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Old 09-26-06, 05:15 PM   #1
michael word
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Donating Blood

I was wondering how many people here donate blood and if the loss of the blood reduces your performance to any degree?
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Old 09-26-06, 05:20 PM   #2
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Yes, the loss of red blood cells will definitely reduce your performance. If you are in a racing or heavy training mode, I would recommend against it.

What I do is to donate platelets (in fact I have a donation scheduled for this week). They take a sample of whole blood for testing (50ml?) but you keep most of your RBCs. You will lose plasma, so make sure to drink lots before and after. Donating platelets takes longer than whole blood (90 min. or so v. 15 for whole blood) but at Sacto BloodSource you can watch a DVD and they count each platelet donation as a double for rewards (if that matters to you). And of course you still get all the juice and cookies you want.
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Old 09-26-06, 05:56 PM   #3
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I donate, and i just dont have the usual energy/stamina for about 2 days.
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Old 09-26-06, 07:34 PM   #4
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Don't let cycling stop you from donating blood. Just be smart and don't donate within a few days of some big event. You don't need to give up riding, but take it easier for a couple days. And, like anyone who gives blood, drink plenty of fluids afterward and get a good meal.
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Old 09-26-06, 09:37 PM   #5
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What the heck. We all build up quantities of carbon monoxide in the blood, and it doesn't go away till the cell dies. They have an approximate lifespan of 3-4 months. Give blood and produce new cells right away, though, as mentioned, not immediately before a big event.

I once donated a week before a backpacking trip up around 9,000', and had not problems.
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Old 09-26-06, 09:58 PM   #6
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Human side: Donate blood.

Cyclist side: Don't donate within 48 hours before a race or big ride.

I donate as close to "on-schedule" as possible. Riding takes a back seat to saving someone's life.
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Old 09-27-06, 01:21 AM   #7
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I'd donate if I could... i'm type A+ and i'm sure it's in demand. However, i have a bit of an iron deficiency, so it's not a good idea.But i have donated in the past...aside from the iron I'm pretty healthy.
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Old 09-27-06, 06:27 AM   #8
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I gave for years - over 6 gallons - but finally had to quit because my recovery times were getting too long. Two days? Mine was more like four days. I would still give if someone I knew needed blood, but at some point we all have to decide when enough is enough.
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Old 09-27-06, 08:25 AM   #9
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I give blood. In fact, the Red Cross called me last night and I scheduled an appointment for early next month. I usually don't have any problems with recovery. I just ride a little easier for a day or two.

The only thing I definitley DO NOT recommend is a double red-cell donation. I let them talk me into this last year and WOW! Did I feel that. And I felt it for a month or so, until my red cell count returned to normal.
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Old 09-27-06, 08:49 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlazingPedals
I gave for years - over 6 gallons - but finally had to quit because my recovery times were getting too long. Two days? Mine was more like four days. I would still give if someone I knew needed blood, but at some point we all have to decide when enough is enough.
Absolutely. If you have troubles like that, even the Red Cross will tell you that you shouldn't donate. I'm probably around the two gallon mark, maybe a little more (I've given through Red Cross, local hospital, and military hospitals, so I've lost track long ago, and couldn't give for 5 years after Desert Storm) and I've never felt bad after two night's sleep.


Quote:
Originally Posted by woody_1029
I give blood. In fact, the Red Cross called me last night and I scheduled an appointment for early next month. I usually don't have any problems with recovery. I just ride a little easier for a day or two.

The only thing I definitley DO NOT recommend is a double red-cell donation. I let them talk me into this last year and WOW! Did I feel that. And I felt it for a month or so, until my red cell count returned to normal.
I'm sort of suprised to hear this, the last time I gave was also my first time using the apheresis process. I don't remember having any particular trouble recovering. I do have a problem with needles (don't we all?) but the needle is a little smaller and it's didn't bother me much. Looking back at my ride chart, I rode two days later and my average speed was on the high side of average. I'm due here in a couple of weeks so I'm sure I'll be getting a call, I'll pay attention more carefully this time and report back.
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Old 09-27-06, 05:14 PM   #11
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I should go and attempt again. I normally get rejected because of anemia.
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Old 09-27-06, 07:33 PM   #12
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I used to donate all the time, but last year I had two problems (let me add I was 43 at the time).

1) recovery took longer than usual. It used to be a day or two and it was closer to 4.

2) About a week after I rode my right hand went numb. Went to both and ortho and an accupuncturist. Both mentioned that they thought it might have something to do with giving blood.

Doc said I should wait a year to give blood and see how hand does. So far, so good - but I'm about to put the bike on the trainer, so I'll be donating next month.
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Old 09-27-06, 08:58 PM   #13
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This question was asked tonight on another forum I frequent. I usually recover in 24 hours or so.

My reply to the question on the other forum: I donate blood in honor of my brother lost as a result of a bad transfusion. He had open heart surgery with complications and one of the units of blood he received was from some junkie selling his blood for a fix (Years ago mind you) If my blood saves ONE life and the grief of a family of the lost one, it is worth every minute of my time and what ever the local blood bank gets for it.

R.I.P. Ed
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Old 10-03-06, 10:54 AM   #14
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In the last 4 years i've donated over a gallon. However i have yet to donate this year (2006) since i started to do triathlons... Next time the red cross van shows up here at work i'll be stopping by since i'm on a break from events for a while.
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Old 10-03-06, 11:19 AM   #15
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It seems to take me about 72 hours to get back up to full steam after donating. Perhaps the years are catching up with me. While I do note a decrease in performance, it is small. However, the 2 RBC or apheresis really knocks me back. So I just donate early in the week.

+Many to all who donate. There simply is not a viable substitute yet.
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Old 10-03-06, 11:46 AM   #16
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I can't donate in the States because I periodically live in the UK... it's bizarre... I could've lived my life in Uganda or somewhere and it'd be fine - but because I 'could have Mad Cow disease' (except I'm vegetarian), I'm not allowed to donate in the US.
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Old 10-03-06, 12:14 PM   #17
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I've noticed very little difference for general riding, even riding home within an hour after the donation (nobody tell the nurse).

But I do avoid donations just before my races in the spring. I'm already slow enough without "reverse doping".
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Old 10-03-06, 01:34 PM   #18
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This is going to vary depending on your genetics, your physical condition, your age, the type of riding you want to do afterwards, and many other factors. I think you'd have to try it yourself to find out the answer.

As for me, I am usually fine the next day, although I've never done a century or anything the day after donating.
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Old 10-03-06, 05:41 PM   #19
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Ooooh, i like that term... "Reverse Doping"

I'm going to have to change my user title now...
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Old 10-03-06, 05:47 PM   #20
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Thursday morning I gave a unit of platelets and a unit of plasma. Easy commute (10 miles total) Thursday, easy commute plus easy 60 min. spin Friday, nothing Saturday.

Sunday morning: Sacto Cowtown Half-Marathon. PB 1:45:09.

(This is why I like hemapheresis. You get to keep all your RBCs.)
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