Have you ever been walking by your freshly used workout clothes and wondered, why does my sweat smell like ammonia? Well you’re not alone. In fact, it can be very common for athletes to get an ammonia smell in their nose, from their sweat, or on their clothes from a hard workout at least once in their life. And while not life threatening if this is happening regularly it’s something you should take note of and take steps fix.
So why is your seat smelling like ammonia and how do you fix? Lets find out!
Why Does My Sweat Smell Like Ammonia?
When you smell ammonia during a run or workout, this is a sign that your body has started burning protein during your workout. This will typically happen when your body is short on glucose (your carb storage) to burn for fuel. To compensate for the lack of glucose your body switches to protein metabolism. When your body burns protein one of the biproducts of the amino acid break down is actually the toxic chemical ammonia. And while we have a system to process this ammonia (converted to urea) during exercise this burning of protein overloads that system. As a response the body reverts to most simple way of removing a toxin from your body. It sweats it out.
TLDR: Your body is short on carbs so it starts burning protein. The protein creates more ammonia than your body can handle so you sweat it out.
How to Fix it
The good news. Most people can fix this issue fairly quickly by making a few healthy changes to their diet.
The most common cause for the ammonia smell is a low carbohydrate reserve or being on a high protein, low carb diet. If you are not on a specific high protein diet then its most likely a case of low carb reserves. Better know as “you need to eat more carbs” syndrome. Don’t fight the urge. When you are working our or running a lot your need healthy cards as a balanced part of your diet.
If you’re on a specialized high protein or keito diet then you should consult with your physician. If you are this type of diet and it was not recommended by your doctor, then you should probably check with your doctor to make sure it is healthy for you.
The last step you can do to cut down on the ammonia smell is to stay well hydrated. The solution to pollution is dilution, and the extra water will water down the smell.