Can I Weight Train After Giving Blood?

If you can donate blood, you are a real lifesaver. However, if you do weightlifting, the dilemma you are faced with is whether you can weight train after giving blood. The Red Cross Society insists that you can’t weight train immediately after giving blood. They further assert that you are supposed to stay away from vigorous exercises like heavy weight training to allow your body to recover from the blood donation exercise. When you are donating blood, you are giving out a very important component of your body.

Still, on the matter of giving blood, it’s worth noting that you are donating a substantial amount of your red blood cells. The American Red Cross Biomedical Services argues that when a donor gives a pint of blood, it accounts for around 10-15% of one’s blood volume. That is not a little amount of your blood, right?

Indeed, 10% of a component so essential to the body reducing should tell you something about the exercise you are engaging in. You need to give your body enough time to restore its blood cells. Normally, 24 hours are enough for your plasma volume to recover well. This implies that you should wait for at least 24 hours after giving blood for you to do weight training exercises.

However, hemoglobin, the red protein that transports oxygen from your lungs to other body parts, may take up to a month to recover after a blood donation. So, as you can see, it’s possible for you to weight train after giving blood, but you have to wait for a considerable amount of time for you to resume your workouts.

For people who do a lot of weight training, it’s quite understandable if the question of whether you can weight train after giving blood is a tight spot for you. You must be wondering, weight training is ever in your to-do list, but you also want to make a difference by saving a life that desperately needs your blood. Well, there’s no need to worry, for there is a wealth of information that will help you know the nitty-gritty of weight training and giving blood.

Can I Weight Train Before Giving Blood?

Now that weight training is your thing, the question of whether you can train before giving blood must be lingering in your mind. To answer your question, strenuous exercises before donating blood can affect the blood giving experience in a big way. Therefore, you should avoid weight training at least an hour before donating blood. Your body should not be under any tension when giving blood. Imagine coming to a blood donation drive panting after a heavy weightlifting workout.

Will you be able to give blood, really? Absolutely not! Your body needs to be relaxed and should have rested enough before you donate blood. That is why it’s a major requirement for you to rest well before a blood donation exercise. If you have to weight train, you need to give yourself enough time for you to have your body rest before you can give blood.

Moreover, weight lifting is a strenuous exercise that can cause fatigue. Therefore, as you plan to give blood, you should ensure that you have enough time to allow your body to recover from the exhaustion of weight training. If possible, avoid weightlifting on the day of blood donation.

But if you have to weight train, ensure that you give your body enough time to rest. Preferably, consider resting for not less than one hour after a weight lifting exercise. For athletes or bodybuilders who have to weight train for a competition, you can opt to give your blood on another day when you don’t have to train.

How Long To Wait To Exercise After Donating Blood?

Exercises are good for boosting your fitness levels. Doing them regularly goes a long way in helping you to maintain the required fitness levels. So, how long should you wait to exercise after donating blood? The recommended average amount of time that you should take for you to begin to weight train after donating blood is 24 hours. After a day, you can go to the gym and resume your weightlifting routine.

To back this claim with an assertion from a reputable organization, the American Red Cross advice blood donors not to engage in heavy or strenuous exercises after donating blood until at least 24 hours are over. For you to see a clear picture of this, it’s highly valuable to gain a deeper understanding of what happens when you donate blood.

Normally, what happens after one donates blood is that there is a loss of a certain amount of blood volume from a donor’s body. Donating one unit of blood means that your body loses around 10% of your overall blood volume. It should take approximately one day for the 10% fluid to be replaced in your system; hence, allowing you to continue with your weight training program. The complete restoration of red blood cells, however, should take a longer time.

This process takes longer (2-4 weeks) because it involves the restoration of hemoglobin. Before the complete restoration of hemoglobin, you can engage in weight training because its absence does not have a huge effect on your ability to exercise. But, it’s imperative to highlight that because of your blood’s reduced capacity to transport blood, you might not weight train to your optimum capacity.

Of great importance still, it’s important to note that the type of blood donation you are making an effect on how long it takes for you to resume weight training. For instance, if you are donating more than the normal amount of blood, it’s advisable that you take a longer time to allow your body to replenish before you can start weightlifting. Certainly, the average amount of time required for you to weight train after giving blood is 24 hours.

Rejuvenating the Body for Weight Training After Donating Blood

By now, you can confidently tell that weight training does not end simply because you donated blood. Just like donating blood is a healthy practice, weight training is equally important to you. Before you resume your weightlifting exercises, it’s significant for you to make sure that your body replenishes. The reason for refreshing your body is to ensure that it is ready to resume the vigorous exercises that you do when you go to the gym.

If you rush to do weight training after donating blood, without allowing your body to rejuvenate, you might faint or feel dizzy, which is not a good sign. Also, there is a risk of excessive bleeding from your hand where blood was extracted from during donation. Therefore, it’s important for you to take time to allow the body to refresh and heal before you do weight training.

One of the steps you need to take to allow your body to get ready for weightlifting is doing light exercises. Light exercises will come in handy as you wait for your body to restore the components it lost during the blood donation exercise. For example, you can take a walk since it’s not strenuous to your body.

As you do this, you will be building the required capacity for your body to accommodate heavyweight training later. Moreover, drinking plenty of water will play a crucial role in helping your body to rejuvenate about blood donation. The feeling of dizziness after donating blood can be as a result of not taking enough water after blood donation. So, make sure that you remain hydrated for you to prepare your body adequately for weight training.

Additionally, it will be of great significance for you to take foods that will boost your energy after giving blood. Specifically, take meat, beans, fish and whole grain. These are some of the foods that will help you add iron to your body. Taking enough rest is also vital if you would want to rejuvenate your body in readiness for your normal weightlifting workouts. Consider these practices to restore your body adequately for weight training exercises after donating blood.


Weight training and blood donation are essential practices in your life. To put it simply, weight training improves your fitness levels and makes your body stronger and healthy. Similarly, giving blood provides you with a great opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life because you are contributing to saving people’s lives.

As you live longer as a result of exercising, you are giving someone a chance to live longer by donating your blood. So, these practices are essentially important; they cannot be disregarded. That is why knowing how to balance them will help you in a great way.

What this means is that when you give blood, you should be careful not to weight train because your body does not have the capacity to support that. The effort given to both practices is massive; thus, it’s imperative to undertake each at a time. For instance, if you have to weight train, then it’s best not to donate blood.

Again, if you donate blood, make sure that you take at least 24 hours before you resume weight training exercises. If you follow the information present above carefully, your body will be at ease, whether you are weight training or donating blood.

Reference: “American Red Cross. (2019). Frequently Asked Question.”

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Tomasz Faber

HI, MY NAME IS TOMASZ, and welcome to my site I’m a weightlifter, and I’m very much interested in health and fitness subjects. Throughout a few years of my weightlifting training, and diet experience, I managed to make my body much, much stronger, as well as build endurance and athletic figure. I live in London, UK, where I enjoy my weightlifting more...

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