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Exercise Induced sweet taste

Posted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 9:39 pm
by swhitbur
I have been doing strength training at my local Y for several months now. As I have been increasing my weights and intensity on exercises I have noticed an interesting phenomena. It mainly happens when I am doing leg extensions and also when doing leg presses. For leg extensions, after a good warm up, if I do a hard set at around 220Lb for 10-15 reps to failure, immediately after stopping I get a very sweet taste on my breath. It seems to be coming from my lungs, no reflux going on. Other than my legs being exhausted I have no other discomfort. Just a strange sweet taste. It's kind of become the measure of when I know I have really pushed it to failure. Is this normal?

Posted: Sat Oct 25, 2008 5:10 pm
by Dib
Sounds almost as if it could be ketosis but why???

Jungle Doc, any comments?

Posted: Sun Oct 26, 2008 12:36 am
by Ironman
I was thinking ketosis too. It could be you have used up your your glycogen and your just kind of using the fat stores. Do you get real shaky too? That's what usually happens when you have depleted your glycogen. That's just speculation though.

Posted: Sun Oct 26, 2008 3:28 am
by Jungledoc
Yeah, I think so too. OP, can you reproduce this with any other exercises? I assume that it would have to be fairly big, energy-costly exercises. Do you eat or drink anything in the several hours prior to working out? Are you on a very low carbohydrate diet?

Can you eliminate this by eating/drinking carbs? Try using some carbs just before and/or during the workout, and see if it still happens.

Can you tell us more what the smell is like? Is it at all like over-ripe apples? Or acetone? I've read that acetoacetic acid has a distinctive smell that only some people can smell. I know that I handled it many times in chemistry labs back in the day, but I don't remember a smell, so apparently I'm one of the ones who can't smell it. That is part of what comes out in the breath during ketosis.

Ironmaiden, are you there? Have you had something like this happen when you are living close to ketosis, then work out?

More Info.

Posted: Sun Oct 26, 2008 9:27 pm
by swhitbur
I am not on a carbohydrate restricted diet. Have only recently been trying to do the 6 small meals a day and trying to get some protein with each meal (supplements). But no, I cannot say I have restricted carbohydrates.

I can only reproduce this with leg exercises but during a recent shoulder press (machine) set at 175lb for 10 reps to failure I did notice a hint of that taste.

As far as describing it, all I can say is that its sweet like sugar... Very sweet. Doesn't smell like acetone. I have some acetone in my home workshop so maybe I'll go take a brief wiff and confirm (now that conjures up an interesting image of me sniffing acetone and trying to explain this to my wife after she catches me in the act and is wondering what in the world I am doing... LOL)

With respect to eating before exercising my habit has been inconsistent on that one. Sometimes I have eaten within the hour of exercise other times I am exercising several hours after eating. I will try consuming some additional carbs before one of my leg days and see if it makes a difference.

Thanks everyone for the thoughtful consideration.

Posted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 12:49 am
by Ironman
I have never experienced that close to ketosis. I just get shaky. I just push through it when I am cutting. It doesn't happen until the end though. When I am bulking I have some fruit juice before hand that keeps the levels up. Then have a dextrose drink after to recharge.

Follow up

Posted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 10:07 pm
by swhitbur
Well that was interesting. You were correct in your juice suggestion Ironman. Tonight I went in and did some legs sets. I ate supper 2hr before going and 15 min before exercising I drank and 8oz glass of fruit juice (100% pomegranate - a little nasty, wish I had some grape). Started with a warm up set of Leg Extensions (25 @ 130lb). Then did incline leg presses: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] (the most I've ever done of this), [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], and [email protected] The most intense set was the [email protected] and after it I experienced just a tiny hint of that taste. Much less than I have previously experienced. After this I went to the Leg extension and did [email protected] and [email protected] and no real aftertaste. Rest of workout was leg press calves, seated calves, crunches, pec flys (machine), and a couple of sets of preacher curls. When I got home I ate a protein shake (not isolate), a banana, and a small glass of orange juice.

So here is my final question, is this "taste of" ketosis something I should avoid in my workout or should I be striving to achieve it? I have plenty of fat to burn. That's my intent is to shed mainly the interstitial fat and hopefully some of the exterior fat and gain some muscle along the way. I certainly am not in an extended state of ketosis as I have not cut carbs out to any great extent.

Again Thanks

Posted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 1:39 am
by Jungledoc
Are you unusually thirsty? I mean, do you need to drink more water than most other people? Do you urinate frequently?

Follow up

Posted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 8:25 am
by swhitbur
No not very thirsty. Don't urinate with unusual frequency. (I think I know where you might be going, were you thinking along the lines of diabetes?).

Posted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 4:38 pm
by Jungledoc
I was. Diabetics can become ketotic even when their blood sugar is high because their body cannot use the sugar normally. Sounds like no worries.

Posted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 4:31 am
by daniel4738
Just as a caveat, if there is any risk of diabetes, go to the doctor for a check up.