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  1. #1
    Senior Member navajo's Avatar
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    What's that smell???

    Hello fellow Clydes and Clydettes!

    I am seeking your wisdom once again!

    I have been experiencing a (probably common) issue lately. After a ride, I have a STRONG ammonia smell in my nose. Now, I have searched the intenet and there are MANY theories about what causes this. Everything from dehydration, to "that's what happens when you are stripping muscle for energy".

    Does anyone have an actual answer as to why this happens?

    I have tried over hydration (got dizzy! due to electrolyte imbalance, I think), eating more prior to and during the ride, etc...

    Is this something I should worry about?

    I noticed it the first time this year after about 3.5 hrs in the saddle going as hard as I could. So, tonight I just rode around, no particular milage in mind, just puttering around at about 12 - 13 MPH for 2 hrs and it still happened.

    Any info would be appreciated.

    Thank you!

  2. #2
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    Is there a chance that the odor is coming from your clothing? Mine will take on an odor that seems to become more noticable as it gets warm most again, even after generous washings. The solution I've found, has been to add some white vinegar to my pre-wash soak about everyother week or so.
    Birth Certificate, Passport, Marriage License Driver's License and Residency Permit all say I'm a Fred. I guess there's no denying it.

  3. #3
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    The most common cause I know of is insufficient caloric intake and a heavy workout. I haven't had problems with it since back in my competitive tri-racing days when I was going all out for 5 hours. Now I go for 12+ hour rides and have no ill effects because I take in 250 - 300 calories/hour and make sure to balance my sweat loss with plenty of electrolyte replacement.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
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  4. #4
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    That's a sign that you are getting into your protein metabolism rather than the Kreb Cycle (Carbohydrate Metabolism), which from a weight loss and conditioning standpoint, is very good. Keep your hydration high, though. You are pumping a lot of partial protein metabolites into your kidneys when you do this as well.
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


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  5. #5
    Senior Member nkfrench's Avatar
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    My cat used to smell of ammonia when she had kidney problems and her blood wasn't filtered correctly. It wasn't incontinence.

  6. #6
    Senior Member navajo's Avatar
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    Sorry for posting then dropping off. We had some pretty impressive thunderstorms last night and lost my internet connection.

    Thanks for the replies!

    It is definately not my clothes. It is coming from my breath.

    If I am metabolizing protein, does that mean I am burning muscle?

    I am guilty of cutting my calories too low in the past for sure, but figured out quickly that that was a bad idea.

    I usually try to stay around 2000 - 2200 cal a day, and add clif bars and/or almonds during the rides. I feel fine and have plenty of energy (unless I'm hauling my big butt up a hill! HA).

    Oh well, if it'n nothing to worry about, then I won't. Thanks for the help and stay safe out there!

  7. #7
    Wookie Fred chewybrian's Avatar
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    Did anyone else ever notice how the links at the top of the page try to direct you to something related to the topic at hand? For example, click on a thread asking about tires, and you'll see a link up top to some company selling tires--pretty smart. On the "What's that smell?" thread...
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    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chewybrian View Post
    Did anyone else ever notice how the links at the top of the page try to direct you to something related to the topic at hand? For example, click on a thread asking about tires, and you'll see a link up top to some company selling tires--pretty smart. On the "What's that smell?" thread...
    All day when I needed a laugh, I come back to this thread just to see what ads pop up.

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  9. #9
    Senior Member navajo's Avatar
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    I don't get it. When I click in here the only ads I get are for they cycle Africa (or something) and for Bike Racks.

    What am I missing?

  10. #10
    Each Drop of Sweat Counts
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    Google up Ketosis. That's your answer.

    John

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    sprinting our spining can increase CO2

    HI,
    If I spin real fast, I can ocassionally increase my Co2 to the point I can taste it in my mouth are you spining real hard when this occurs and how long does it last after the exercise.
    doug

  12. #12
    Biscuit Boy Cosmoline's Avatar
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    I believe that can be a sign of diabetes-related ketoacidosis. See an MD!
    ''On a bicycle you're not insulated. You're in contact with the landscape and all manner of people you'd never meet if you were in a car. A fat man on a bicycle is nobody's enemy.''

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  13. #13
    Senior Member navajo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by djnzlab1 View Post
    HI,
    If I spin real fast, I can ocassionally increase my Co2 to the point I can taste it in my mouth are you spining real hard when this occurs and how long does it last after the exercise.
    doug
    Yes, I notice it after I've been spinning pretty hard ( I mean I AM a Clyde! ). I usually only notice it for 10 - 15 minutes after I stop riding, I don't notice it while actually riding, it's when I stop. Of course, this is most often at the end of a LONG steady incline I have to go up to get back to the car.

  14. #14
    Senior Member navajo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmoline View Post
    I believe that can be a sign of diabetes-related ketoacidosis. See an MD!

    MD seen. Nope, no diabetes for me!

    Thanks for the concern though! I did watch one of my aunts battle it for a long time...

  15. #15
    Senior Member navajo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrekJapan View Post
    Google up Ketosis. That's your answer.

    John
    Interesting reading! I think if you put your post and Tom's together we may have a winner!

    But then, I really have no idea. Thanks for the lead though!

  16. #16
    Senior Member navajo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by navajo View Post
    MD seen. Nope, no diabetes for me!

    Thanks for the concern though! I did watch one of my aunts battle it for a long time...
    Quote Originally Posted by navajo View Post
    Interesting reading! I think if you put your post and Tom's together we may have a winner!

    But then, I really have no idea. Thanks for the lead though!
    SO THAT'S HOW YOU GET MULTIPLE QUOTES ON THE SAME REPLY!!!

    Sorry for the over posting there, didn't know how to do this!

  17. #17
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    I experienced this a lot when I started cycling 2 years ago. I bonked a lot that year and wasted a lot of time figuring out how to ride & eat properly.

    http://forums.bicycling.com/eve/foru...4527#966104527
    http://www.ahoyhoy.org/?p=690

    Depending on your goals...I don't know if you want it to happen too often.

  18. #18
    Senior Member BigPolishJimmy's Avatar
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    Interesting post, thanks for posting it.

    Danger... possible TMI ahead....

    Last Sunday I did my first 10-mile ride of the summer. 3rd ride of the season due to my being lame, not literally but mentally just too caught up in stuff going on. I rode with my son who was digging his Trek on the longer ride. I had a large bottle of water and we took it pretty easy and ended up stopping a few times. Near the end of last season this would have bugged me, but I'm so out-of-shape I was thankful for it. I kinda felt like I was bonking by the time we were near home, loosing strength/concentration and legs felt rubbery. It took my by surprise because we really took it easy at 10-mph most of the time I'd guess, a real lazy pace.

    After the ride I felt like there was a shop vac hooked up to my muscles and my body was just being sucked away. I may have been a bit dehydrated as earlier I drank some orange juice that played havoc with my system and made me too regular for my liking, but I did drink plenty of water, at least 22-oz and had to pee by the time we got home. I did sleep like a baby that night, felt like I was floating. The day after I felt pretty good for most of the day then the soreness started to kick in. The day after that I was sore in earnest. I'm hoping the weather holds so I can ride the 5-miles to my sons game tonight, watch it and then ride home. In any case the ammonia smell kinda freaked me out, the first time I figured it was just a wif of actual ammonia as I was in the bathroom, the second time I paid more notice because it seemed to be in my nose and not coming from anywhere in the room... weird. Must ride more and re-learn to sweat again, i think this is the key.
    Last edited by BigPolishJimmy; 06-04-09 at 11:03 AM.

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