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3910 Views 14 Replies Latest reply: Jul 3, 2008 3:14 AM by DaveVause RSS
Steve Carton Legend 369 posts since
Oct 11, 2007
Currently Being Moderated

Jun 26, 2008 10:33 AM

The Smell of Ammonia

 

So, sometimes when I run a long training run (upwards of 12 miles or so) at the end, I feel like I can "taste" or "smell" ammonia. I've always assumed that this is caused by my body depleting all my glycogen stores and going into ketosis. I've never tested my pee with a keto-stick, though I do have some, left over from an Atkins stint several years ago.

 

 

Last week I ran a 16 miler in San Francisco [[p-8767]] and then wrapped my clothes up in a hotel plastic bag and packed them for the trip home. The next morning, back at home (Annapolis), when I opened the bag, the running clothes reeked of ammonia. First time I've ever noticed that. I didn't eat anything prior to that run and had two gels during it (breakfast of champions). So the question is, am I going into ketosis? And, more importantly, is that a bad thing. I think I am and that it's bad because it indicates consumption of muscle tissue to supply energy. But I'm no physiologist or nutritionist. So I may be dead wrong.

 

 

Thoughts?

 

 

  • DaveVause Community Moderator 1,447 posts since
    Jul 9, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Jun 26, 2008 5:32 PM (in response to Steve Carton)
    Re: The Smell of Ammonia

    Ammonia is a by-product of protein metabolism....and that's what you're doing.  You need to increase your carb intake.






  • jenhirr Legend 314 posts since
    Jul 9, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Jun 27, 2008 4:13 PM (in response to Steve Carton)
    Re: The Smell of Ammonia

     

    Certainly there are exceptions to rules but the last two people that went on ketosis runs for their weight loss plans ended in the hospital with kidney issues.  Don't do it.  Listen to Dave...Eat more carbs.

     

     

  • DaveVause Community Moderator 1,447 posts since
    Jul 9, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Jun 28, 2008 6:56 AM (in response to Steve Carton)
    Re: The Smell of Ammonia

    "during runs" is too general.  Runs over 16 or 17 miles use up most of your glycogen stores.  Consuming simple carbs slows this depletion.  Under 15 miles, I doubt supplementation is anything more than psychological help.

     

    Some protein metabolism is unavoidable.  But you want to minimize it.






  • DaveVause Community Moderator 1,447 posts since
    Jul 9, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Jun 30, 2008 2:49 PM (in response to Steve Carton)
    Re: The Smell of Ammonia

    Pete Pfitzinger wrote an article on "depletion" runs in Running Times some time ago.  They are runs >= to 17 miles purposely done on low carb reserves.  The idea is to  push the body to manage fat/glycogen consumption more efficiently.  I've experimented with them and believe them useful.  As a result of the article, I generally no longer usually supplement during my long runs except for Gatorade.  But I could have never completed my long runs in my first first 3 years of marathon training.  

     

    I believe your body's metabolism continues to adapt if you keep up with the long runs all year long.






  • DaveVause Community Moderator 1,447 posts since
    Jul 9, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. Jul 2, 2008 3:40 AM (in response to Steve Carton)
    Re: The Smell of Ammonia

    I've read that roughly 10% of the calories consumed running come from amino acids.  If that's the case, some protein replacement is in order.  I try to stick with independent studies, rather than one's you see in advertisements for products.  In that case, I've not seen any on the benefits of mixing protein in with your carb and electrolyte replacement supplements.  But I've not really investigated the topic. 

     

    A good study on carb replacement: Jason Carp, A Matter of Survival - Training to Combat Fatigue, Running Times, 12/2007, citing his work published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism in 2006: to maximize glycogen replenishment after an LSD or LT/LSD workout, consume 0.7 gm of simple carbohydrates per lb of body weight within 30 minutes of running. Continue to consume 0.7gm/lb every 2 hours for 4 to 6 hours afterwards.

     

    He doesn't mention protein.






  • Clint Randall Amateur 15 posts since
    Apr 21, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    10. Jul 2, 2008 7:01 AM (in response to Steve Carton)
    Re: The Smell of Ammonia

    LSD is a long slow distance run

  • Clint Randall Amateur 15 posts since
    Apr 21, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    12. Jul 2, 2008 8:23 AM (in response to Steve Carton)
    Re: The Smell of Ammonia

     

    I actually have no idea....sorry!

     

     

    Good luck though!

     

     

  • DaveVause Community Moderator 1,447 posts since
    Jul 9, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    14. Jul 3, 2008 3:14 AM (in response to Steve Carton)
    Re: The Smell of Ammonia

    Lactate Threshold.  See http://www.mcmillanrunning.com/training2.htm under "Stamina Training" for  a good description. 

     

    The carb replacement study I mentioned above is meant for after the run, not during.






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