for Athletes Using Vicks

If you are an athlete using Vicks, there are some additional precautions you should take to ensure your safety:

  • Do not apply Vicks Vaporub to broken or irritated skin.
  • Avoid applying Vicks to areas of the body that will come into contact with other players, as it can be transferred to them and cause irritation.
  • Always wash your hands thoroughly after applying Vicks to avoid accidentally getting it in your eyes or mouth.

The Science Behind Vicks

How Vicks Works

Just in case you’re wondering, Vicks contains a blend of natural ingredients, including camphor, eucalyptus oil, and menthol. These ingredients work together to create a cooling sensation on the skin and provide relief from nasal congestion.

When you apply Vicks to your chest or throat, the active ingredients are absorbed into your skin and mucous membranes.

The menthol in Vicks produces a cooling sensation that helps to soothe irritated nasal passages and reduce inflammation.

Camphor has a numbing effect that can help to relieve coughs and sore throats.

Eucalyptus oil is a natural decongestant that can help to break up mucus and phlegm, making it easier to breathe.


Popular European soccer players like Vinicius Junior have popularized the use of Vicks VapoRub. But, don’t do it just because they are doing it.

I hope the article above helped you understand the benefits and possible side effects of using Vicks.

At the end of the day, it’s important to note that Vicks is not a magical solution that will turn you into a superstar player overnight. It’s simply a legal substance that can provide some relief and help you breathe more comfortably during a game.

If you’re considering using Vicks before your next soccer game, make sure to test it out beforehand to see how your body reacts. Some players may be more sensitive to the vapors than others, and excessive use of Vicks can lead to skin irritation or other side effects.

While it may not work for everyone, it’s worth a try if you’re looking for a way to enhance your performance on the field!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do footballers rub Vicks on their chest?

Footballers rub Vicks on their chest to enhance their breathing and oxygen intake.

Does Vicks on your chest really work?

Yes, Vicks on your chest really does work to open up the pathways for better breathing.

Is Vicks a legal substance for soccer?

Yes, Vicks is legal to use during soccer games.

Beau Bridges - Soccer Novo Hey 👋 I’m Beau. A proud Dad, former coach and soccer enthusiast. I continue to love the game of soccer today the same way I did when I was 7. I created soccernovo.com to share what I know about the game as well as provide a platform so other parents can learn more about youth soccer in the U.S.

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