Hi, funny someone else mentioned this condition or reaction from jogging. I had experienced this when I was in the Navy stationed in Guam and Jogging on regular basis, (3mi.every other day). But I had attributed this to the use of daily injestion of "Twin Labs Weight Gainers Fuel". Its kind of a flavored supplement taken with milk and shaken. All that said; The minute I had discontined this supplement my perspiration had ceased to smell like a horse, (ammonia). Are you taking and supplements that might be affecting your body chemistry? I think the other person is right in, (just basically), saying drink your water!!! Hope this helps.
The ammonia smell is a very old and oft asked question, so don't feel that your in a lonely boat. Your not. If you do Internet scans, you'll find that perhaps thousands of runners, cyclists, and body builders have asked just such a question on forums, and so its a not uncommon problem.
I will admit that the answers you get can sometimes seem contradictory... so I guess you'll have to search this more if your really interested. For example, one group likes to say that the ammonia smell is the brproduct of protein metabolism, while others say that its not really the protein but its having the wrong balance of fats, the carbohydrates to proteins, and there are still other explanations
Whatever the full scoop may be.... the following links may be of use, although I'm sure you've searched this already... so maybe these links may be of use to somebody who stubles upon this topic.
http://www.beginnertriathlete.com/cms/article-detail.asp?articleid=326 (duplicate article of above at another web site)
I noticed an amonia (ammonia) smell when I excercised. About 8 years later I went for a physical and discovered that I had Hep C, which is a virus which affects the liver. I later noticed the smell of amonia (ammonia) when I would tear up. I have high amonia (ammonia) levels in my blood. The doctors have yet to give me a definitive answer since after treatment my liver enzymes are good, but I have high amonia (ammonia) content??? Don't know why, but I am going to take lactulose, which will clear out my digestive tract where it could be coming from....I'm still investigating and really disgusted with the lack of care or concern on the part of the doctors. Basically....get a blood test, see if you have high amonia (ammonia) levels in your blood. THEN ask your doctor where this could be coming from???
Typically, the smell is associated with high intensity exercise, especially if completed for an extended period of time (such as a high intensity 60+ minute run). I especially noticed it when I was teaching (and playing) high intensity racquetball for 2 hours (in grad school). I have looked through textbooks and find no explanation for the smell. The logical answer would be that the kidneys are dumping nitrogen (ammonia is NH3) in an effort to buffer the increased lactic acid production or because the body is breaking down protein, which also has nitrogen as a base. In my experience it should go away as your body adjusts to training. Eating more carbs may or may not be a solution. Decreasing the intensity of your workout a little may also be a solution. Generally, getting your body to the point where you have an ammonia smell would not be considered healthy no matter what the cause is.
I have this strong amonia (ammonia) smell after experiencing night sweats which I am having monthly now, early menopause.
I teach fitness classes and Pilates daily and have read that it is related to fitness in some way, but no conclusive information have I found, that is why I checked this out..
I too have had my blood and liver checked, all is normal.
Both night sweats and the smell happen around ovulation time for me, so perhaps hormones are an issue.
It's just plain weird!
I just Googled 'Amonia (ammonia) and exercise' and this discussion was the first topic listed. The reason I was looking was because I just experienced this for the first time in many years (as I was waking from a nap after swimming a mile of laps earlier this morning). I started running in 1982 to control weight and stop smoking. My fitness level was not good, especially starting out (I could only run a few hundred feet before having to walk for a while). At the end of most runs for at least one and perhaps as many as three years, I got a whiff of amonia (ammonia) after my run until I had cooled down. I asked my Doc about it then but she had no answer. My fitness level is probably somewhere close to what it was when I started running in 1982, though I don't smoke and still run, but not as consistently as I should. I'll keep looking for an answer, but it is reassuring ( and somewhat surprising) to see how common this phenonenon seems to be.
It is normal even if you sweat smells like ammonia. This happens only when your body is using excessive amount of amino acids for energy (instead of carbohydrates) or you are not receiving adequate water. The smell of results from amino acids being burned in your body.
The body will only utilize protein for energy when it does not have a sufficient supply of fats and carbohydrates. You need to ingest sufficient carbohydrates before a workout, as the body easily breaks them into glucose to supply energy to your muscles and your brain. A little oatmeal or even a small apple can provide the fuel that your body needs.
If when you consume carbohydrate if you find that the ammonia smell persists , you may try having a low glycemic carbohydrate before you workout.
You should not get worried thinking that intake of some carbs before cardio will affect the fat burning process. Instead it helps you burn more calories during exercise!
Hope you got some useful information.
I've been exercising 2-3 times a week with a few different trainers for the better part of the last 14 years, and have also sometimes jogged by myself. but many of the workouts are exactly the same over the years-- tonight i ran 3 miles in 37 minutes (nothing exciting)-- just like i did tuesday. (I've been jogging 2 miles every tues/thursday for the past 7 months). Tonight I got that familiar ammonia smell I haven't had for months-- maybe a year. It's something I get very infrequently but yet consistently over the years and have never known why. many of the wrkouts were the same. my foods aren't wildly different. I don't take supplements or have any health problems. i don't eat at least for the last 3-4 hours before running or exercising. very odd-- i like to think if i smell ammonia-- i must be burning extra fat!
I had an experience of not smelling like amonia (ammonia) when i woke up. It happened after I came back from a job in the DRC(demacratic republic of Congo). I was 260lbs when i left Canada. 4 months later,and after a very strict diet, giving up smoking, and working in the sun all day, i began to loose weight. I came back to Canada at about 222lbs.... It was very in joy able!! to not worry abouit the smell of my sheets in the morning. Since then i have put on more weight and the amonia (ammonia) smell back.... When i eat before bed my sweat is really bad smelling... Over eating carbs definatly is not helping the cause here
I was thinking the ammonia smell is from old/used fitness clothing...especially fitness bras that trap so much sweat. I work out at a high intensity 6-7 times a week (and I sweat a lot!) and I've noticed that the ammonia smell crops ups after a piece of regularly used fitness wear is about 5-6 months old. I was searching for a method for laundering vs throwing out clothing on a regular basis...Tide with Febreze has helped extend wear, but I was hoping to find some other laundry "cure".
I too have experienced the ammonia smell. To all of you who responded, Im noticing a commonality.
I would like to know of those of you who have experienced this are you
2. A smoker (or recently quit)
Im wondering if the smell is a result of one of these two factors? Or a combination.
Synthetic/wicking fabrics seem to harbor the sweat/ammonia smell even after laundering and it seems to reactivate in the fabric when you start sweating again...componding the odor. I have found a scoop of oxy clean and 1/2 cup of vinegar in hot water in the washer seems to help. I have not been able to eliminate the cause of the ammonia smell while exercising so I'll keep using that combo so I can at least start exercising smelling fresh!
Interesting, I am in the same boat as many of you. I have noticed the ammonia smell often after sweating profusely. I work out regularly4-6 times a week, run 2-3 miles a day and perform my normal activities. I would notice the smell after sweating a lot. There are plenty of differing opinions on the cause I have found but the most common is the breaking down of amino acids for fuel to imbalance of carbohydrates to protein and that active people regularly have this situtation. Just my two cents if anyone knows more please let us know!
This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information.
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. Med Help International, Inc. is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.