Sweet smelling odour after workout

Has anyone experienced a sweet odour after a workout?

Some context, I completed Augusta this morning, which is a 90 minute workout with 4 x 15 mins @ 95% ftp including a 30 sec surge at the start @ 150% ftp. I followed this up with Townsend-1, which is 90 mins, mostly hovering between 58 - 65% ftp.

I had a recovery day yesterday, just spinning the legs for 45 mins with Recess-4 (50% ftp).

I drank 1800ml fluid as I was sweating quite a lot during the first workout.

120g carbs in my drink mix (total).

1 banana.

1 bar with 22g carbs.

I’ve Googled “sweet smelling odour” and can see information about diabetes as well as ketosis.

Before I think about getting myself checked for diabetes, I’m just wondering if this might be a common thing when adding endurance following a threshold workout. Has anyone experienced this before?

Certain herbs and spices can cause this. I shared a house many years ago with 3 other people, 2 of whom were a young Sri Lankan couple. The were fabulous cooks, and did most of the cooking; in return they didn’t do many other chores. Anyway, so we all ate Sri Lankan curries basically 5x a week, sometimes more with leftovers. My then girlfriend soon started to comment that I generally smelled sweet, but in a slightly sickly way. Like you I was a bit concerned, got the tests, normal, and it was only when I was telling this to one of the couple, they just laughed, and said ‘that’s the [insert Sri Lankan spice name].’ I can’t remember exactly what it was, sorry!

So could be a factor, but tbh, for a simple blood and urine test, I’d get it checked; better safe than sorry.

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That’s interesting, I sometimes buy a Sri Lankan vegan curry and eat it midweek in work. I can’t remember if I had the Sri Lankan one this week or another offering. I’ll have to check and then see if there’s a correlation. :+1:

Ketosis also the first thing that came to my mind; does it smell like Juicy Fruit gum?

It’s certanily possible that you’re dipping into state of ketosis through depletion of glycogen stores with all that threshold + endurance work, though ~160g CHO from your intake + glycogen on board seems like it would be enough to fuel 3h work. Perhaps someone with a better grasp on this biochem would have more insight.

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Maybe? I can’t really say for sure a day later. Just remember the air smelling sweet when I re-entered the room.

I did a couple of hours of z2 today and didn’t smell anything. Less carbs than yesterday at 40g hour. Also didn’t use any fructose like I did yesterday. Obviously different training stimulus today so can’t compare the two.

During the Black Death in 17th century England, smelling a ‘sweetness in the air’ was a sign of the bubonic plague. I’m sure it’s not that though…


:grimacing: I’m not going to sleep tonight! :joy::rofl::joy:

What you’re smelling is the sweet smell of success - TrainerRoad makes you a faster cyclist.

I think the TR smell is something burning, according to Dylan Johnson :rofl:


I know what that smell is.