Ammonia Smell with no exercise?

Answered on February 01, 2016
Created July 12, 2013 at 2:49 PM

Hello All. Hubs and I started paleo last Sunday. We are loving it! I'm down 3.5 pounds this week already! I read some other posts about people experiencing the ammonia smell with exercise, but I smelled the ammonia when I got up this morning, and I still smell it on me now. No one else can smell it. The same thing used to happen years ago when I did Atkins (eek), so I am just wondering since apparently I am in ketosis do I need to monitor it with keto strips? I have been eating carbs this week (sweet potatoes and squash) just wanted to inquire if I'm alone in my self-stinky phase haha.

Thanks G

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2 Answers



on February 01, 2016
at 03:34 PM

You're either exercising too hard and catabolizing too much muscle (muscle gets damaged during exercise, releasing aminos "Uncle Rhabdo is that you?") or you're ingesting too much and have to dispose of it.  Likely this is what's going on and for the short term it's fine - ensure you're recovering with loads of sleep and plenty of protein from grassfed meat sources.

L-Arginine with ornithine can help here; this combination helps your liver detox out the ammonia, but you'll want to also use L-Lysine to prevent viral growth that arginine can induce.

If you have kidney issues caused by excess ammonia/protein (you'll notice foamy urine and smell ammonia in your urine), you can use certain supplements to help things.  KAAG + BCAAs can be used along with a lower protein diet.  The KAAG and BCAAs signal muscle tissue to take up excess protein in muscle.  (KAAG does signal insulin a little, but BCAAs do not.)  Generaly you'll want to take these while doing IF or fasting to also lower the glucose exposure to your kidneys.  (Kidneys in diabetics get damaged when exposed to too much glucose - they also sacrifice themselves in attempting glucose disposal via urine.)


See: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3467174/pdf/1550-2783-9-37.pdf




on February 01, 2016
at 03:04 AM

According to Dr. Greger (in the <5 video, "Protein Source: An Acid Test for Kidney Function".), you smell like ammonia because your body is using ammonia to offset the acid load which processing animal protein is causing it. This is dangerous in the longrun because the constant presence of ammonia at those levels damages the tiny urine-making tubes.

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