Monday, April 10, 2017

The Sweet Taste of Victory?

I’ve been noticing on my runs that some days I get this weird sweet tasting film around my lips. It hasn’t been every single day, but it happens often enough to make me wonder what is going on. Today was one of those days. I ran pretty well today, logging 2.1 miles, and fought against my body when it kept telling me to slow down and walk. As I got to the 1.5 mile mark, I noticed it happening again. The sweet taste of victory? Perhaps. But perhaps I should check Google and see what else it could be.

After reading a few forums and an article on, I finally found out what is happening. The sweet taste that develops in or around the mouth are ketones (think ketoacidosis in diabetics). During strenuous exercise the body likes to burn glycogen, made up of sugar and carbs, which is stored in the muscles (and was also the culprit of my gaining six pounds when I started running). Glycogen is easier for the body to convert to fuel, so the body pulls from this first. When the body no longer has those glycogen stores, it turns to burning fat instead. In pushing my body into using fat by depleting the sugar stores, my running is causing a state of ketosis.

Diabetes runs on my father’s side, so just to be sure everything was OK, I stopped into the nurse’s office at work to check my post-run, and present sweet-lipped, blood sugar level. A quick prick of the finger and a short chat later, the results were in. My blood sugar level was normal. Awesome!

When trying to lose weight, starting a new diet or exercise program will change everything about your body. You will notice so many things that your body is doing that it hasn’t previously. Those changes need to be monitored. Even if you think everything is OK, take a few minutes and check that blood pressure, pulse rate, and even your blood sugar levels like I have done. My diet and exercise goals are intended to make me healthier. Health does not start and stop in the mirror.

Monitoring my health and paying attention to the small things like that sweet taste has given me another marker to measure as I go about my journey to a better me. I’ve learned that when I’m running and that sweet taste is present, I’m burning fat and getting lean. The sweet taste of victory? You betcha.

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