Giving blood while training

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by Bikeridindude, Mar 26, 2006.

  1. Bikeridindude

    Bikeridindude New Member

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    I've donated blood twice over the last 6 months and my turn is coming up again soon. I was just wondering what effect this has on my cycling performance. How long does it take for your body to replace all those valuable red blood cells? If my hematocrit level was at 48%, will my body replace the same amount of red blood cells? The woman who drew my blood (not that I take her word as gospel) said that it was actually beneficial to athletes. Thanks for any info.
     
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  2. lumpy

    lumpy New Member

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    I donate regularly. The blood techs said that it takes 6 weeks to get the RBC count back up to normal. That's why you can't donate more often.
    I do notice a drop in performance the next day, but I'm not a fine tuned and sensitive racing machine like all the rest of you! :D

    I don't know about it being beneficial but I know the steroid using atheletes donate to drop the RBC count because the steroids boost it.

    I figure there's some poor bloke who needs it more than I do so I donate. Plus the snacks and juice they give are so yummy! ;)
     
  3. Wherebob

    Wherebob New Member

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    Don't know the time frame but it does take a while for you to replenish your blood. I have also heard its good to do this.
     
  4. SolarEnergy

    SolarEnergy New Member

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    If you don't race, donating blood isn't an issue.

    As a human being, I'd say that givin blood (givin life) is a great virtuous feeling.

    As a coach though, during a racing season, giving blood is a catastrophy.

    It may take several weeks before haemoglobin level goes back to what it was before the donation.
     
  5. squidwranglr

    squidwranglr New Member

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    Here's an article from Triathlete magazine on this subject:

    http://www.triathletemag.com/story.cfm?story_id=9773&pageID=1732

    As an alternative, consider donating platelets instead of whole blood. The process for platelet donations takes longer, but your blood is processed to extract only the platelets and plasma while the red blood cells are returned to your body, having essentially zero impact on aerobic capacity (plasma volume is replaced within 24 hours with proper hydration). Platelet donations are extremely critical for patients going through chemotherapy or suffering from diseases (or treatments) that suppress their immune systems.

    Berend
     
  6. wALDOsLACK

    wALDOsLACK New Member

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    Yes, giving blood will effect your cycling output or speed by 70-80%. Your perceived effort will be feel the same but your speed will be be down by several MPH.

    I gave blood several times one summer. it's impact & effect on group rides below:

    -a: before giving blood - working up front & pushing hard. Having an impact on the group. Perceived effort high - able to contribute to group ride, hard pulls, attacks etc..

    -b:after giving blood - getting dropped straight away on the first charge, attack or hill. This lasted a week or more & took upwards of 3 weeks until I was able to have an impact with the group again. Even though the perceived effort felt the same, the ability to work & keep up with the group was effected.

    Berend gave the answer to blood donation & having it not impact your hard earned gains on the bike. Platelet Donation seems to be the way to go. Unfortunately it's difficult to find places to take blood in this way. I plan on going this route soon, as I've found a place kindof close by. Don't they pay you for this? Anyway, I'll know soon enough.

    Life is in the blood. Give Life, someone you Know & Love may need it!
     
  7. jrstevens

    jrstevens New Member

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    A good strategy would be to donate blood just after your last race of the season and then maybe again midway through your base period so as to not negatively impact performance during a critical point in your season. As other posters have noted there is typically quite a profound impact soon after having blood donated which gradually improves over a 3-4 week time period. For men periodic blood donation helps rid the body of potentially damaging excess iron that we have no other means of ridding ourselves of unlike our better halves.;)

    JS
     
  8. Bikeridindude

    Bikeridindude New Member

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    Thanks for all the replies guys, I guess I won't be giving any blood until sometime in September at the earliest.
     
  9. velomanct

    velomanct New Member

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    Yeah, giving blood when you rely on your performance is like dragging a parachute in a race.
     
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