I heard that burning fat leads to acetone odor while burning muscles leads to ammonia smell.

Is this true?
How can I distinguish both smells as they are very similar?

  • 2
    This question appears to be off-topic because it is about distinguishing smells, which is highly personal to the individual.
    – JohnP
    Sep 30 '13 at 15:14
  • 2
    I think is very important to distinguish when you are burning fat or muscles when running. Maybe a combination of odors and other symptoms could help to distinguish. Oct 1 '13 at 12:19
  • What does vanilla smell like? Also, you aren't burning muscle to get ammonia smelling sweat, you are burning amino acids. Breaking down your own muscles is called rhabdomyolysis and is a very serious condition.
    – JohnP
    Oct 3 '13 at 17:35

It's definitely true, however both metabolic functions can be happening at the same time, different pathways.

From the suggestions I can mention,

Acetone smells like nail polish remover, ammonia is a common household cleaner. So do you smell like you had your nails done (or perhaps your girlfriend did hers) or that you've been cleaning all day? That may help you with your answer.

The traces of these two smells are studied extensively on the patients with diabetes. If curious, can have a look at this article. ACIDOSIS AND ASSOCIATED CONDITIONS

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