Giving blood

My school is having a blood drive tomorrow and in light of Lonnie Lowery’s article “Keep the Iron on the Bar” from issue 278, I decided it’d be a good idea (for humanitarian purposes too, of course). It’s an off day from lifting, anyway, but I wanted to know if anyone was familiar with any side effects like being lethargic or feeling weak. Some of my friends said they experienced both in the past (far from physical specimens but still got me thinking) so I figured I’d see what you guys had to say. Ryan.

apart from sorenes from the area were the blood is drawn, no problems… Never had any problems other than that…

You may feel lethargic, but it really affects everyone differently. Be sure to eat a meal beforehand, especially if it is in the morning and do not work out that day. They will probably have cookies, orange juice, and other sweet things for you to eat afterwards. I think it is great that you are going to give blood! Good luck!

I give blood quite often, and other than a bit tired on the day your give blood, no side affects. I’ve learned to follow the 24-hour-nothing-strenuous rule. I once gave blood late on a Friday afternoon, and then tried to do Saturday AM endurance training…no endurance.

In grad school I knew a guy who was really concerned about excessive red cell loss and fatigue affecting his training, so he consumed just a half-dose of glycerol solution 2 hours before going in. For a 176 pound (80 kg) guy, that’s 40 grams of glycerol pre-mixed with a liter of water. Although I can’t say such a thing is necessary (they check your blood “iron” [density] before the venipuncture), it probably did raise plasma volume and thus reduce loss of RBCs.

Of course, a more mild (and sane)approach (other than waiting for an easy phase of training) would be just to hammer back a big glass of dilute orange juice and a few cookies on your way to the donation.

BTW, training itself elevates plasma volume (the watery part of the blood) for up to three days and providing you haven’t blitzed yourself into serious muscle soreness (see below), that’s a good thing. That is, it’ll reduce red cell loss during the donation as well.

[Note: the old method of looking at “liver” enzymes like ALT, AST, LDH, etc. as a check for viral liver damage / disease could be misled by training-induced soreness and temporary MUSCLE - not liver - enzyme release. Just FYI.]


I have given blood, to be honest i didn’t feel any lethargy afterwards at all, i gave blood in the afternoon at around 14.30pm and remember doing an hours training like usual and felt nothing, then again maybe that was just me.

Wow thanks a lot guys! The good news keeps coming as I just heard that classes are being cancelled for tonight because of the THREAT of snow. I’ll make the dietary adjustments and give it 24 hours before lifting again.

Lonnie–thanks for taking the time to give such an in-depth answer, very informative and helpful.

Appreciate it everyone, Ryan.