Just wondering if anyone has any idea about how long it takes to fully recover after donating blood?
I donated last Friday after work and was riding up Corkscrew late Sunday morning thinking how flat I felt. I didn't twig till about an hour later riding back up Montacute that it was probably the blood donation.
I have noticed before that for 2-3 days afterwards I feel a little flat if exerting myself and as a result I never go to the gym or ride the day after donating either.
no idea myself but this was on the adelaide mtb site http://www.amtbc.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=939&p=11368&...
Why not phone up the Red Cross, ask them ? They are very conscientious about answering health queries about blood donations. As the question is a bit technical - ask if there is a doctor or medial officer you can speak to.
The question has surely come up before. Blood donors would include athletes, who need to know the answer for their important competitions.
Anyway - good on you for donating blood, it helps a lot of people.
OK I just called Red Cross Blood Service, 13 1495, asked about exercise after donation. They acknowledge, some people might feel a bit tired for a day or two after, but they said it depends on individual.
Some people are OK after 24 hours, some take a bit longer.
They say their standard advice, is exercise (ie gym, sport) - allow 24 hours.
For important competitions - allow a couple of weeks for full recovery.
I have been a blood donor for quite a while, if you make sure you are fully hydrated before giving (like they tell you), not only will you recover faster but they will hit the vein first try ... maybe.
for me i feel "relaxed" for a few hours and then that's that. Personally i feel sure i could give a double donation and hardly feel any different but i'm bigger than most cyclists and not a real newbie at the bloodbank.
I took your advice and rang them too.
Apprently your blood volume gets replaced very quickly so your blood pressure will be OK but this isn't the red blood cells being replaced....yet.
It was quite a long and involved answer which included Iron levels but essentially I was told that things would generally be back to normal after a few days. Well at least that was how I interpreted it. It was stressed that this was a massive generalisation and that everyones body will behave differently.
That didn't quite gel with what Mike said or what I found on the Americas Blood Service web site (red blood cells within 4 weeks) but this could be my lack of understanding about physiology coming to the fore.
I think it is more likely I asked the wrong question or misunderstood the answers than ARCBS not knowing their stuff.
What I was told however is that if it is a concern to me then I can donate plasma instead and because this does not involve losing any red blood cells, I should notice little or no effects after 24-48 hours. They stress that I should avoid heavy lifting but only because I might cause bleeding at the site the needle went in.
If you have questions, take Mike's advice and give them a ring.
I wonder if I can get a transfusion of some of my own blood before my next big ride ;-)
I'm guessing that would be what is called Blood Doping?
I have noticed that with giving plasma rather than whole blood i don't notice the effects nearly as much, but i still don't feel able to push as far for the next 24hrs or so
Just a comment - there are lots of different interpretations of "normal" means.
The key thing for cyclists here is probably performance, and how you feel. Your athletic performance might be 'back to normal' very quickly .
But sensitive lab tests, on blood, will pick up subtle changes in levels of chemicals and proteins and cells, that take longer to resolve. The reduction, wont make any difference to anything you notice, or your health. When they do get back to their former levels, you probably wont notice that either, But if by "getting back to normal" you mean "get the lab results back to normal" - yes, you could say, it takes longer than a few days.
I also think it depends, donation to donation. I donated whole blood a few years ago when I was racing every weekend, and it definitely knocked my general endurance, and my ability to sustain my usual above-lactate-threshold performance (in racing) for at least 4 weeks. Makes complete sense that if red blood cells are what carries oxygen around your body, then a depletion of RBC will affect your endurance. But then, other times I've donated whole blood and have only noticed a performance drop-off for a week or so.
Yes I feel flat after donating so don't do much physical till 2 days later. I could if I really wanted to but think its best to recover properly.
Donating blood definitely has an affect on your performance if you race, and the restoration of red blood cells to normal levels can take weeks. For a scientific discussion see: 'Effects of blood donation on exercise performance in competitive cyclists' http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7572594
and 'Blood donations and athletic performance' http://nutritionnibbles.blogspot.com.au/2008/02/blood-donations-and...
As the Manager of a Blood Donor Centre I thank all for their donations or those thinking about donating. It is also important that you consider the 24 hours prior to Donating as the activities prior can also have an affect.
If your able to donate then we appreciate the time you give up to make such a valuable contribution, not always easy to manage it between performance related activities or other time pressures you have in your busy lives.
In July we open Australia's largest Blood Donor Centre at Regent Arcade which I am pleased to have been appointed Manager.
I will post details closer to the event, I welcome all to come in once we open.
They have a withholding period of 12 weeks between blood donations, much less for plasma (a week?). Gives some clue as to how long it takes for the body to fully recover.
I give plasma instead of whole blood. That way my plasma is used for the treatments, and I get to keep my red blood cells to transport the oxygen around.