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People have often complained about a weird smell in their nose when starting keto and I am here to tell you that this is normal.

In this article, I will:

  • Describe to you why you are smelling this new smell in your nose.
  • What people have described as the smell.
  • How to get rid of the smell.

Why do I smell something weird in my nose on keto?

There is a weird smell in your nose when you are on the keto diet because it’s from the acetone your body is now creating.

When you are on a ketogenic diet, your body will switch from burning glucose for its energy to burning fat instead. The body will then create ketones from the fat, which is a buildup of acids. This sweet fruity smell is from acetone, which is an acid. (Source 1)

Yes, I said acetone, the stuff you take nail polish off with. However, don’t freak out, as explained above, this is normal.

You smell this in your nose because your body gets rid of extra acetone through your breath and urine. (Source 2, Source 3) You could be smelling your acetone breath, which is why there is a weird smell in the nose.

As a general rule what ketone smells like is acetone or a sweet fruity smell

pinching nose with fingers - The Ketosis Weird Smell In Nose Explained

What People Have Described the Smell as

These descriptions of the smell from ketones are from people online.

  1. Metal-almost like a faint bloody nose.
  2. Slight burning sensation in my nose that accompanies this sharp alcohol odor. This is what was described after this person cooled down from cardio, from being on keto.
  3. “Smoke”
  4. Ammonia
  5. Breath gets kinda nasty after maybe an hour of not drinking anything.
  6. Nail polish
  7. Amonia smell if eat more protein (check on this)
  8. Fruity smell
  9. Alcohol

You might smell ammonia because your body is breaking down more protein and this breakdown product is being broken down faster than your kidneys can do, so it’s being leaked out through your skin with sweat (source 4).

How to get Rid of the Ketosis Weird Smell

There’s no true way to get rid of the ketosis smell in your nose, however, there are ways to get through it. Since this smell could be coming from your mouth, most people have paid close attention to their mouth hygiene.

Below are a few ways to help through keto breath.

  • Listerine Strips
  • Wow Drops
  • Thera Breath Toothpaste and Mouth Wash
  • Scrapping their tongue with a stainless tongue scraper
  • Mints
  • Ora Md
  • Chewing Gum
  • Brushing your teeth often
  • Always have water to sip on
closepin on nose - The Ketosis Weird Smell In Nose Explained

Common Questions about Smells on Keto

Can keto change your sense of smell? Eating a keto diet does not change your sense of smell. I have seen online where people say it has heightened their smell senses though.

Does ketosis make you smell bad? Most people do not smell bad when they eat a keto diet. Some people may get a weird smell in their breath when starting keto but this will stop over time.

Does ketosis cause smelly urine? A keto diet can cause smelly urine due to the ketones in the urine.

When someone starts a keto diet, the body is getting rid of ketones in the urine and thus this is where the smell could be from. Over time though, your urine will no longer have detectable ketones in it.

Some people have said that ketones in the urine may smell like popcorn (source 5).

Also, some people may be eating more protein than they need on a keto diet, which in turn may cause your urine to have ammonia and ketones in it (source 6). This will make some pretty smelly urine while someone is starting keto.

The urine smell may also be worse if the person is dehydrated. So drink up!