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After a ride the strangest thing happens to me...(10 posts)

After a ride the strangest thing happens to me...nicholasdunford
Jun 29, 2003 6:12 PM
I smell ammonia very strongly for 15 to 20 minutes. It's almost like the smell is in my nostrils because it becomes very strong when I sniff in. It is the strangest thing and I can't figure out what it is. Maybe crap in the air gets caught during the ride? Anybody else have this really bizarre symptom.
Not bizzare...MrDan
Jun 29, 2003 6:30 PM
You are riding hard, perhaps in the heat. The ammonia you smell actually comes from urea contained in your sweat. It's well documented in training circles. I get it all the time... shower hard!
Well documented?filtersweep
Jun 29, 2003 7:06 PM
Care to point to some sources for this?

My understanding is that it is related to amino acids being metabolized... maybe this creates urea that ends up in sweat, but regardless, I find the phenomenon poorly documented at best.
Makes SenseMr Nick
Jun 29, 2003 7:09 PM
Thanks for the information. I am not sure why I didn't think of it I guess its been too long since my biology classes.
Yep...The The
Jun 29, 2003 9:25 PM
Last night I took an easy 1 hour ride out in some of the warmest weather we've had this summer. When I came home I showered and then got ready to eat. I said to my you smeel ammonia? He said no. I actually forgot to think that it might have come from me! I actually double checked the kalamari I was eating (yep, I ordered in) to make sure it was OK. The smell went away quickly, though.
Here's a sourceDERICK
Jun 29, 2003 7:58 PM
This subject came up a few weeks ago and this site was linked. It blames amonia on too much protien. Scroll down to the paragraph that says "Consuming Too Much Protein During Exercise".
Experimental studies showed the opposite...yatming
Jun 29, 2003 9:08 PM
As far as I know, multiple human experiments have failed to prove increased sweat ammonia in graded exercise. The latest study I know is published at The International Journal of Sports Medicine. W.Ament, J.R. Huizenga, G.A. Mook, C.H. Gips and G.J. Verkerke: Lactate and ammonia concentration in blood and sweat during incremental cycle exercise by ammonia. Vol. 18, pp 35-39, 1997

You can also go to this link for its abstract

But empirically having the smell of ammonia after prolonged exercise is not uncommon. Is it really due to excessive protein intake and diminished renal function secondary to dehydration? Any one know of any study that proves this hypothesis?

Happens to me all the time...manicoti
Jun 30, 2003 4:08 AM
After a hard ride I smell it whilst in the shower, but it quickly goes away. I have no data but I agree that it is probably from urea. Maybe we are a little dehydrated. I am usually very salty and crusty after a ride when I then smell it in the shower. I never smell it before I shower.
Happens to me all the time...filtersweep
Jun 30, 2003 6:44 AM
It happens to me all the time as well, but never occurs on a recovery ride. I sweat just as much from heat-related rides on the off-days, but my ave. HR doesn't compare to a real workout. I do not think it has to do with dehydration, since it happens in the gym as well after even a one hour cardio workout in the winter. I'm not eating any protein during these workouts... I still think it has to do with metabolic functions.

Who knows... this seems so common, yet difficult to find a definitive physiological explanation, other than empirical info.
Breakdown of muscle?TheKid
Jun 30, 2003 1:25 PM

High carbohydrate intake is also important because the body makes glucose from carbo. Glucose is the only fuel your brain can use. If levels are low, your body protects the brain by manufacturing glucose from whatever is available—even cannibalizing protein in muscle tissue. You'll feel lethargic, you'll ride slowly, and your sweat will smell like ammonia from the byproducts of breaking down your muscle tissue for energy. Don't go there.