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View Full Version : donating blood: how long until back to normal?


Jeff Yan
03-24-2009, 11:39 AM
I've been advised not to work out for 24 hours after donating blood.

How long after blood donation does it take to get back to reasonably normal performance levels?

Dave Matteson
03-24-2009, 02:39 PM
Most people are at a near-normal activity level by 2-3 days afterwards. This is the time it takes for your body to fully replace the fluid loss.

One unit of donated blood is one pint. You have 10-12 pints of blood in your body. Since the average turnover time for RBCs is 100-120 days, you are essentially back to full strength in 10 days (1/12 * 120).

Matthew Kloepfer
03-24-2009, 04:07 PM
Not what you're looking for, but, I asked a nurse what the consequences would be if I went out drinking after donating blood. She said 1=3. You could be a pretty cheap date.

Steven Low
03-24-2009, 05:47 PM
Hydrate well... vit b12 helps with formation of blood cells.

You're obviously gonna see some decrease in performance.

If you're working out the body will make some EPO if the kidneys are getting hypoxic, so tough workouts should help you get back to normal "faster" b/c more EPO is produced to up RBC numbers. Similar to high intensity helping your performance improve quicker.

Although workouts will probably feel more painful.

Gil Butler
03-25-2009, 09:30 PM
I've found I need about 3 days to recover. 24 and 48 hours after donating almost immediately at the start of the WOD my heart starts painfully pounding and I start feeling sick.

Jonathan Yoon
03-26-2009, 08:37 AM
It's been two days since your original post. How are you feeling now?

Brian Prochaska
03-29-2009, 02:34 PM
24hrs after giving I'll definitely notice a loss of performance and get winded quickly. 48hrs later I may feel a little off at the start of a workout, but not too bad.

So, I usually give blood before a rest day, but if not I just push through it. Eat and drink extra for the next day or two.

good luck!

(hey, this is my first post!?!?! sweet.)

later,
m/32/5'8-1/2"/176

Jeff Yan
03-29-2009, 07:56 PM
It's been two days since your original post. How are you feeling now?

Unfortunately, I haven't done too many WODs lately. The few that I have done that aren't non-timed lifting workouts haven't been particularly impressive. My performance as of late hasn't been great for the past few weeks anyway.

Lou Cabales
03-30-2009, 05:31 AM
if you are concerned about the recovery time

you might want to consider platelet apherisis, you'll lose minimal amout of RBC's. sometimes ill let them take a single unit plasma also. but if i really need my energy its platelets only. plus less post donation fatigue. with apherisis they can/ take multiple plasma and platlet units. make sure to let them know thats what u want to do. (its your right).

procedure takes a little longer. and you are still helping out.

big ups on giving blood!!!!!!! Karma credits.

Ps. in my younger crazier days we used to have a few drinks and a smoke right after giving blood. yes the 3:1 ratio is a good call

Samuel Kordik
02-06-2010, 10:33 PM
I donate blood every 8 weeks, and every time, the nurse tells me not to lift or do heavy exertion afterwards.
However, I usually ignore that advice.
As a medic, I know the concern with lifting is that you might end up blowing the vein they put the needle in. So you just have to be careful there. Obviously, when you've got fewer red blood cells and less blood plasma, your performance will take a hit. However, I still find I can do an intense workout, and notice no difference in recovery time. Just in performance.

The best thing you can do is to hydrate well and listen to your body. Avoid double-unit/packed RBC donations if you can. I tried that once, did a metcon, and ended up in bed for 3-4 days afterwards.

It would be interesting to see more exact numbers detailing performance differences.

Albert Chang
02-07-2010, 03:02 PM
I did a double unit and had no problems with wods for the next few days. They were short of spectacular, but I didn't mind too much. I've only done doubles once, when I had time at the end of the day. I can only do singles now because I only have 10 minutes, between classes.

Christy Labrie
04-05-2010, 08:06 AM
I give blood pretty much every 8 weeks.
I never noticed much of a difference before crossfit. But now I do.
I give on Tuesday evenings and rest that night. Have a WOD on Wednesdays and it is always harder than normal, I get winded and just fatigued.

I will still keep doing it, it is more of an annoyance than anything. I just know the day after, I am going to have crappy performance.

Meghan Reid
04-05-2010, 12:18 PM
I give blood pretty much every 8 weeks.
I never noticed much of a difference before crossfit. But now I do.
I give on Tuesday evenings and rest that night. Have a WOD on Wednesdays and it is always harder than normal, I get winded and just fatigued.

I will still keep doing it, it is more of an annoyance than anything. I just know the day after, I am going to have crappy performance.

I had to have blood drawn for a lipid profile (fasted at 8am). I usually work out at 6am but thought I would feel totally crappy if I deadlifted, didn't eat, AND got blood drawn. I fainted dead away and that was without a workout. I think it really does make a difference. I don't know. When you get blood removed that's a good excuse to take a rest day in my honest opinion :)