Blood Donation and Efficiency – PezCycling Information

Blood – it’s in you to provide. Donating blood is an excellent selfless act to assist others. How may you must adapt your coaching round your blood donation schedule?


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Donating blood is one thing that I’ve been doing routinely for the previous 10 years or so, particularly as I apparently have a comparatively uncommon blood sort: B adverse. I feel donating is one thing that’s essential, as these donations can assist save lives for most cancers, trauma, or burn sufferers. Canadian Blood Providers want donors now greater than ever!

Nevertheless, donating blood definitely will not be as simple as writing a examine. No, it means giving up your hard-earned purple blood cells. Don’t doping athletes attempt to enhance their purple blood cell (RBC) depend or erythropoietin (EPO)? In spite of everything, biking is an cardio sport, so isn’t giving up a few of your cardio health counterintuitive? So, must you be donating as an informal or aggressive bike owner? I hope to assist reply that on this month’s Pez Toolbox article.

What Occurs When You Donate Blood?

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An entire-blood donation includes taking one pint (~500 mL) of blood. For many people, this represents about 10% of your complete blood quantity. Because of this you’ll be dropping about 10% of your RBCs and the essential oxygen-carrying hemoglobin inside. In principle, this implies forfeiting about 10% of your physique’s capacity to ship oxygen to your working muscle mass throughout these arduous intervals. Because of this, the Crimson Cross recommends avoiding strenuous exercise for the primary ~24 hours after donating.

Instantly after donating blood, your physique works arduous to replenish what was misplaced. Simply 24 hours after donating, your physique can change the misplaced plasma (1), or the watery base of your blood. Subsequently, consuming water earlier than and after donating is so essential.

Your platelets, or the proteins liable for serving to your blood clot, are replenished after about 72 hours (2).

Sadly for us as athletes, the RBCs, or the oxygen-carriers, are probably the most time-consuming a part of the blood to regenerate, taking roughly 4-6 weeks (2). To assist expedite the replenishment of RBC’s, it is very important embody meals which are excessive in iron (purple meats, leafy greens, and many others.) into your weight-reduction plan. This 3 to 4 week lag in replenishing RBC’s is what might trigger many athletes to assume twice about donating, however what does the science must say about potential losses in efficiency?


Affect on Efficiency

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Unsurprisingly, there are a number of research which have proven decreased cardio efficiency after donating (3-6). The reductions in athletic efficiency have been measured by way of decreases in VO2max (the utmost quantity of oxygen your physique can course of in a minute) in addition to checks to exhaustion. That can assist you perceive the magnitude of the loss in efficiency, Dellweg & colleagues reported a lower of ~9% in VO2max and ~13% lower in time to exhaustion after donating 500 mL of blood (5). That is comparatively unsurprising after donating roughly 10% of your complete blood quantity.

How lengthy does this impaired efficiency final? Judd & colleagues reported that train efficiency returned inside about 3 weeks (6). Observe that this can be a bit faster than the 4-6 weeks that the Crimson Cross suggests (1).

When must you donate?

If you need to contemplate serving to vital sufferers in want by donating blood, then it’s clearly finest to keep away from donating within the vital weeks main as much as your principal goal occasions. In reality, I’d not suggest donating ~8 weeks earlier than any deliberate competitors. After all, that is purely based mostly on efficiency as the only consideration and precedence.

Then again, November & early December are nice occasions to donate since many people are coming into the low season and could also be lowering your coaching or switching to comparatively low-intensity coaching. Your plasma quantity and RBC’s will likely be able to go by the point you ramp up your winter coaching!


That’s all for this month! I hope you discovered this text attention-grabbing and related, and that you could be contemplate turning into a donor too! Keep protected, trip quick, and I’ll see you all subsequent month!

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Donation FAQs. (2016). The American Nationwide Crimson Cross.

Ruel, J. (2011). Complete blood & platelets: what’s the distinction? Stanford Blood Heart.

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Fritsch, J., Winter, U.J., Reupke, I., Gitt, A.Ok., Berge, P.G., & Hilger, H.H. (1993). Impact of a single blood donation on ergo-spirometrically cardiopulmonary efficiency capability of younger wholesome probands. Zeitschrift fur Kardiologie, 82(7). Summary.

Burnley, M., Roberts, C.L., Thatcher, R., Doust, J.H., & Jones, A.M. (2006). Affect in blood donation on O2 uptake kinetics, peak O2 uptake, and time to exhaustion throughout severe-intensity cycle train in people. Experimental Physiology, 91(3).

Dellweg, D., Siemon, Ok., Mahler, F., Appelhans, P., Klauke, M., & Kohler, D. (2008). Cardiopulmonary train testing earlier than and after blood donation. Pneumologie, 62(6), Summary.

Judd, TB., Cornish, S.M., Barss, T.S., Oroz, I., Chilibeck, P.D. (2011). Time course for restoration of peak cardio energy after blood donation. Journal of Energy & Conditioning Analysis, 25(11).


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