T Nation

Sweat Smells Like Ammonia


Recently I've noticed that by the end of my workouts when my shirt is soaked in sweat, it reeks like windex. I've looked around for this topic in other forums, and it only seems like this happens with people who are extremely low carb for awhile. I, however, am eating plenty of carbs at the moment (250-300g).

Any ideas?


drink more water. it will help dilute the sweat so it isn't as notably stinky. apparently it is about the body using amino acids / protein to fuel the workout rather than carbs (because there aren't enough carbs).


... though controversy, too... maybe water will help, though. dunno.



L-citrulline can help. The ammonia comes from amino acid metabolism, and the L-citrulline can help the liver work fast enough to turn more of it into urea.

Nothing dangerous.


Are you drinking booze daily?

I had the same issue. Sweat was smelling early in a cardio routine (way before it should). I had a physical and saw my ALT's were high (liver enzymes). Not a good thing. I cut way back on my bourbon and noticed my sweat didn't have that classic and awful windex smell. Not sure there is a cause & effect here, but what else could it be?


^^ God please don't tell me it's the bourbon! I love my bourbon!

I have noticed the ammonia smell but only after accidentally leaving my gym clothes in the plastic bag in my gym bag for 2 days. Holy smokes it smelled so much like bleach I'm surprised those gym clothes didn't self-clean.


i've been dealing w/ this for over a year now.

maybe you're taking in so much (in comparison to fats and carbs) that your body see's it as a primary energy source

how high is your protein?


Protein: 250-300g
Carbs: 250-300g
Fat: ~100g


I don't think I could possibly drink any more fluids peri workout. I usually spend the 3 hours post workout peeing ever 20 minutes.


I don't drink. The only thing that's changed drastically in my diet lately is I drink a bit more diet soda. That's all I can really think of to be honest.


hmm idk then. how long has it been happening?

maybe it was slowly building up in your system


is your pee watery or more concentrated? does it have the ammonia smell?


In my experience, it a bacteria that does not wash off of old shirts. I had some shirts that I could get to smell like Ammonia by wearing them and do nothing, just provide some regular human humidity environment..
Threw them away. problem solved.


Usually very clear.


I really hope this is the case. They are in fact the same clothes from my days of keto dieting =/


you should be able to get some laundry powder that has an anti-bacterial in it. kills germs if you soak stuff for an hour or two or something like that. i do my gym gear once every couple months because it starts to develop an obnoxious smell when the sweat hits it. don't use it too often, though, because it tends to strip the dye out...


wear all fresh clothes next time you hit the gym and report back. I unfortunately wear new clothes every day i workout and usually get the ammonia smell... cardio is worrst


How clean is your diet? Do you get a lot of calories from fast food type sources?

I remember reading a study a while ago that said people with unhealthy diets produce smellier sweat.


ever have indian food then go work out?


Yeah, but I don't produce smellier sweat, just bad gas and bad breath.