Blood Donation and racing

Hoping some of the more medically inclined people could help here.

I’ve donated blood fairly often for the past 3 or so years now. it never interfered with my normal cycling life at all. In the past six months i’ve become a vegetarian and have begun bike racing.

Last time i donated, about 4 months ago, i felt fine following the donation itself as well the the few days afterwards. However long distance rides, and especially races were just shithouse for about 2-3 weeks. I don’t know whether being a vegetarian exacerbated it, perhaps due to me not eating super well over the following weeks of the donation.

Essentially I’m in a bit of a dilemma. I feel it’s really selfish to not donate blood for the sake of C grade glory. However, i kinda also feel the training element of cycling should be for some specific purpose. I read online that someone who partakes in high exertion exercise following blood donation should be in haemoglobin deficit for about four weeks.

Essentially, is this bullshit? Do i just need to eat really well following the donation? Am i a dick if i stop donating? How long is normal to not race following a donation, does anyone have any personal experience?

Thanks in advance.


you just need to eat really well all the time, if your anything like me james when you first became vego pretty much you just lived of carbs, for the first few months, its important to eat well all the time i talked to casey about 2 months ago and got my eating habits sorted and ive never felt better as a vego or not, im sure you can do it

If it weren’t in such bad taste I’d make a joke regarding homosexuals being unable to donate blood.
Also, I’ve never donated blood. Maybe I should fill in your spot eh HMC?

High exertion is not recommended for 3 days afterward, however your body should be fine in the few weeks after a donation. Gene’s right; your diet has to be spot on given that you lose 1/8 of your blood every 3 months, and especially being vego.

Are you a dick for stopping your blood donations? Given the constant shortage of all blood groups; yes :stuck_out_tongue:

My 2c

Edit: I donated a few years ago and rode straight home from Bundoora to Northcote. It was by far the quickest time I ever did that commute in. Go figure

Contador donates blood all the time and he seems fine…well, maybe not this year.

Could be just a coincidence, but if you made a sudden leap from carnivorism to being vego I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re body is missing the various vitamins and minerals that you were previously relying on. Iron for example. Are you taking supplements for any of that stuff?

I listened to an interesting podcast the other day from Radio National about the importance of trace elements in your diet, explained by a vet in country Victoria. Just found a link: it’s only a really short thing but interesting:
Ockham’s Razor - 28 November 2010 - Small can be beautiful when it comes to minerals

I’d also expect that the more you train, and the harder you push yourself each week, the more something like donating blood is going to affect you. But hey, good on you for going to the trouble of doing it. Reminds me that I really need to go back and donate again, it’s been ages.

Time to prioritize, James. Which do you want more?

Out of interest, why can’t homosexuals or the recently tattooed donate?

As far as I’m aware, being homosexual doesn’t mean you can’t donate blood. The Red Cross ask you some serious personal questions to determine your risk of carrying Hep B/C or HIV. They used to straight out ask something like; Have you, since your last donation/past 12 months, had male-to-male sex? This has recently been changed to be more generic; however it aims to answer the same question.

Tattooing however carries a 12 month ban, inclusive of piercing. Due to the risk of Hep C/HIV infection from being pierced or tattooed (I can’t remember the statistic I saw but it’s higher than you think). The 12 months is to completely ensure that nothing develops and that you’re clean

Just did a little googling.

I used to donate Plasma*, sometimes I felt a bit flat for a few hours after but the recovery is quicker and you can go more often.

*instead of taking whole blood once every three months, you go as often as every two weeks. you, get hooked up to a machine which extracts the whole blood, separates the the red cells from the plasma by centrifuge, keeps the plasma then pumps the red cells back into you. it takes longer per visit and the needle is MUCH bigger.

cos you were like half a kilo lighter. weight weenie 4 LYF!!!

I’ve always felt energetic after donating. I figure it’s like an oil change. You’re all lubed up with fresh stuff the next few days.

Anecdote - here in Adelaide, they used to offer a stubby of whatever Coopers beer variety you felt like following donation. It was a great incentive to donate, though they’ve stopped doing so. Probably because after a stubby of sparking ale you walked out half cut with a pint less blood.

Fo shiz J-dogg!

I admire anyone who is willing to donate plasma, given how quick and easy it is for scar tissue to build up over the entry site over the vein

This would explain why they checked my veins when I asked if i could donate plasma. How long does one session take?

Vegetarian = low iron (if you don’t eat properly)
Drink this = loads of iron (and a nice warm feeling inside!)

You’re on the machine for about 40-45mins, allow about 15min before for administrative farnarkling and up to 30 after for recovery. All up about an hour and a half. It’s appointment based and they’re pretty good about keeping to time.

I can’t donate due to medication, it seems that you need to be almost perfect to be able to donate, so that makes it difficult for the very few people who can or do donate.

I’d say get onto the replacement vitamins, keep donating, and see how you go. No point giving up on either c grade glory or donating.

Drink this = loads of iron (and a nice warm feeling inside!)

guinness probably uses islinglass as a fining agent so technically not vego
better off eating heaps of pop-eye food or floradix