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Any Chemists care to explain?

Old 01-14-14, 11:56 PM
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Any Chemists care to explain?

I spend lots of time on the trainer in the colder months. As a Clyde rider that means lots of sweat. I use plush hand towels to wipe the sweat from my face and head throughout each workout. The problem is as the towel gets soaked in sweat it starts to smell faintly like ammonia. What would cause this? My jerseys do not have this odor. I only use each one trainer session between trips through my laundry. I live out of the city and have my own well, hard water it is. I use Kirkland liquid laundry detergent and have started adding .5-1 cup of baking soda with each load. I wash in cold water. Two questions; what causes this and how do I change it so I don't smell ammonia? I spent 5 years working with NH3 so you might say I've had enough of ammonia for one lifetime.
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Old 01-15-14, 12:13 AM
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Low blood sugar or a high protein diet can lead your body to use protein for fuel during exercise, which can make your sweat smell like ammonia.

Possibly your jersey is a wicking fabric that dries faster, so the ammonia smell doesn't get as concentrated?
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Old 01-15-14, 12:40 AM
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Follow up question should I eat some carbs right before exercise to raise my blood sugar? If I did so I suspect I would not lose weight, however weight loss generally does not occur for me during trainer season. My weight goal is to contain the increase to less than 10 pounds; so far so good this year.
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Old 01-15-14, 01:34 AM
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Don't forget that you may be overly sensitive to NH3 - Mixing in the bicarb is great also do a second rinse - When I really get a serious cleaning of my spandex I wash cold, gentile, soap, then do another cycle cold, gentile, Bicarb - Also remember that we stretch out spandex and clothing then impregnate the material with oils and salts and then take them off thus trapping oil and salts tightly inside the fabric...

I ride at 240# and on an 14 mile ride I can drink three liters of water and still loose 3 lbs at return - Its the first few minutes of sweat that really stinks - I've had patients with good hygiene complain of their body odor and most have been minimal water drinkers - I have been around big fat greasy roofers who did not stink that bad after work because they sweat all day and drank about 3 gallons of water up on the roof in Central Texas - Then I have been around skinny sedate office workers who had that lingering mustiness about them sipping only their next soda and never touching water...

So if your hygiene is good and you are drinking water you may need a check up...

Your sweat is like your urine - If it stinks your probably not drinking enough water - And if you are then somethings up...
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Old 01-15-14, 03:46 AM
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Look up ketosis.
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Old 01-15-14, 09:02 AM
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Borax or Oxiclean will remove odors and kill any bacteria and spores without harming synthetics, lycra, etc...
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Old 01-15-14, 09:43 AM
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You-your body-isn't actually excreting much actual NH3- which as you know is EXTREMELY reactive-and toxic.
Your body makes a HUGE effort to scrub NH3 out of your system-converting it quickly to less toxic N containing molecules.

You are sweating out small amounts of N containing molecules-perhaps small amounts of urea etc
Bacteria on your skin-and the towel-are what are producing the NH3 odor.
It is TOUGH and maybe not a great idea-to kill off all the bacteria on your skin

You CAN croak all them on your towels-
Try microwaving them before use-wash them EXTREMELY vigorously-and microwave before use
Obviously make sure they are reasonably microwave proof-test them for a few seconds
I microwave my newspaper-when it is wet
When I don't watch it carefully-it bursts into flames-
so keep an eye on it

ps hot to very hot water cleans oily body debris-funcky stuff-much better than cold water-
you constantly shed cells-bacteria eat them-cells have lipids in them-stick to towels-
USE HOTTER WATER-
Cold water washing for towels-doesn't work as well-
HOT WATER WORKS BETTER-MUCH BETTER
Cold water washing is fine-for stuff that really isn't dirty or funcky-
So claims of cold water working-look true because the clothes aren't really dirty
And the washers spend sooooo much time agitating-ans rinsing-it doesn't matter as much

Hot water rinses the detergent away better also!!
In water restricted areas-cold water washing means more rinsing-wasted water.
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Old 01-15-14, 02:50 PM
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When I was still undiagnosed with type 1 I used to get sweat smelling like ammonia. Might also be too little carbs.
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Old 01-15-14, 03:36 PM
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Sweat contains a certain amount of urea. Urea contains nitrogen. Bacterial degradation of urea converts the nitrogen in urea to ammonia.
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Old 01-16-14, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Look up ketosis.
Ding! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ketosis

Are you diabetic, Walnut? (I am.) Getting the carbohydrate-to-exercise balance right is tough, and you may be experiencing the effects of too little insulin. Maybe. Consult an endocrinologist who knows something about exercise.
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Old 01-18-14, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
Sweat contains a certain amount of urea. Urea contains nitrogen. Bacterial degradation of urea converts the nitrogen in urea to ammonia.
This.
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Old 01-18-14, 09:41 AM
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Thanks for all the replies.
Jeff, yes I'm diabetic, type 2 very well controlled by diet and exercise. I have a full panel done every six months and my MD and her colleagues are thrilled with my numbers. So much so that they would like for me to take part in group visits so that they can share my success story, something I'm not interested in.

Based on my diet and habits it seems it could be a combination of not hydrated enough and not enough carbs in my diet. I eat salad for lunch nearly every work day. I do not drink enough water, although I think I drink more than most folks. In the warmer months I drink more than a gallon a day not including what I drink while riding, this time of year I drink less than a gallon a day. Often i drink a tall glass before going for a ride. When on the trainer I drink about a large bottle and half for an hour session.
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Old 01-18-14, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Black wallnut View Post
Thanks for all the replies.
Jeff, yes I'm diabetic, type 2 very well controlled by diet and exercise. I have a full panel done every six months and my MD and her colleagues are thrilled with my numbers. So much so that they would like for me to take part in group visits so that they can share my success story, something I'm not interested in.

Based on my diet and habits it seems it could be a combination of not hydrated enough and not enough carbs in my diet. I eat salad for lunch nearly every work day. I do not drink enough water, although I think I drink more than most folks. In the warmer months I drink more than a gallon a day not including what I drink while riding, this time of year I drink less than a gallon a day. Often i drink a tall glass before going for a ride. When on the trainer I drink about a large bottle and half for an hour session.
Sounds like you're doing pretty well. I'm late-onset Type 1: it showed up when I was 29, two weeks after I got married. 20 years later, my endocrinologist says I'm doing OK.
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Old 01-29-14, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Wills View Post
Ding! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ketosis

Are you diabetic, Walnut? (I am.) Getting the carbohydrate-to-exercise balance right is tough, and you may be experiencing the effects of too little insulin. Maybe. Consult an endocrinologist who knows something about exercise.
I'm Type 1 (since '86) and have vigorously exercised my whole life. Blood sugar can be all over the charts but when the activity ceases I have to be sure to cut back on insulin and eat a little more because of the wonderful effect the activity has through the entire recovery process. It has also kept the complications at bay.
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Old 01-29-14, 11:37 PM
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Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
I'm Type 1 (since '86) and have vigorously exercised my whole life. Blood sugar can be all over the charts but when the activity ceases I have to be sure to cut back on insulin and eat a little more because of the wonderful effect the activity has through the entire recovery process. It has also kept the complications at bay.
Good to hear. Too bad it's causing you to reply to week-old threads.

The neat thing about bike rides is watching my blood sugar settle into the normal range and stay there for a couple days. I'm not fanatic about exercise (I'm a better mechanic) but the effect is undeniable.
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Old 01-30-14, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Black wallnut View Post
Follow up question should I eat some carbs right before exercise to raise my blood sugar? If I did so I suspect I would not lose weight, however weight loss generally does not occur for me during trainer season. My weight goal is to contain the increase to less than 10 pounds; so far so good this year.
If your blood sugar is back to normal after exercising, you burned teh carbs you ate before exercising. At that point, your weightloss will depend on calories in vs calories out. Of course, if you eat 1700 calories worth of pasta over rice with potato chips and ice cream on the side before riding and only burn 300 calories on your ride, it won't be the carbs that got you in trouble. But a 100-200 calorie yogurt/banana/gel/granola bar/etc an hour or so before a 500 calorie ride will give you a little boost without adding weight or throwing your blood sugar too far out of kilter.

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Old 01-30-14, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Wills View Post
Good to hear. Too bad it's causing you to reply to week-old threads.
Oh no, I replied on my own accord.
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