T Nation

Giving Blood


Are there any negative effects of giving blood when it comes to working out and building muscle? I'm sure it can't be positive but is it detremental? Should I stop doing it?


I think you shouldn't probably do too much on the day of giving, but I've always heard its a good thing for your body.

I really couldn't find anything definitive on the net about the effects on YOUR body. But, here is what I found.

You should drink plenty of fluids in the next 24 hours, to replace the volume of body fluid you?ve just donated. You?ll also be more comfortable if you eat foods with protein or complex carbohydrates before and after giving blood and avoid fatty foods just before donating. You?ll also want to replace iron lost through the red blood cells by eating iron-rich foods like red meat, broccoli, beans and raisins.

From personal experience. It doesn't affect me that much. I give around lunchtime or in the am and try to do it on an "off" day.


It's also been noted that it doesn't affect anaerobic training near as much as aerobic.


Alright, thanks alot guys. I just wanted to make sure.


Don't do much the day you give, and hold off the next day, or do a light workout. Other than that you should be fine.

I've been giving a long time (almost 2 gallon club!) and lifting for longer and I've never had any ill effects following the advice above.

Drink lots of fluids and make sure you are eating good (like you should anyway) and you'll be good as new.

Also don't drink alcohol...you will be a very cheap date...


When I did it I'd gone swimming in the morning.

Although I was 100% after swimming with no aches at all after giving blood walking up the hill home was very slow.

In terms of lifting I had a few days off.

I recommend doing it around a cardio like week. However, I haven't got experience of giving blood and lifting - I've always just had a break.

Does giving blood releases toxins I wonder?


I'll usually time my blood donations so they occour during a break from training. Personally, I've found that donating leaves me feeling kinda tired for about a week or so, and unable to hit 1 rm's consistently for about 2 weeks. As long as my nutrition is order (not doing any low carb dieting) donating doesn't seriously impact my training.

If you're willing to search through some old articles, there was an article by Dr. Lowry describing iron overload sickness and it's adverse effects. One suggested treatment was blood donation.


Just to reassure you, I draw blood regularly from soldiers and they continue training later that day, with no adverse reactions.

As stated above, ensure good nutrition and hydration, and you should be fine. You may feel a little weaker for a day or two, but your recovery and immune system should be fine.


You'll give the recipient a positive nitrogen balance?