Donating blood before or after a workout: How long should you wait?

Donating blood is a rewarding experience for most. It' an excellent way to give back to others; however, be sure you are allowing your body the time to recover before jumping back into a fitness routine. But how much time is enough time for your plasma and red blood cells to return to its normal levels so you don't wind up dizzy and light-headed? While it might differ for one person to the next, a good rule of thumb to consider is waiting 24 hours after donating blood to pick up your training routine. To hear from those who have experience donating blood before or after a workout, we asked the REM-Fit community and Coach Kevin. Those who didn't have any issues donating blood pre- or post-workout said: "I drink plenty of water after giving blood. Keep the wrap on for three hours and have never had problems with the WOD." , Kim S. "Whenever I donated blood, I was told to drink lots of water and rest for the rest of the day. So, workout first, then donate…" , Jill B. "I have done both. Ran five miles to the blood drive and five miles back. Lots of water and nothing for a few days after." , Sts S. Those who weren't in favor of donating blood pre- or post-workout said: "I almost passed out while doing a WOD after giving blood. It was five hours after." , Mistouw B. "Sometimes I get light headed afterwards." , Holly C. And here' what Coach Kevin had to say: "I would absolutely recommend you not working out the day you give blood. It can dramatically affect your workout. A good buffer between workouts after giving blood is 24 hours. Allow your body the time to recover after before any sort of intense physical activity, and start out with easy movements." Regardless of how long you decide to wait before resuming your fitness routine, it' always best to listen to your body , and to halt any activity if you begin to feel light headed or dizzy. A special thanks to our fans who shared their comments and experiences with donating blood pre- and post-workout!