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tarheel2's picture
Joined: Dec 9 2010
Posts: 26
Alcohol smell after workout

Odd question today.... really odd....

I have been noticing an alcohol smell after my workouts. If I am emitting this smell, I guess it should be through my sweat. No, I am not working out at the beach after a night out drinking tequila (though I wish I was). The smell is very recognizable, something between rubbing alcohol or acetone (nail polish remover). Has anyone experienced this? What is this all about?

Thanks for the input!

TryScott's picture
Joined: Aug 5 2007
Posts: 1833
Yes, right after I open the

Yes, right after I open the Guinness. That's normal, right?

One of the guys I work with said when he was lifting a lot, he could actually smell tuna in his sweat because he was eating so much of it. Other than that, I easily sweat garlic after a generous helping, but I've never heard of sweat smelling like alcohol unless you consume a lot of it.

yakn4ever's picture
Joined: Oct 3 2008
Posts: 78
I have something similar.

I have something similar. My wife calls it an 'ozone' smell. Different than when my clothes have stanky bacteria in them, but still bad enough that she does not want to be anywhere near me until i shower.

I am curious, too.

snail_male's picture
Joined: Jul 21 2009
Posts: 631
Is it possibly some emission

Is it possibly some emission of ammonia, the sign of gluconeogenesis (sp?) - the cannibalizing of muscle tissue for protein on longer hard workouts?

Calling vjohnson...

________________________
http://snail-male.blogspot.ca

wannakona's picture
Joined: Nov 6 2008
Posts: 737
I don't know about alcohol

I don't know about alcohol but I have noticed that my dry-fit clothes start smelling really bad after workouts. My wife noticed that before me and kept telling me to renew my shirts and shorts. I guess it's time to retire some Tri jerseys and sign them with the race dates and times and frame them.
So I think the smell depends on the combination of what you ate and how old your clothes are.

Konstantin
www.TriBug.com

tarheel2's picture
Joined: Dec 9 2010
Posts: 26
Wannakona, there is a

Wannakona, there is a ¨sports¨version of liquid Tide that helps remove the smell from tech shirts. Give it a try, I am sure you will be able to keep those shirts after a couple of washes with that soap.

The smell I am talking about is really not bad (depends on who you ask LOL), it really smells like rubbing alcohol or acetone. The smell does not last long, not more than 20 or 30 minutes after excersise and then it is totally gone. Because of this, I am inclined to think this really is some kind of alcohol compound and not a smell emmited by bacterias and sweat. It does not happen everytime I work out, just sometimes...

I agree with the smell of sweat and the correlation to what you ate or drank, but if that was the reason the smell would remain on the clothes...

I googled what Snailmale said that this has something to do with glocogenesis (sp?), but the website I found said that it may be caused by going into a Ketonic State in which fats, not proteins were being metabolized. Is this correct? If this is the case, I would be happy to have this smell as an indicator of increased fat burn in my workouts (based on a low carb diet). But if this means I am burning up muscle tissue I need to figure out how to stop it...

hamlet_cat's picture
Joined: Aug 4 2010
Posts: 1068
snail_male wrote:Is it

[quote=snail_male]Is it possibly some emission of ammonia, the sign of gluconeogenesis (sp?) - the cannibalizing of muscle tissue for protein on longer hard workouts?

Calling vjohnson... [/quote]

Oh no....where is the science guy when you need him?! He must be out on that weekly long bike ride. I think I know what he would say...sports drink you need to feed your body some carbs so they burn fat instead of protein...have I learned anything?

yakn4ever's picture
Joined: Oct 3 2008
Posts: 78
I am totally on board with

I am totally on board with the fat thing. I saw the same thing when I looked it up, and like to think that I am burning away all this fat, and that one day I will not look like an XL michelin man in a M world.

wannakona's picture
Joined: Nov 6 2008
Posts: 737
I like how the ads on the

I like how the ads on the left show an add for Alcohol Adiction program hehe
Thanks, I'll check the Tide but I doubt it will help.
I still like my idea about retiring jerseys and have a wall of fame.

Konstantin
www.TriBug.com

PrinceofClydes's picture
Joined: Sep 13 2004
Posts: 3265
Hey, I looovve the idea of

Hey, I looovve the idea of smelling alcohol after a workout, with a little lime and ice.. what was the question again?

If the scent isn't staying on the clothes then by elimination I'd say it was on your breath, that means some ketosis and..
the research you did online is looking good to me.

Don't worry about your body eating up muscle because you aren't starving yourself (are you?) and it just means normal breakdown of tissue to force adaption and growth. Happy times.

PoC

"What you you get when you suffer? You get results!" - Paul Sherwin

tarheel2's picture
Joined: Dec 9 2010
Posts: 26
PoC, not starving myself at

PoC, not starving myself at all... Just trying to eat healthy and trying to reduce bread rice and potatoes form my diet. I still eat a lot of fruits and have a PB&J sandwich here and there after my workouts. I eat a very good serving of animal protein and veggies and try to eat 4 to 5 times a day...

Maybe it is my breath, I had not thought of that....

hamlet_cat's picture
Joined: Aug 4 2010
Posts: 1068
PrinceofClydes wrote: Don't

[quote=PrinceofClydes]
Don't worry about your body eating up muscle because you aren't starving yourself (are you?) and it just means normal breakdown of tissue to force adaption and growth. Happy times.
PoC[/quote]

I heard that your body does this if you stop feeding it carbs. Is this true? I assumed if your body runs out of carbs it will switch to burning fat. But someone told me it goes from burning carbs to burning muscle, in the absence of carbs. Does anyone know anything about this?

PrinceofClydes's picture
Joined: Sep 13 2004
Posts: 3265
hamlet_cat

[quote=hamlet_cat][quote=PrinceofClydes]
Don't worry about your body eating up muscle because you aren't starving yourself (are you?) and it just means normal breakdown of tissue to force adaption and growth. Happy times.
PoC[/quote]

I heard that your body does this if you stop feeding it carbs. Is this true? I assumed if your body runs out of carbs it will switch to burning fat. But someone told me it goes from burning carbs to burning muscle, in the absence of carbs. Does anyone know anything about this?[/quote]

You're absolutely correct, but don't be alarmed the effect on muscle mass is trivial in a normal healthy adult - especially if is not prolonged.

Also, the two situations have different stimuli.
Ketosis is most likely in anaerobic exercise such as heavy weight-lifting done over a period of weeks as bodybuilders do, where some catabolizing of muscle protein is possible. see catabolysis:
Catabolysis is a biological process in which the body breaks down fat and muscle tissue in order to stay alive. Catabolysis occurs only when there is no longer any source of protein, carbohydrate, or vitamin nourishment feeding all body systems; it is the most severe type of malnutrition. But in bodybu8ilders dieting for competition, mild catabolysis occurs and their breath stinks.

"Protein stores, especially in muscle tissue, provide the amino acids needed for the process. Amino acids are released into the blood and converted in the liver to alpha keto acids. Alpha keto acids can then be converted to glucose to maintain proper blood sugar levels." - wikipedia

Endurance athletes perform aerobic exercise and the body oxidizes fat readily in that case. See metabolic

anabolic is opposite of catabolic
anabolic is a building up of cells, hence anabolic steroids
catabolic is the breaking down of organic matter to produce energy in cellular respiration

PoC

"What you you get when you suffer? You get results!" - Paul Sherwin

hamlet_cat's picture
Joined: Aug 4 2010
Posts: 1068
PrinceofClydes wrote:

[quote=PrinceofClydes] Catabolysis occurs only when there is no longer any source of protein, carbohydrate, or vitamin nourishment feeding all body systems; it is the most severe type of malnutrition. But in bodybu8ilders dieting for competition, mild catabolysis occurs and their breath stinks.
PoC[/quote]

So it would be in the case of severe malnutrition, like severe calorie restriction. Not feeding your body enough of anything: carbs/fat/protein. Just getting down to race weight, would not apply then because the calorie deficit is so small? This is where I was getting confused.

PrinceofClydes's picture
Joined: Sep 13 2004
Posts: 3265
Theory is fine Hammie, but

Theory is fine Hammie, but individual results vary.
Can't say what anyone individual may experience, all we can do is explain effects some of the time

Poc

"What you you get when you suffer? You get results!" - Paul Sherwin

bengreenfield's picture
Joined: Jul 24 2008
Posts: 117
That's ketosis. I talk about
dkhartung's picture
Joined: Jan 7 2009
Posts: 1174
I used to get a similar

I used to get a similar reaction when I was doing Bikram Yoga. 90 minutes of hard core stretch/strength work in a hot box and I always felt like I was smelling yeast. I assumed ketosis as Ben and PoC mentioned.

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