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So during our respective 10k's on Sunday, Dana and I were talking about weird things that happen during or after our workouts, and on...

Fit 4 Thursday - Why does this happen?

By 3/10/2016 ,


So during our respective 10k's on Sunday, Dana and I were talking about weird things that happen during or after our workouts, and one of the things we talked about was a chemically smell in our noses after a workout.

I'm not talking about a bleach smell or anything, but like you've just snorted a headful of pool water and your nose is burning from the chemicals in the water. That's the smell/feeling we're talking about here. It's like your nose is exposed and it's almost metallic.

My first web searches produced terror-induced answers. Your kidneys are failing! Liver failure! The sky is falling. I finally found some helpful articles, that weren't just out there to scare you.

Now, mind you the symptoms of this weird metallic smell aren't present after every workout. Just really hard ones, whether hard be the actual effort or the length of the workout.

Ok so background. I eat a fairly balanced diet of 50% carbs, 30% fat, and 20% protein. I carb-load before big runs, and make sure to replenish my electrolytes and stock up on protein after hard workouts.

I don't have any this metallic smell any other time, except if I actually snort pool water through my nose.

Two years ago, I did have an issue with not getting enough salt and I had to compensate for that. I'm not a salty person, and I don't like a lot of salt on my foods. I've adapted, and some of the symptoms that I had during that summer training session haven't come back.

So what is that smell?

Best as I can figure it, based on my symptoms and knowing my body, is it's fat dying or ketosis.

It's not uncommon.

What is ketosis?

The actual dictionary definition from Dictionary.com
ketosis [ki-toh-sis]
noun, pathology
1. the accumulation of excessive ketones in the body, as in diabetic acidosis.

That's not helpful.


My interpretation is it basically means that my body has depleted its energy stores and has turned to fat for fuel, which is why I typically only have this smell after a run of almost 2 hours or more. I'm breathing out the fat. I'm also going to pee it out and sweat it out. It would also explain the very distinct odor of my sweat after those workouts. Its different. There's BO and then there's BO.

It also means I could eat more carbs before those hard, long runs to try and avoid the smell, but fat dying isn't always a bad thing.

Well I hope you guys enjoyed today's little biology lesson. I did, and I'm glad I learned something. Next week, I might tackle the annoying phenomenon of chills after working out. Doesn't matter if its 90 degrees out or not. I'm going to get chilled.

See you guys later!





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