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  1. #1
    Registered User Winterwolf227's Avatar
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    Ammonia Smell when I exhale through Nose

    I am new to this. I am 43 Y/O, 5'6" and at start was 210lbs. I am down to 187lbs

    I have been on low calorie diet since Jan, but recently flatlined, and a ccoworker who is a health enthusiest helped me with a good weight lifting routien and a HIGH protein diet (200g plus per day), and encouraged me to take Glutamine and Creatine. My liquid intake has been 1.5 gallons per day, and my workout has been weights for about 1 hour a day.

    The past 2 days I have noticed a Distinct Ammonia smell in my nose when I breath out hard.

    I have had a physical in teh last two months and nothing to note on teh blood work about kidney issues.

    I have searched the web and have seen nothing about this issue. Any help on why this is happening and if I sould be concerned.
    KB
    Portland, OR

    Supplements: Creatine (5mg) and Glutamine (20mg X 3 times a day)
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  2. #2
    Registered User Dean6917's Avatar
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    seems like u need to add some carbs to to your diet...try that for a few days
    That one hour spent in the gym is important...But the key to seeing results is how you spend the rest of your 23
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  3. #3
    Registered User Winterwolf227's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Dean6917 View Post
    seems like u need to add some carbs to to your diet...try that for a few days
    Thank you, i have been pretty much carb free for 3 days with the exception of a 1 cup blueberry once a day. I am way new to this and trying to figure it out. I was wondering if it is related to the supplements.
    KB
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  4. #4
    currently cutting Cheese3216's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Winterwolf227 View Post
    Thank you, i have been pretty much carb free for 3 days with the exception of a 1 cup blueberry once a day. I am way new to this and trying to figure it out. I was wondering if it is related to the supplements.
    add carbs! but not simple carbs ! only eat complex carbs like oats, and 100% wheat and grains stuffs, brown rice, etc

    the only time people deplete themselves of carbs are in situations where they are very low bodyfat % and getting ready for a bodybuilding competition
    Last edited by Cheese3216; 05-03-2012 at 12:43 AM.
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  5. #5
    Eh? ChrisG12's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Winterwolf227 View Post
    Thank you, i have been pretty much carb free for 3 days with the exception of a 1 cup blueberry once a day. I am way new to this and trying to figure it out. I was wondering if it is related to the supplements.
    Please don't do that again.
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  6. #6
    Fkin' Wizard ChrisLS8's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Cheese3216 View Post
    add carbs! but not simple carbs ! only eat complex carbs like oats, and 100% wheat and grains stuffs, brown rice, etc
    This.

    And I hope I'm reading this wrong but why exactly are you taking 60g of glutamine a day? You're not serious are you?
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  7. #7
    Registered User fox0's Avatar
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    Agree with you
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  8. #8
    Dining at Chez Whitey PAU1's Avatar
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    The smell could be an indication that you're in ketosis. If you like your current diet and want to explore keto, check the stickied threads in the keto sub-forum of the nutrition section.
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  9. #9
    just skip it |ceman's Avatar
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    Basically it's from your body using amino acids for fuel instead of fats or carbs.

    Here is a reprint that goes into detail:

    What's that Ammonia Smell?
    The next time you smell ammonia, don't worry. It doesn't mean that your muscle tissue is being broken down, and it doesn't mean that you're doomed to stink for the rest of eternity.

    By Jeremy Likness – Certified Personal Trainer


    What Is Ammonia?

    The chemical make-up of ammonia is NH3. This means that there is one Nitrogen atom bound to three Hydrogen atoms. Ammonia can be a weak acid or a weak base, depending on what type of chemical it is suspended in. Ammonia has a strong, pungent odor that is easily recognizable in cleaning products, cat urine, and, for some people, sweat!


    The key to ammonia in urine and sweat is the nitrogen. The only macronutrient in your body that contains nitrogen is amino acids, the building blocks of protein. In fact, many bodybuilders are always seeking a "positive nitrogen balance" meaning that less nitrogen leaves their body than enters their body. Since nitrogen is in every amino acid, and amino acids are the building blocks of muscle, someone in positive nitrogen balance is more than likely gaining muscle mass.


    Your body uses amino acids for energy every day. There is no way to avoid this. Your body constantly goes into catabolic (tissue breakdown) and anabolic (tissue building) phases. When you accumulate mass (lean or fat), your anabolic phases exceed your catabolic phases, but you still experience both phases. When your body uses an amino acid for energy, it must convert the amino acid to a useable form of energy.


    It does this by stripping the nitrogen atom off of the molecule. The skeleton molecule that is left behind is then further converted into glucose and used as fuel. In order to get rid of the excess nitrogen, your body typically processes the nitrogen in your kidneys and forms urea, CO(NH2)2 - basically, a carbon dioxide molecule bound to nitrogen and hydrogen. Urea is then excreted in the urine. If your kidneys cannot handle the load of nitrogen, then the nitrogen will be excreted as ammonia in your sweat.


    One other factor to consider is water intake. The methods used for getting rid of excess ammonia, such as urine and sweat, all require water as a transport mechanism. If you are not getting adequate fluid, then the solution (ammonia + water) will not be diluted. Therefore, water plays a definite role. If you are not drinking enough fluids to have at least one or two clear urinations every day, you should drink more.


    Based on this explanation, it is clear that your sweat will smell like ammonia only if an excessive amount of amino acids are being used for energy, or you are not receiving adequate water. This helps us find a solution to the problem.


    Doesn't That Mean My Protein Intake Is Inadequate?


    Many people mistakenly believe that ammonia sweat means that their protein intake is not high enough. The body will only utilize protein for energy when it does not have a sufficient supply of fats and carbohydrates. Muscles can use glucose and fat for energy, but your brain requires glucose. Since there is no direct metabolic pathway from fat to glucose, your body will use amino acids instead. If your protein intake is high, there is a chance that the amino acids that supply energy will come from ingested food and not your hard-earned muscle tissue - but why take that chance?


    Let's look at an oil lamp. If you fill that lamp with Citronella oil, it will have a distinct odor when you light it. To eliminate that odor, do you add more Citronella? No! That's just fanning the flames. You'd use a different type of oil instead. The same goes for the ammonia smell - this is just the smell of amino acids being "burned" in your body. You don't solve that by adding more amino acids. Instead, you need to supply the fuel that your body prefers - the fuel that can be easily broken down to glucose in order to supply energy to your muscles and your brain - carbohydrates!


    The key to avoiding that ammonia smell is to ingest sufficient carbohydrates. If you eat an ample amount of carbohydrate with every meal, then you should have plenty to fuel your exercise activity. Even people who work out on an empty stomach should have some glucose in their bloodstream upon rising - unless they subscribe to the myth that cutting out carbohydrates before bed helps you lose fat. If you find that the ammonia smell persists (even when you consume carbohydrate with every meal), try having a low glycemic carbohydrate before you workout.


    A little oatmeal, a small apple, or even a piece of sprouted grain bread can provide the fuel that your body needs. Remember, your body requires fuel to burn fat! So don't think that providing some carbs before cardio is going to eliminate the fat burning process. In fact, most of my clients who consume a light meal before working out report that their energy levels go through the roof, and they have an incredible workout. If adding 80 calories in the form of a slice of sprouted grain bread kicks your energy levels into high gear and helps you burn 100 more calories during exercise (while sparing your muscles from being used as fuel), there is no reason to worry about dropping fat!


    Learning Your Body


    Your body can only process a certain amount of food at each meal. Therefore, it may not be possible to avoid that ammonia smell during prolonged activities. The smell is common, for example, amongst marathon runners, who are engaging in continuous cardiovascular exercise for hours at a time. In that situation, it is advisable to consume "sports drinks" or other sources of energy during the activity to fuel your body (and especially your brain) and prevent your amino acids from being burned for energy.


    The next time you smell ammonia, don't worry. It doesn't mean that your muscle tissue being broken down, and it doesn't mean that you're doomed to stink for the rest of eternity. Consume a nutritious meal immediately after exercising - a balance of lean protein and whole, unprocessed carbohydrates - and then increase your carbohydrate intake throughout the day, or add a small "snack" prior to your next workout. An apple a day can help keep the ammonia smell away!
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  10. #10
    Registered User Winterwolf227's Avatar
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    Thank You for the input, I have added brown rice to the mix and wallah, back to normal. I am eating about 1 cup brown rice a day. Other than that, no crap carbs. All good protein and green veggies


    Originally Posted by Cheese3216 View Post
    add carbs! but not simple carbs ! only eat complex carbs like oats, and 100% wheat and grains stuffs, brown rice, etc

    the only time people deplete themselves of carbs are in situations where they are very low bodyfat % and getting ready for a bodybuilding competition
    KB
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  11. #11
    Registered User Winterwolf227's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ChrisLS8 View Post
    This.

    And I hope I'm reading this wrong but why exactly are you taking 60g of glutamine a day? You're not serious are you?
    I was. . . ;-) I have just started lifting and am super sore, and it was impacting my job performance. I was told I could load up on Glutamine and soften up, with 20mg 3 times a day...
    KB
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  12. #12
    Registered User Winterwolf227's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ChrisLS8 View Post
    This.

    And I hope I'm reading this wrong but why exactly are you taking 60g of glutamine a day? You're not serious are you?
    My Bad, On the Glutamine I meant 20mg X 3 a day
    KB
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  13. #13
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    Originally Posted by Winterwolf227 View Post
    I was. . . ;-) I have just started lifting and am super sore, and it was impacting my job performance. I was told I could load up on Glutamine and soften up, with 20mg 3 times a day...
    20mg of glutamine isn't going to do anything for you. You are going to be sore no matter what if you just started lifting. Once you get more used to it, you can try a BCAA supp like Scivation Xtend to help reduce muscle soreness.
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    Originally Posted by Winterwolf227 View Post
    I was. . . ;-) I have just started lifting and am super sore, and it was impacting my job performance. I was told I could load up on Glutamine and soften up, with 20mg 3 times a day...
    20mg, 3 times a day isn't going to do anything. And how would you measure that? A teaspoon is 5 grams so 20mg would be a few granules. If you mean grams instead, then that's WAY too much.
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    Originally Posted by Winterwolf227 View Post
    I have searched the web and have seen nothing about this issue. Any help on why this is happening and if I sould be concerned.
    odd i was able to find info on google on my 1st try!
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  16. #16
    Registered User Winterwolf227's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by raleighwho View Post
    odd i was able to find info on google on my 1st try!
    Oh, I found plenty on "Ammonia on Sweat and Urine" but not coming from your nasal passage. ie, When I breath OUT I smell it. Not INhale.
    KB
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  17. #17
    Are you Driven? Sldge's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Winterwolf227 View Post
    Thank you, i have been pretty much carb free for 3 days with the exception of a 1 cup blueberry once a day. I am way new to this and trying to figure it out. I was wondering if it is related to the supplements.
    Thats what it is. Its the smell of ketones being used as fuel.

    Originally Posted by PAU1 View Post
    The smell could be an indication that you're in ketosis. If you like your current diet and want to explore keto, check the stickied threads in the keto sub-forum of the nutrition section.
    He may not be in ketosis or ketosis as it registers on a ketostik but you are right in that being where the smell is from.
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  18. #18
    Registered User Winterwolf227's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Sldge View Post
    Thats what it is. Its the smell of ketones being used as fuel.

    He may not be in ketosis or ketosis as it registers on a ketostik but you are right in that being where the smell is from.
    Thank You for you input, I appreciate. I haev upped my carb intake slowly and the smell has gone away
    KB
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    this was some helpful info.

    thank you.
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    Please be gentle, I'm not a bodybuilder. I just want to lose weight and get healthy. Over the last 5 months I have lost 60 lbs. This by eating right(?) and just using a treadmill. I have been smelling ammonia when I walk and found this forum when searching. Can someone help me with my analysis below?

    1- exercise burns glucose.
    2- when all glucose is used up, it burns carbs
    3- protein helps the burning process
    4- when everything else is burned, fat is last
    5- if my sweat smells like ammonia, I should add some carbs to the diet.

    Won't #5 make me lose less fat?

    Please tell me which points above is wrong. Again, I'm just trying to lose weight and get healthy.

    Thanks
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    Anyone?
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