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  1. #1
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    My hematocrit level is 49%, should I be a better rider?

    I was looking at a full-scale blood work up that I had done and it said my hematocrit level was 49%. This got me thinking becuase all of the recent doping talk that said levels above 50% can cross the line from being performance-enhancing to become deadly.

    I am not the best rider, in fact I just ride for fun. But if my blood is naturally gifted, maybe I should take advantage of this situation.

  2. #2
    Killing Rabbits
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    What was the reason for the blood tests? If you were ill it is mostly likely just dehydration

  3. #3
    semifreddo amartuerer 'nother's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MiRider
    This got me thinking becuase all of the recent doping talk that said levels above 50% can cross the line from being performance-enhancing to become deadly.
    Hmm, can you provide a source on that? I don't remember anything about elevated hematocrit being "deadly", just beyond the acceptable limit of doping testing. A "red flag" so to speak.

    There are many possible causes, including various diseases, smoking, living at high altitude, dehydration/fluid imbalance. Doesn't necessarily mean you will or even should perform better.
    Can you pass the test?
    Yield to Life.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enthalpic
    What was the reason for the blood tests? If you were ill it is mostly likely just dehydration
    The test was a mandatory part of a college physical education class. I was not ill for the test but I did fast prior to it. I remember drinking water, but I guess I could have been dehydrated.

    As to why an elevated hematocrit level is dangerous, here are a couple of sources that gave me that impression. I am not on EPO, but I gathered that a high hematocrit level could be deadly.

    From http://www.rice.edu/~jenky/sports/epo.html and referenced at http://bikeforums.net/showthread.php...+%26amp%3B+dea

    Why is EPO dangerous?
    The reason that EPO, and transfusion blood doping, is dangerous is because of increased blood viscosity. Basically, whole blood consists of red blood cells and plasma (water, proteins, etc.). The percentage of whole blood that is occupied by the red blood cells is referred to as, the hematocrit. A low hematocrit means dilute (thin) blood, and a high hematocrit mean concentrated (thick) blood. Above a certain hematocrit level whole blood can sludge and clog capillaries. If this happens in the brain it results in a stroke. In the heart, a heart attack. Unfortunately, this has happened to several elite athletes who have used EPO.

    EPO use is especially dangerous to athletes who exercise over prolonged periods. A well-conditioned endurance athlete is more dehydration resistant than a sedentary individual. The body accomplishes this by several methods, but one key component is to “hold on” to more water at rest. Circulating whole blood is one location in which this occurs and, thus, can function as a water reservoir. During demanding exercise, as fluid losses mount, water is shifted out of the blood stream (hematocrit rises). If one is already starting with an artificially elevated hematocrit then you can begin to see the problem -- it is a short trip to the critical “sludge zone”.

    Additional dangers of EPO include sudden death during sleep, which has killed approximately 18 pro cyclists in the past fifteen years, and the development of antibodies directed against EPO. In this later circumstance the individual develops anemia as a result of the body’s reaction against repeated EPO injections.
    Last edited by MiRider; 08-03-06 at 06:26 AM.

  5. #5
    Faster but still slow slowandsteady's Avatar
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    Hate to break the news to you, but you are not gifted. The normal range is 41 -50% for males.

  6. #6
    semifreddo amartuerer 'nother's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MiRider
    The test was a mandatory part of a college physical education class. I was not ill for the test but I did fast prior to it. I remember drinking water, but I guess I could have been dehydrated.

    As to why an elevated hematocrit level is dangerous, here are a couple of sources that gave me that impression. I am not on EPO, but I gathered that a high hematocrit level could be deadly.

    From http://www.rice.edu/~jenky/sports/epo.html and referenced at http://bikeforums.net/showthread.php...+%26amp%3B+dea

    Why is EPO dangerous?
    ...
    I see how you could make a connection but I think it's clear that those are reasons that EPO is dangerous; not necessarily a high baseline (non EPO-induced) hct. Of course, if you took EPO to increase that even further it might be reason for concern
    Can you pass the test?
    Yield to Life.

  7. #7
    ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ efrobert's Avatar
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    Doesn't high hematocrit level mean you coud be trained to be a Jedi?

  8. #8
    Veni, Vidi, Vomiti SteveE's Avatar
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    Yes, your riding sucks!
    "Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ...'holy *****...what a ride!'"

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