But it got me thinking - would one miller lite be so bad before plasma donation? How about a headstand keg?
But common sense says there are reasons to leave off the beer goggles before donating plasma:
- It dehydrates you. It's not the alcohol per se that dehydrates potential plasma donors - it's the ethanol. Ethanol in alcohol is a diuretic (increasing anti-diurectic blocking hormones in the body by up to 36%!), making you pee more often. This make plasma donation slower, and makes you more likely to get a clot.
- It makes hangovers 1000% worse. Hangovers come from a lack of water in the body, and excess of leftover toxins. Donating plasma depletes you of water, so don't drink and donate. If you do, be prepared for the worst monster hangover of your life.
- Drinking restricts your blood vessels. Despite popular belief, drinking actually raises your blood pressure, restricting blood flow to the brain, heart, and nerves. It also restricts the blood flow needed for efficient plasma donation.
- It raises your blood pressure, which also slows down plasma donation. See #3.
- You could fall asleep. Are you a "sleepy" drunk? A recent study showed that about 25% of drinkers are. If you fall asleep when sloshed, don't drink before plasma donation. Falling asleep prevents hand squeezing movements that promote blood flow - so if you fall asleep, your blood could get trapped in the machine, resulting in a deferral.
- You could accidentally pull your needle out. Hey, it happens, and we're not all the most coordinated after consuming a few beers. And that plasma needle is held in by just a thin strip of tape. One wrong move, and you can pull the needle out, unleashing the hoover dam of blood and plasma. Plus, if your donation results in blood loss, you'll be deferred from donating plasma for 6 whole months.
Can I Drink Beer After Plasma Donation?
Before you go home and immediately crack open a cold one, let me leave you with this story from one of my readers:
"I don't understand why some people would donate their plasma if they drink alcohol. I have to share my story...I live near a military base and one of the assistants working for the center told me after the process don't drink any alcohol for at least 24 hours after the fact or I would be a cheap date (joking around), cause the alcohol does affect the body. ...
I stopped by a friends house after donating, she and her husband have donated in the past, but her husband had drank alcohol just before he donated, and as soon as he got his money bought some beer. Well this afternoon when I stopped by to say hi they both were drinking beer. They asked me if I wanted one and at first I said no, but I was hungry and this is when I usually like to drink is on an empty stomach. ...
I cracked open that beer drank it, minutes later I felt like I wanted to throw up, I got a hot flash throughout my body and ran to the bathroom and flushed water all over my face and body. Feeling like I was going to DIE! I did throw up, and I immediately ate some cantelope and drank some water, minutes later ate a yogart. I was not sure if I was having a heart attack?? I was crying because I was so scared I thought I was going to have to call 911. Needless to say, the feelings went away moments later and I believe this was a result of the Alcohol. I learned my lesson and a scary one at that. Every person's body is different, even though this other person can drink alcohol, by body could not handle it. I just thank god I did not die cause it really scared the living poop out of me. "
So, there you have it: don't drink beer, wine, whisky, or any other alcohol for 24 hours before, and 24 hours after giving plasma and you'll be safe. And happy donating!