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Old 10-04-07, 11:29 PM   #1
brew
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Donating Blood

OK, so i just realized that I signed up to donate blood tomorrow at work. I am a bit worried about riding to work and being drained. Has anyone else done this? how much did it affect you. should i break down and drive the truck tomorrow?
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Old 10-04-07, 11:45 PM   #2
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Have a good breakfast, lots of fluids before too. How far is your commute?
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Old 10-05-07, 03:50 AM   #3
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It doesn't bother me. I generally give blood on the way home, and I have a 5 mile ride home immediately after giving. Depends on what shape you're in I guess, I do take it a little easy but no problem so far. I think I've ridden home from about 6 donations now.
The nurses were not too happy about it the first time, but I was already draining by the time they realized that I was riding home. Last time I gave, I actually drove for the first time in months, and they asked me why I wasn't riding!
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Old 10-05-07, 04:37 AM   #4
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Yeah, I have given blood about 4 times in the last 18 months and commuted home about 25klm with no ill effect. As the previous poster said drink plenty of fluids before hand and it all should be good. I guess it depends on whether you have felt faint, after giving blood on previous occasions?
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Old 10-05-07, 04:45 AM   #5
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I do it. But I learned the hard way that I have to be super super hydrated before donating. I keep drinking water all morning up until the donation. A good breakfast and a juice on your way to the donation and you'll be fine. A couple of hour afterwards I'm pretty hungry so I also eat more for lunch than I usually do.
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Old 10-05-07, 05:31 AM   #6
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How big are you, brew?

I'm 6'1", 230#. In the past, I have given blood and went for a run or bike just to see what the effect is.

Yeah, I could feel it, but it was not a huge problem. Just take it easy until you know what the effect is.

But it varies from person to person. Take it easy if this is your first time donating.

I hope it will not be your last time.

Thank you so much for donating blood!
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Old 10-05-07, 05:45 AM   #7
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I have cut way back on my blood donations since I started cycling a lot. Several years ago, I gave blood about 2 weeks before a very difficult metric century in the mountains (6500' of climbing over 68 miles). I did not recover in time and had an extremely difficult ride even though I was in great shape at the time. I felt like I didn't recover my pre-donation stamina for at least two months. At that time, I was doing a lot of fast group rides on weekends and Wednesdays. It probably wouldn't affect me that much now for bike commuting, except on hills, but I am still wary. I certainly wouldn't ride the day I gave blood or perhaps the day afterwards. I also wouldn't plan any long or difficult rides (such as races) for the following weekend or two.
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Old 10-05-07, 07:20 AM   #8
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Just think, you'll be lighter for that ride home, you'll post your best time yet!

Seriously though, just take it easy on your way home and drink lots of fluids as others have said.
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Old 10-05-07, 07:29 AM   #9
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Just did it last night. Had 10 miles to the blood donation place, then 2 miles back home. No big deal, just sit for a few minutes after giving to make sure your fine, and then take it nice and easy for the ride afterwards. I felt about the same as if I had been riding with a mild hang over.
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Old 10-05-07, 07:30 AM   #10
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I gave it up after I had a sort of bonk experience ...

oh wells.
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Old 10-05-07, 08:05 AM   #11
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On the few occasions that I have I have donated blood, it completely drained me for the day and made me pretty tired for about 2 or 3 days total. Since then I have been donating plasma from my blood twice a week for about 10 months now. I actually think that the plasma donating makes me feel better after wards. But that might be because the plasma is paying for my school so its just in my head that I feel better, lol.



If you do it, just take it easy and drink lots of water TODAY and TOMORROW!!!
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Old 10-05-07, 08:14 AM   #12
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See, you need to use my secret weapon; I suck at cycling normally, so I'm not any worse off when I give blood. I'm more of a slow and steady person, though I do keep an average speed of about 16.7 MPH over a moderately hilly commute. I found out quickly that the difference between a moderate workout and working your ass off is about 3 minutes off the commute, so it's not worth it to me.
If you're just going along at a modest clip, you can go a long way even when you're sick and exhausted.
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Old 10-05-07, 08:18 AM   #13
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I actually think that the plasma donating makes me feel better after wards.
One thing to check on is whether they can do a double-red donation. They hook you up to a machine and take only the red blood cells, they re-inject the plasma and add a little saline. You get credit for giving two units (though you have to wait 12 weeks instead of 6 to give again) and you wind up slightly more hydrated than you started. They told me that people who normally get faint when giving whole blood don't really have problems giving with the machine.

Problem is, I give at community drives where the Red Cross is operating remotely, and they seldom bring their machine, so it's usually whole blood for me.

Totally depends on the person though. I know some people can barely stand afterwards. I have never had a problem, even when I kind of rush right out and jump on my bike to get somewhere. Once or twice, I could BARELY tell the next day that I felt a little more fatigued than usual, but usually there's nothing but a fresh hole in my arm to remind me that I gave the day before.
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Old 10-05-07, 08:24 AM   #14
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I donate every 56 days....I always assume that the next 2 days are slower days (maybe 1-2 mph slower....19-20 mph vs 22-23 mph cruising).....I usually try to donate in the morning so have had several hours before my 12.4 mi commute in the evening.....I do drink a lot more water on those days......am 6' 1"203 lbs and am 61.......no problems doing this over the last few years...the blood bank nurses do not agree with what I am doing, and give me "the speech" every time, but again I am having no issues. By the third day, I go back to pushing myself.

Just continue to be smart......

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Old 10-05-07, 08:50 AM   #15
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Go easy and as the other stated drink plenty of fluids also make sure you keep your blood suger levels up. Eat some fruit before and after always helps as well. Do ride easy. I once played a racketball match the night I donated. I was fine for a while and then all of a sudden I got tunnel vision. I sat down QUICKLY and took it easy for a while. I never passed out, but that was a bit more physical than my body wanted to handle that night.

Best donation type I have been doing is double units. This is great as they put losts of fluids back into your body. The only thing to remember is to have some extra milk that day before you donate. Apparently you loose some calsium and you can feel it a little if you are a little low. Otherwise you'll feel completely nornmal. The other bonus is that you only have to give 1/2 as often. Please note there are hight and body weight requirments to be eligable for double unit donations

Happy riding,
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Old 10-05-07, 08:51 AM   #16
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Check it:
<-------------

I used to donate afew times a year before i started triathlons last year, made it into the 1 gallon club even. Nowdays i only donate once a year in the winter when i usually don't have events or it won't impact my training.

It takes me a good 2 or 3 weeks to really feel back to normal though. Then again it could be because i'm a small dude to begin with... I'm 5'8" and weigh 130 lbs.

I haven't donated since October or November last year so i'm not sure how it affects my commuting skillz since i only started bike commuting this year in February. However one time i did decide to climb the stairs back up to the office after dontaing during my lunch break. Climbing 16 flights of stairs was a baaaaaad idea. I had to just lay there in the stairwell for about 5-10 minutes to get rested.
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Old 10-05-07, 09:27 AM   #17
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Thanks for the replys guys, Im still undecided if im going to ride or not. My ride is only about 7 miles or so, but there are two BIG hills on route and i do alot of heavy lifting at work. I may just drive the truck and play it safe this time. I have a big ride planned for tomorrow with a friend, so i dont want to mess that up by pushing myself to far.
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Old 10-05-07, 10:04 AM   #18
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Have you donated before?
If not, maybe you do want to drive. If you have, and know how your body reacts, riding may not matter.
I donate 3 - 4 times a year... Last time on my way home (riding), Have hit the 5 gallon club and don't seem to be bothered anymore by the missing pint. Just drink lots of water after.
I also compete in Tris, various road races, etc... and just plan my donations after my scheduled races, not the day before or day of... Everyone is different.
Good luck!
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edit: oh yeah, I'm 6' 0" 170lbs

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Old 10-06-07, 03:49 AM   #19
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It would probably be a good idea to use bus fare on that day. If your transit allows bikes on buses/subways after X time (in Toronto it's no bikes during rush-hour on the bus/subway) then I would go that route. If not then just use the bus that day.

As said everyone feels different. I have had blood taken from me before for bloodwork and I did feel a bit light after about I think 8-10 vials. I did stop by an asian bakery before hand and bought some red-bean sweet desert buns which the red bean is rich in protien and iron if I recall what my mom said about it. It did help after the blood draft session as I ate the buns and downed some water and I could feel the body feeling better. Still it is best to side on the side of caution. Personally I would not ride then unless it was absolutely nessessary.
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Old 10-06-07, 10:50 AM   #20
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I don't ride well after donating plasma, and I imagine donating whole blood would be worse. I usually try and have one or two protein drinks afterward, plus a lot of water. Some people can do it, though.
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Old 10-07-07, 11:34 PM   #21
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well, i didint ride to work, but i did go riding the next day with some friends. I made it about 10 or 11 miles and had to lay down on a bench because i was about the pass out. i could hardly keep the bike on the path. needless to say, i had a bad expierience and i dont think im going to try that again. this was after eating some protien bars, drinking alot of water and juice and two good meals too, some people just react different i guess.
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Old 10-08-07, 07:05 AM   #22
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well, i didint ride to work, but i did go riding the next day with some friends. I made it about 10 or 11 miles and had to lay down on a bench because i was about the pass out. i could hardly keep the bike on the path. needless to say, i had a bad expierience and i dont think im going to try that again. this was after eating some protien bars, drinking alot of water and juice and two good meals too, some people just react different i guess.
Keep donating. As you get used to it you will find that you are more functional aftwerwards and recover quicker. The first couple of times I donated I had all the symptoms of shock afterwards. Now it just makes me incredibly hungry for the rest of the day. I also keep my donation card next to my liscence in my wallet, I hope that this will speed identifying my blood type if I'm in an accident.
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Old 10-08-07, 08:07 AM   #23
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bike2math is right, your body does learn to adjust to it after a few times. If you would like to continue donating you could try to do plasma. Im not sure if you did it for fun once or if it was something you were wanting to make a habit of doing. (I do it because it pays for my school books )

When donating plasma you keep your red blood cells and that is what I think is what makes you feel bad after donating whole blood. The Plasma they take from you is something like 90% water and they put a bag of saline back in you after the donation.

Either way, thanks for the update, glad to hear everything else went ok!
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Old 10-08-07, 08:11 AM   #24
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I did it the other day at noon and rode home at 5:00 with no ill effects. Don't expect to hammer that night. I had no strength but had no problem with dizzyness or anything like that.
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Old 10-09-07, 10:15 PM   #25
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Try donating plasma instead. You get to keep the red blood cells and can donate more often.
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