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  1. #1
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    can you taste lactic acid?

    When I'm going hard during a ride (climbing), especially if it's early in the ride, and I know I'm at or exceeding aerobic threshold, I get a...metallic, I guess...taste in my mouth. Anyone ever experience anything like this, or know if lactic acid has this kind of effect?

  2. #2
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    Lactic acid doesn't work like that. Do you think you may have a acid reflux problem?

    Koffee

  3. #3
    more ape than man timmhaan's Avatar
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    it seems to be pretty common (the metallic taste). many of my friends who do any type of endurance exercise have had this. to me, it tastes like a mouthful of pennies. i experience it mostly if i run and only when i'm really pushing myself on the bike. i've been looking around on the internet for the past half hour and can't find a good explanation yet. i'd be interested in learning about what this is too.
    Last edited by timmhaan; 12-03-04 at 04:35 PM.

  4. #4
    Hucker Extraordinare BigHit-Maniac's Avatar
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    No

    Lactic acid build up inside you...
    Got Nine Inches ? Cuz I do. http://67.19.50.55/forums/images/smilies/eviltongue.gif

    AIM: MtnBikeHucker

  5. #5
    don't be so angry clancy98's Avatar
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    well i have an acid reflux problem, and I know for a while, I would ride with a loaded backpack in the middle of summer, and my reflux would act up like crazy. Try a tums next time, just for tests sake?

    Cl
    Irregardless is not a word, and you do not sound more intelligent using it.

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    actually, thats blood from the capillaries in your throat bursting. its how you know your really working hard. at least thats what my running coach said.

    and PS. its NOT acid reflux.

  7. #7
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    Your running coach needs to go to school and get an education. What body is your coach certified with? I suspect it would be either none or some little known, non-recognized organization. Sorry.

    Check and see if you have some kind of acid reflux problem. It may warrant a trip to the doctor's office, but look for a doctor that's more into sports. Not every doctor knows how to deal with athletes.

    Koffee

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    Rarely have acid reflux of any kind, and "a mouthful of pennies" is a good description. And it's only when pushing pretty hard. I've looked all over the internet (over the years), and have never found anything, either.

    Come to think of it, my wife sells I SMELL like metal when I come back from hard/long rides or runs. And it's not just my body- it's my clothes, so whatever it is is also coming out in my sweat, apparently. And I've read about the phenomenon of "ammonia smell" from the breakdown of...fat? protein? I forget. But this definitely doesn't smell like ammonia.

  9. #9
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    it's not "some kind of acid reflux problem" . i get the same taste in my mouth after a very hard run and i mean very hard. i don't notice this tase on the bike because i think that i'm in better biking shape than running "sprinting" shape. just want to let you know you're not the only ones with the taste of metal.
    bandito

  10. #10
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    How do you know what it is? Did you go to the doctor's and have them test you while you did a hard run?

    Hence the suggestion to head to a doctor for an answer. We can speculate all we want, but the only way to get a real answer is to seek some medical advice.

    Koffee

  11. #11
    . . . rosebud . . . Diggy18's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by timmhaan
    to me, it tastes like a mouthful of pennies.
    Dude that's exactly it. I used to get that after running in the winter, but I haven't had it riding yet.

    Phatman said it was blood vessels bursting. I think that's it, too. Didn't you ever get hit hard in the nose and then have the same sort of taste in your mouth? And blood has iron, right?
    "There'll be time for complacency when I'm six feet under. "

  12. #12
    rider of small bicycles geneman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruger9
    And I've read about the phenomenon of "ammonia smell" from the breakdown of...fat? protein? I forget. But this definitely doesn't smell like ammonia.
    The ammonia smell comes from your sweat. Sweat, in basic terms is slightly diluted urine and contains NH3 (ammonia). In my experience, the smell from sweat is stronger when I'm dehydrated which is logical as the concentration of ammonia in my urine and sweat will be higher. I use it as a sign that I need to drink more.

    -mark

  13. #13
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    OK- just did a little more digging. A metallic taste in the mouth during or after exercise can be (allegedly) caused by:

    -ketosis (fat breakdown. people on Atkins live with this, due to extreme lack of carbs. doubt this, as I am ANaerobic when it happens, and get plenty of carbs. Perhaps if it was during long endurance training, when the body burns more fat as fuel, but that's not my situation.)

    -something about the lungs...inflamming...and the taste being blood. But I would think this is a SERIOUS condition requiring immediate medical attention.

    -lactic acid buildup

    -probably NOT adrenaline- saw a few places that said adrenaline cannot be "tasted"

    AND- all this has to do with metallic TASTE, not SMELL. (for example, the metal taste might be blood vessels bursting in my lungs - yikes!- but that shouldn't cause my clothing to SMELL metallic...)

    The search continues...

  14. #14
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    "How do you know what it is? Did you go to the doctor's and have them test you while you did a hard run?"

    if i went to the doctor everytime i felt or tasted something odd while doing a hard workout i'd be at his office once a week with a pain here and sore muscle there. as far as the "metal" taste goes, for me it seems to come from the top of my throat not down lower where you would expect acid reflux to be. i also believe that it has sort of a blood or iron taste to it but not quite. i never noticed any negative side effects from the "taste" so unless you have some other reason to be worried about it i'd say to just forget about it.
    bandito

  15. #15
    rider of small bicycles geneman's Avatar
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    Here's a little experiment for you all to do before your next work out. If you're used to getting that "blood" or iron taste in your mouth during a hard effort do the following;

    At least 15 minutes before your ride, perform some deep breathing exercises. Breath in absolutely as much air as you can. Really expand your lungs. When you think you've taken in as much air as you possibly can, dig a little deeper for that last gulp. Next, exhale as deeply as you can ... same deal.
    Repeat this process a few more times. No need to go crazy.

    Now go do your normal ride and come back and tell me if you taste blood. I'll bet you won't.

    I have no explanation other than a total speculative guess ... EIPH (google it).

    -mark

  16. #16
    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
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    I actually think it's the air.
    You're sucking in air through your mouth, which has a lot of particles in it that get stuck to your tongue, the moisture evaporates, making your tongue sticky and attracting yet more stuff on it. In the end, it's basically pollution.
    At least for me, after riding through all the back alley industrial park streets on the way to work, that's what I taste in my mouth and smell in my clothes.

  17. #17
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    Are you taking vitamin or mineral supplements?

  18. #18
    don't be so angry clancy98's Avatar
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    well ruger don't know about the other stuff but as far as Ketosis goes, from my atkins experience it takes a while (and a diet change) to get into Ketosis "mode"... That is, I dont think its something you could slip into during a workout.... But I'm not a doctor, just someone trying to help, much like all the people yelling at everyone else on this thread.

    CL
    Irregardless is not a word, and you do not sound more intelligent using it.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by geneman

    I have no explanation other than a total speculative guess ... EIPH (google it).

    -mark
    Wow- EIPH sounds like a very logical explanation. But all the info I find is for HORSES- not humans.?????

  20. #20
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    Yes- and I knoe that Selenium (which I take) has been linked to a metallic taste in the mouth, BUT- it's a constant taste, not just when exercising. I've found tons of conditions that can cause a (constant) metallic taste in the mouth, but very few which come only with exertion.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by clancy98
    well ruger don't know about the other stuff but as far as Ketosis goes, from my atkins experience it takes a while (and a diet change) to get into Ketosis "mode"... That is, I dont think its something you could slip into during a workout.... But I'm not a doctor, just someone trying to help, much like all the people yelling at everyone else on this thread.

    CL
    I thought exactly the same thing. Atkins' people have a constant metallic taste in their mouths- not only under exertion.

    This EIPH things sounds like it, but it's an EQUINE condition. I guess it could apply to humans as well, but haven't found human info yet. I did find one site that compared it to human emphysema, so I'll do some more digging. I don't have symptoms of emphysema in daily (non-exercising) life, tho. And, emphysema wouldn't explain the metallic smell my clothes get.
    Last edited by ruger9; 12-04-04 at 07:52 AM.

  22. #22
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    I've had it once or twice. The most recent occurrance was in a crit that had an uphill finish. I was coming around the last corner and was totally wiped out from the race, saw the finish and just sprinted like a scalded ape for the last 500m. At the finish line I got the mouth full of pennies feeling. The funny thing is I have done extended anearobic sprints on the bike more recently (HR above 210 for 30seconds) and I haven't had the same taste. It may have something to do with your capabilities and conditioning. The crit happened during a time when I wasn't training at all so I was in BAD shape (relatively of course).

    I'll email a buddy of mine and see what his opinion is. He's a Ph D nutrionalist and research scientist for the Banesto Cycling team.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by edmiston9
    I'll email a buddy of mine and see what his opinion is. He's a Ph D nutrionalist and research scientist for the Banesto Cycling team.
    wow- that'd be great. Keep us informed!

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by geneman
    The ammonia smell comes from your sweat. Sweat, in basic terms is slightly diluted urine and contains NH3 (ammonia).
    Sweat is closer to plasma in composition. It does contain trace amounts of urea.

    <edit> Hmmm... after looking in to this further it looks like there is also ammonia present:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...&dopt=Abstract

    Me? I smell like a swimming pool after a ride. My wife prefers that to smelling like pee

  25. #25
    rider of small bicycles geneman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by F1_Fan
    <edit> Hmmm... after looking in to this further it looks like there is also ammonia present:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...&dopt=Abstract

    Really? ... cos I just made that up.



    -mark

    Anyone tried my experiment above yet?

    -mark

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