Giving blood

cbtmrt Posts: 29
edited August 2013 in Health, fitness & training
I haven't given blood since getting into cycling and have just been invited for a session next week. I don't race or do anything serious but am trying to improve fitness a lot, speed and distance (aren't we all!). Will giving blood make a massive difference to performance in your experience and for how long?

Cheers! :)


  • thistle_
    thistle_ Posts: 7,142
    I always felt a bit more tired while riding for about a week afterwards, although I'm informed that your body will replace the lost blood within 24 hours so maybe it was psychological.

    The first couple of times I went I got a cold quite soon afterwards which knocked me back a bit but after that I'd never had a problem.

    You might get an ache in your arm or a bruise if you go for a hard ride too soon afterwards, just from where they shove the needle in.
  • IhateDNS
    IhateDNS Posts: 380
    I never found a problem giving blood and have gone for a ride later on in the day say five hours after. Long as you chill out at center and have a good meal some time later should be all good.

    My riding is XC not that I do DH don't think I would be doing that after donating :D
    A week! mm does sound psychological thistle, we all different but that does seem along time.
    I only ride 'em, I don't know what makes 'em work!
  • memnoch
    memnoch Posts: 8
    Make sure you eat a decent meal afterwards and drink plenty of fluids and you should recover reasonably quickly.

    As a side note though, donating blood can make for a nice cheap night out in the evening.
  • Personally I don't ride the same day as giving blood, next day I'm usually feeling fit again though.

    Oddly, 1st ride after giving blood is normally better than usual lol.
  • thelonegroover
    thelonegroover Posts: 1,073
    I never noticed any difference, while marathon training, I'd ride a couple of miles to give blood, then ride home. As long as you are healthy. Note, the human body has a lot of built in redundancy, loosing 10% of your blood included.
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  • bigmitch41
    bigmitch41 Posts: 685
    I gave blood a couple of weeks ago and raced the Southern 100 (roadracing) the next day with no bother.

    Everybody's different but as already said, if your healthy and eat well then no reason why you cant take some exercise soon after, just keep up your fluids before and after and listen to your body. p.s. make sure you get a handfull of free biscuits with your brew after donating :lol:
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  • while it is highly commendable that people give blood, it is important to note that if you take part in competitive sport (or simply want to be performing at your best) it takes around 6 weeks for your haematology to return to normal. While your blood volume is replaced relatively quickly, the haemaglobin takes significantly longer.

    this is why people who blood dope in sport (where they draw off a unit or two of blood) do so when there are no important competitions around. The effect (of withdrawing the blood) is exactly the opposite of having an infusion or using (e.g.) rH-Epo.
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  • e999sam
    e999sam Posts: 426
    I noticed the difference after giving blood it lasts over about two weeks but if you are only riding to improve your fitness and don't mind a bit of a drop in speed I can't see a problem.
    These days I donate platelets, they take your blood out remove the platelets and then return the blood. Doing this doesn't seem to have any effect on me and you can go once a month.