Can athletes safely donate blood?
The Nebraska Community Blood Bank welcomes and encourages athletes to donate blood and become blood donor advocates. With simple planning, you can help save lives and achieve your sporting goals.
Will it affect my performance?
It’s up to you and the game. In extreme endurance sports, such as long distance running or cross-country skiing, it can take a month or more to gain full aerobic strength after donating blood. In most other games you can only notice the difference a week or two after donating blood. We recommend that you do not plan to donate blood on the same day as a strong practice or competition.
On the day of your donation, we recommend that you drink no more than 8 glasses a day of non-alcoholic beverages. After donating blood, your body will quickly replace these lost fluids if you have enough water.
Eat healthy and change your hardware stores
Eat a full meal within four hours. Make iron-rich foods a part of your daily diet – iron is carried in the hemoglobin of red blood cells, and when you donate whole blood or red cells, iron is also removed. Edible iron can be found in meat, seafood, poultry, whole grains, whole grains, beans, peas and raw vegetables.
Ingredients of iron
If you are a male and donate blood three or more times a year, or a woman and donate 2 or more times a year, we recommend that you take multivitamins with iron or iron supplements that can be bought at your local pharmacy. Current dosage recommendations vary – from iron ore multivitamin (19 mg iron) to elemental iron caplets (38-45 mg iron), for a period of six weeks to three months. Consult your physician or pharmacist to determine the type, type, and duration of your choice, and determine if taking the supplements is appropriate for your body’s needs or any other medications you may be taking.
Some athletes choose to donate a day of recovery or rest. We recommend that all blood donors avoid difficult tasks such as lifting, pushing, or picking up heavy objects throughout the day after donating. This helps prevent feeling dizzy or lightheaded, and helps prevent the piercing from bleeding again. We therefore recommend that you do not plan to donate blood on the same day as a strong practice or competition. If you have to practice after your offering, calm down and drink plenty of fluids.
Prior to your donation, you will receive a medical examination that includes blood pressure testing, heart rate, temperature, and hemoglobin levels. Donating blood usually takes an hour from where you came from – you can save lives and give back to your community at no cost and just an hour in your day!
What else can I do to help?
Some athletes may consider donating platelets to prevent a decrease in hemoglobin or a decrease in activity for some time after a blood donation. When you donate platelets instead of whole blood, your red cells are returned to your body