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Cycling after giving blood

sparkins1972sparkins1972 Posts: 252
edited September 2010 in Road beginners
I gave blood on Monday and the advice I was given was not to exercise for 24 hours - I went out yesterday for a 25 mile spin in my lunch hour and I really struggled. I didn't think about the blood donation until today.

So for anyone else who has given blood, how long do you normally give it before getting back on the bike and do you know the physiology of the whole thing - how long does it take for the blood to get back to normal - I know this will vary from person to person but as a general rule of thumb?

Cheers

Posts

  • SBezzaSBezza Posts: 2,173
    It will take about 4-6 weeks for your red blood cells to fully recover in their numbers. When you give blood, the plasma level is made up pretty quickly, but it takes a while for the bone marrow to produce the red blood cells.

    Less red blood cells means less oxygen carrying capacity to the muscles. I don't give blood whilst I am competing or training hard, so that limits me to perhaps 1 or 2 months of the year to give blood and not worry about it.
  • I noticed that my heart rate was elevated for my usual rides. I also did a TT a couple of days after donating and was down on my time.

    It takes about 2 weeks to start feeling as strong as you were before the donation. Remember you're red blood cell count is down, which means less oxygen to your muscles. Unless you know a spanish doctor then you'll just have to bide your time and take some iron supplements
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  • Thanks for that guys, makes me feel better about my lethargic performance yesterday.
  • mpgmpg Posts: 6
    Hi

    I have been giving blood for over 20 years , this is what i have found. I give blood on a lunchtime from work & still have no problem cycling home, though I do conciously take it easier when i have just given blood, definitely don't race for 2 - 3 days afterwards - I speak from experience. I try to arrange my blood donor appointments for Mondays so that i have just about recovered enough to race by the following weekend, though it takes me a week to 10 days to seem to fully get back to my normal levels, I avoid giving blood the Monday before a big / long race.

    The first couple of times I gave blood, such a long time ago now, were when I noticed the effects more. These days, I tend not to notice the difference so much in my normal day to day cycling & training, maybe I am more used to it now.

    Make sure you drink plenty before & after though, that i what I have been recommended by the Docs at the donor sessions.

    Don't forget, everyone is different. Sound advice from the other posters above.

    Well done for doing this though.

    M.
  • I've never actually given this any thought really, perhaps I should. For the past few years i've given platelets (generally on a friday afternoon) and cycled home afterwards and not really felt any negative effects. Does anyone more biologically clued up than me know whether giving platelets should affect aerobic capacity in much the same or a different way? It's only a five mile cycle home with the usual rush hour hold ups but it would be good to know.
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  • dmch2dmch2 Posts: 731
    platelets are only involved in clotting so taking some out won't affect your oxygen carrying capacity.
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  • dmch2 wrote:
    platelets are only involved in clotting so taking some out won't affect your oxygen carrying capacity.

    Yeah, i know that, what I was, I guess, referring to was a change in blood pressure brought on by the donation which you are quite often warned about, and as to why there are even more questions for platelet donors to answer when there is less obvious a need to be as vigilant. My fairly basic knowledge of blood functions tells me it shouldn't be as pronounced an effect, hence i've never thought about it. Am I right or am i missing something?
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  • Used to cycle to and from donation centre with no problem... though in Ireland you can have a Guinness afterwards :D !
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  • newtez2newtez2 Posts: 209
    I did it the other way round!
    It was a really hot summers day years a go, been on the bike for over 5 hours came home
    and my girl friend said arnt you meant to give blood at the town hall,
    feeling fine off i went - 1 pint of blood later i left and almost fainted! and nearly fell down the steps at the Henley town hall!
    2 teas later and a few biscuits given to me by the kind friendly staff and all was fine!!
    Boy did i have a huge dinner that evening and sleep like a baby!
    :wink:
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  • NerrepNerrep Posts: 112
    Marcus_C wrote:
    dmch2 wrote:
    platelets are only involved in clotting so taking some out won't affect your oxygen carrying capacity.

    Yeah, i know that, what I was, I guess, referring to was a change in blood pressure brought on by the donation which you are quite often warned about, and as to why there are even more questions for platelet donors to answer when there is less obvious a need to be as vigilant. My fairly basic knowledge of blood functions tells me it shouldn't be as pronounced an effect, hence i've never thought about it. Am I right or am i missing something?
    Your body should restore your effective circulating volume fairly quickly (as long as you're drinking properly), but will take a while (as others have mentioned) to replenish the cells in the blood (rather than just the fluid) which carry oxygen amongst other things.
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