T Nation

Maximising Benefits of Giving Blood.


I'm giving blood today, Probably in the afternoon so I can get a chest and back session in, followed by a few hours rest after eating and once I'm closer to normal, so to speak.
I'm already aware that giving blood is this marvellous thing that saves lives, It's the single reason I'm doing it, so I don't need convincing.
I'm also aware that it's a way of "purging" some of the iron from my body, which is often high in men. Added benefit, but already aware.

What I'm curios of, is; is there any way, to further enhance any processes after giving blood? for Example, after a workout, muscles need more blood for extra nutrients, People use that time to get an easy digestible meal (shake) full of Protein, carbs and nutrients to make the most of their recovery. Some people even use high GI carbs to create an insulin spike and even faster "Shuttle" all these nutrients to their muscles. Basically, they take full advantage of this recovery state.

I know muscle recovery is massively different to Blood recovery, but is there anything that people think we could be taking advantage of during this state of depleted blood levels? so far I'm just thinking of eating more meals and making them smaller. Probably do a fat burning session in the evening as I can use the heart rate monitor to make sure my heart stays at a steady pace. But anything people can think of? I'm currently accepting pseudo science and broscience as well as any more concrete claims, purely for contemplation. Trying to think in the role of hormones here, but I'm not seeing many connections. Anything people can add? In terms of anything?

Many Thanks.


Honestly I see no upside physique-wise. After you give blood your hematocrit (ratio of red blood cells) level will be lower which means that your body’s capacity to transport oxygen will be lowered until your body can replenish its red blood cells. This means that your endurance ( both “cardio” and strength-endurance) will be lower for a few days.

Doing higher reps and even some cardio/conditioning work will speed up the rebuilding of your red blood cells level (even if you will not be as effective while doing it) and eating a lot of red meat and maybe supplementing with B12 vitamins will help.


I thought as much in most respects, I was somewhat unsure if I could get a positive reaction by treating the lower amount of blood as another variable in changing intensity. Either by my heart working harder, or by there being less oxygen to travel in the system. Though, with it being such a short term variant I never did see much good for it. Just looking to make the best of it I suppose.

Thanks for your response though, Christian. Looks like today has just turned into Steak Day.