Effect of donating blood on performance?

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  • #10224

    Hi there,

    I’m a firm believer in donating blood but was wondering what the impact of this might be on endurance performance for training or an event? Any notions of how to space donating in relation to a climb so that it has minimal impact?



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    Anonymous on #10233


    That is a noble thing to do and I salute you for doing it. The reality is that your performance will be significantly diminished by the blood donation for some time. An average endurance trained man may have 5-6 units (.5 liter) of blood (blood volume increase is one of the effects of endurance training). When you donate a unit you’re down 10% in volume. The immediate effect will be similar drop in oxygen carrying capacity. The plasma will be replaced within a day or so. But the red blood cells can take up to a month to completely come back to the same level as before. During that time your aerobic performance will be negatively impacted.


    Scholesm on #10256

    I just gave blood this past Wednesday, I try to give regularly as I’m O-.

    I took Wednesday off from training but was back at it Thursday. Now to be fair Thursday and friday’s Workouts especially felt a small lack of energy but by the time saturday’s Workout came I was good to go. My workout on Saturday (yesterday) was a 14 mile run and a 28 mile bike ride. Was feeling perfect and full of energy, completely back to normal. Now, biologically inside, oxygen levels and red blood cell levels I have no idea what’s going on but I feel absolutely back to normal.

    Not scientific but besides a small 2 day drop in performance not an issue for me.

    michael on #10273

    Thanks guys, it seems like planning at least a couple of weeks before a trip would be most wise just to be sure, although training shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

    – Michael

    Anonymous on #10552

    Not the smooth for high performance.My chiro once told me that the more you donate the harder it is to recover so you gotta be selfish.

    michael on #10572

    mef_recruiting, I can appreciate your point, but that’s not an option for me. I’ve known too many people who have needed blood and (knock on wood) should I ever have an accident I will also. I’ll take the performance hit a couple times a year. It’s a more than fair tradeoff.

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