hematocrit



the holster

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Sep 20, 2005
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i recently got my hematocrit tested and it was only 40% and my hemaglobin was 14.5%. the test was even taken after a couple days rest. is there any ways other than EPO, iron supplements, and altitude tents to raise both of these numbers. my doctor said it was borderline low so he wouldn't prescribe anything to me. I want to get it in the 50s, how hard is it to raise it that much??
 

dm69

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Jan 24, 2006
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Altitude tent is the only legal way besides EPO. You will need to make sure you have the right ingredients (iron for eg) to make the extra red blood cells if you go the altitude tent option.

Post this on www.cuttingedgemuscle.com

I have posted there looking for legal alternatives and they gave me some good ideas. It will scare you at first because of the types of posts you get on that site but just ignore the roid-epo posts and try to be civil. Dont act like your superior to them because you are "natural", I made that mistake.

Here is my post. I would be interested to see what they have to say on your question so plz make a post!

here is my post http://www.cuttingedgemuscle.com/Forum/showthread.php?threadid=16828

by the way the uci legal limit is 50%. You dont want to go higher than that for health reasons
 

kuan

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Jun 27, 2005
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Have you recently been increasing your training volume? If so, your total blood volume may have increased. This is quite normal from what I've heard. After a month of tapering your hematocrit levels should come up.
 

dm69

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Jan 24, 2006
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It seems there warming to you holster :p . Pretty standard over there to be called a troll on your first post! They know what they are talking about. Hopefully they will update us on those studies.
 

alanmalan

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Sep 27, 2006
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dm69 said:
Altitude tent is the only legal way besides EPO. You will need to make sure you have the right ingredients (iron for eg) to make the extra red blood cells if you go the altitude tent option.

Post this on www.cuttingedgemuscle.com

I have posted there looking for legal alternatives and they gave me some good ideas. It will scare you at first because of the types of posts you get on that site but just ignore the roid-epo posts and try to be civil. Dont act like your superior to them because you are "natural", I made that mistake.

Here is my post. I would be interested to see what they have to say on your question so plz make a post!

here is my post http://www.cuttingedgemuscle.com/Forum/showthread.php?threadid=16828

by the way the uci legal limit is 50%. You dont want to go higher than that for health reasons
my hematocrit level is around 45 to 48. naturally does that gives me some adavantage??
 

tdl123321

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Mar 26, 2006
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40 isn't really low. 35-45 is normal range. You really don't want your hct over 50 as this can increase the viscosity of your blood, thus poor flow and possibly even blood clots.
 

alanmalan

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Sep 27, 2006
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tdl123321 said:
40 isn't really low. 35-45 is normal range. You really don't want your hct over 50 as this can increase the viscosity of your blood, thus poor flow and possibly even blood clots.
so is it good or bad to have a natural high hematorcit of 46 48 ? or is it dangerous?
 

tdl123321

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Mar 26, 2006
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alanmalan said:
so is it good or bad to have a natural high hematorcit of 46 48 ? or is it dangerous?
46-48 is still within normal limits. Hct levels will change a little according to your state of hydration. Is it an advantage-- I don't really know. A higher hgb or hct would mean a larger oxygen carrying capacity, so it would seem to be an advantage, but then again a lot of smokers and COPD patients have a higher hct(the body compensating) and I wouldn't necesarily say they have an advantage.
 

was7g

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May 11, 2006
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I just got my blood results back from a doctor's visit last week, and my hematocrit was 39... my doctor told me to go eat a steak. Apparently red meat is good at getting the hematocrit level up. Of course, I don't even know what hematocrit is, so don't quote me on that. I'm just repeating what I was told.
 

carpediemracing

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Jun 15, 2005
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the range on my lab form for blood tests is up to 52% for hematocrit. anything up to there is common enough to be considered "normal". this means that unless you managed to dehydrate so much that your blood thickened up, you aren't in any danger of clots etc. if you want to play it safe (like before a long flight), pop an aspirin or three.

hemoglobin is roughly 1/3 of your hematocrit according to my doctor.

my hematocrit is consistently (at least for the last 5-6 years) in the 47-49+% range and I live at sea level, don't dope, rarely take iron supplements (10-20 times a year, over the counter here unlike some other countries), and train lightly but pretty consistently (probably average 2-5 hours a week, peak at 15-20+ hours in the late winter). I'm a middling racer who could never climb or time trial, regardless of weight or fitness level.

hematocrit is only one part of a large range of physiological traits which help you with cycling. being deficient in other traits can compensate for, say, a 43% hematocrit, or compromise my "pro" level hematocrit.

so don't worry about it too much. yes it's fun to try and get a higher hematocrit but it's not critical from a (recreational) racing point of view.
 

bikeguy

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May 31, 2004
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Carpediem is right, haematocrit can go over 50% naturally, and I'm pretty sure it's not dangerous. A cyclist who briefly trained on our team has a haemo around 52%. He was a good cyclist, but not professional level.

I've found that numbers don't tell anywhere near the whole story as far as cycling goes. For example, my blood test showed a haemo of 43 percent, but my VO2 max is over 74 ml-kg-min and a Wmax of 425 W. However, I'm just middle of the pack as a roadie or TT'er. However I'm above average at just pure climbing and good at sprinting.

I also burn out pretty quickly, and I find road racing exhausting despite piling on 8k to July this year. Maybe only 1 yr of real training is the cause.

I think equipment selection (I'm a grinder, and high 70 rpm suits me for TT's)
positioning on the bike (comfort) and in particular length of training on the bike are just as important for competitive performance.

Oh, I haven't posted here for a while. The reason being I just completely burnt out from cycling and couldn't even bring myself to view these forums for over a month.

-bikeguy
 

the holster

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Sep 20, 2005
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bikeguy said:
Carpediem is right, haematocrit can go over 50% naturally, and I'm pretty sure it's not dangerous. A cyclist who briefly trained on our team has a haemo around 52%. He was a good cyclist, but not professional level.

I've found that numbers don't tell anywhere near the whole story as far as cycling goes. For example, my blood test showed a haemo of 43 percent, but my VO2 max is over 74 ml-kg-min and a Wmax of 425 W. However, I'm just middle of the pack as a roadie or TT'er. However I'm above average at just pure climbing and good at sprinting.

I also burn out pretty quickly, and I find road racing exhausting despite piling on 8k to July this year. Maybe only 1 yr of real training is the cause.

I think equipment selection (I'm a grinder, and high 70 rpm suits me for TT's)
positioning on the bike (comfort) and in particular length of training on the bike are just as important for competitive performance.

Oh, I haven't posted here for a while. The reason being I just completely burnt out from cycling and couldn't even bring myself to view these forums for over a month.

-bikeguy
my doc says that 54% is still in the healthy range! i'm still at 40 and i feel tired, i wonder how much better i'd feel if i was in the 50s??? you're right the numbers only go so far, many times its the mental capacity of the rider that the difference between winning getting dropped.
 

KellyT

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Aug 20, 2006
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was7g said:
I just got my blood results back from a doctor's visit last week, and my hematocrit was 39... my doctor told me to go eat a steak. Apparently red meat is good at getting the hematocrit level up. Of course, I don't even know what hematocrit is, so don't quote me on that. I'm just repeating what I was told.
Never mind the haematocrit levels, going out for a good steak sounds like a great idea ...
 

tdl123321

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Mar 26, 2006
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the holster said:
my doc says that 54% is still in the healthy range! i'm still at 40 and i feel tired, i wonder how much better i'd feel if i was in the 50s??? you're right the numbers only go so far, many times its the mental capacity of the rider that the difference between winning getting dropped.
A hematocrit of ~54 or greater is associated with an increased incidence of DVT, or clots in the deep veins of the leg, because the blood becomes more viscous as hematocrit increases and flows more slowly.


http://www.rajeun.net/hb.html
 

Old Junker

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Dec 11, 2005
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carpediemracing said:
.

hemoglobin is roughly 1/3 of your hematocrit according to my doctor.

I live at sea level, don't dope, rarely take iron supplements (10-20 times a year, over the counter here unlike some other countries),


how does iron supplements help, i never hear anyone talking about iron??:confused:
 

mark_e_smith

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May 26, 2004
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I've been using EPNO for about a month now and it seems to work well, my HR has dropped a bit for the same power levels. Plus my endurance seems to be better. This could all be in my head though!
 

mises

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May 27, 2005
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If you are at 40 and want to be over 50 you have three options: get different parents to give birth to you, move to the Himalayas, or take EPO. But it won't really make you much better anyway.

The only advantage that people with naturally high HCT appear to have is in recovery from high volumes of training.