Q: Can you exercise after plasma donating? My physical endurance seems to dip a bit after giving blood. I've noticed that it makes my running times up to 20 percent slower. However, donating non-red cell components like platelets and plasma has no effect on my exercise performance. So should I work out after plasma donating, wait for my athletic performance to return to normal levels, or skip plasma donations altogether?
A: Donating plasma or blood and then exercising immediately can cause a rupture at the donation site. Since red blood cells carry oxygen to the body, you'll notice the
effects of donating first in your breathing, stamina, and recovery time following
exercise. You need the blood to supply oxygen to your muscles and remove
The Red Cross Website States: "Whole blood donors are advised to refrain from strenuous exercise for at least 12-24 hours following blood collection.
When you donate whole blood, you lose about 10% of your red blood cells,
and it makes a difference during high exertion exercise."
Most blood plasma centers state that you shouldn't exercise in a moderate to strenuous manner for 12-24 hours following a donation.
Why Can't You Exercise After Donating Plasma?
Everyone's body is different, and each person will be affected differently by donating blood. Donating plasma could cause strain on your heart as the blood will be less fluid,
so you shouldn't donate to often and try to minimalise strenuous
exercise for 24hrs after.
Most blood plasma center medical directors would recommend waiting a
minimum of 12 hours before attempting strenuous exercise after volunteer
blood plasma donation.
By donating blood plasma, you're also donating your lipids, iron, and trace minerals in the blood. The reason you can't donate plasma right after exercising is that they might take too much of your blood and induce anemia - which causes symptoms like
fatigue, fast heartbeat, exercise intolerance, trouble breathing, and a high risk of passing out.
How Long Will I Take To Recover my Strength After Donating?
For most people, the decreased oxygen capacity of the blood will have no impact on exercise tolerance. Healthy adults will recover their full strength from donating plasma within hours, but the decreased blood iron may affect strength training long-term.
To recover your full strength for exercise, take it easy and rest well the day after donating, while hydrating yourself with electrolyte drinks. Do light exercises for a couple of days after donation, working your way up to heavier exercise.
Staying Hydrated During Plasma Donation
Remember to keep hydrated after your plasma donation. Definitely drink lots of water before you go...you'll want to spread it out throughout the day. Drinking water will also make your plasma donation faster, as it lubricates your blood cells. If you find that you're dehydrated from sweating after your exercise, it's especially important to drink lots of fluids..
How You Feel Physically After Donating Plasma
There are lots of things that can affect the way you feel after you give blood.
What you ate, how much you exercise, your fluid intake, or if you've been sick recently.
Generally, donors black out from a temporary hypoglycemia (or low blood sugar).
Before you donate, be sure that you eat about 30 minutes before you go, to avoid passing out.
After you donate plasma, sit around for a while and enjoy the pure sugary snacks they've laid out for you.
Donating Plasma Eligibility
Plasma donor donation centers have strict eligibility requirements for donors, to ensure that no donors or potential plasma recipients are harmed. For example, you shouldn't exercise or drink alcoholic beverages for a few hours after you donate. For 24 hours after your blood plasma donation, avoid strenuous exercise (hot showers included).
You should not give blood more often than every eight weeks because it
takes that long to replace lost nutrients.
Before and After Plasma Donation
If it you donate regularly over a long time without pre-preparation, you will feel fatigued, tire
easily, be pale, have no exercise tolerance, feel cold and other unexplained
The night before you donate, please make sure to drink water. Eat increased protein before plasma donation
(meats and/or nuts). Avoid strenuous exercise after donating, and for the rest of the day.