T Nation

Giving Blood


I'm a poor college student and I've toyed around with the idea of giving blood and plasma here and there to earn a few bucks. Will it have any inherently bad effects on my training? I would think the body would eventually adapt to the changes.


High rep squats the same day can make you a little light headed, but it has almost no negative effects on training in my experience.


Will just leave you with massive bruises around the needle site. Can be a bit sore when doing curls and the like.

Just eat heaps afterwards and you'll be fine.


I talked to my brother, and they do not give blood they give plasma. Does that change anything?


I have set records 4 hours after donating 450 ml of blood. Usually I wait until the next day to train and then I feel, and often am, stronger than normal. I think one enters the "fight" mode after losing blood.

I wouldn't recommend training the same day though because of the light-headedness, like kakno mentioned. You could pass out doing something too heavy.


How much do you have to give?

EDIT: I have no idea if it changes things, but would guess that it's not that bad since you are not losing the "whole stuff", for example red blood cells. In Finland we just donate blood.

EDIT: Going to sleep. It's 2.16 am here.


It's not quite the same, but when I was getting Chemo it knocked my Red Blood Cell count down to a state that would be similar to what one would experience a few hours after giving blood and I was able to lift just as heavy, I just had to take longer breaks between sets.


Plasma is the liquid part of blood so drinking a lot of water will even out what they take. I think they even put the blood back inside you....

What comes out of the tube goes into a centrifuge that seperates fat blood and plasma...

Being a young healthy dude you shouldn't really notice anything negative


Doesn't necessarily mean that you have the same blood type and only get to leave plasma.

Giving plasma is easier to recover from than giving blood, since you don't lose red blood cells, just water and some proteins, which are easily replaced.


Longer breaks, true. One will get out of breath sooner.


I donate blood every 8 weeks, and don't get any money or compensation for it (other than the great feeling that I'll potentially help another human being).

From a lifting perspective, I almost always train the very next day, and although I might notice a slight drop in energy, I always have solid lifts.

Just make sure to wait at least 24 hours before you lift, or else you can risk dislodging the clot and having it get stuck elsewhere (which is very very dangerous). I've seen pictures of lifters who donated blood and then lifted 4-6 hours later, and their entire arm is blue because the clot dislodged and get stuck up in their shoulder.

Schedule your donations on your off days and you'll be golden. Just be smart and wait 24 hours before you go lift.


You're correct. You get needles in both arms, and they cycle your blood back in. Pretty damn cool.

And whoever said you get massive bruising from donating is simply incorrect. If you somehow get a horrible nurse, you might get slightly sore, but I've never ever gotten bruising from donating either blood or platelets/plasma.


I never got needles in both arms only in one. (for plasma) And they are giving you the good stuff back (RBCs) I have lifted within hours of plasma donation (not really a donation as i got payed). The only thing you might run into is some bruising at the needle site and light headedness which can be alleviated by water and lots of it. Also lots of water leading into it will help it go fast and help after.


At least where I live, you get no monetary compensation for giving blood, only for giving plasma. If you're in it to make money, selling plasma will be where it's at, as you'll be paid for it and can easily train the day of if you have plenty of water afterward. I would still wait a number of hours though (shouldn't be hard if you train at night as you typically want to be at the plasma place early in the morning).