When you lose fluids throughout the blood donation process, you can end up feeling dizzy because your blood pressure can drop. As around half of the blood that you donate is going to be made of water, it is important to be fully hydrated before you give blood.
It has been advised by the American Red Cross to drink an extra two cups or 16 ounces of water before you donate blood. Other non-alcoholic beverages are fine as well. Don’t forget that this extra fluid is in addition to the nine to 13 cups (72 to 104 ounces) of water that is already recommended per day.
The more water you drink, the less likely you are to faint
You have probably heard stories about people fainting when giving blood. This does not only happen to those who are scared of needles. It can happen because you have not had enough fluids prior to the donation, which causes you to feel dizzy and faint when blood is taken.
PhlebotomyU offers several courses. In our CPT I classes, students will receive hands on experience and practice this procedure in clinical and classroom settings. Contact PhlebotomyU today to learn which course is best for you.
Drinking water prior to your appointment
In the three hours that lead up to your appointment, you are advised to drink three glasses of water, i.e. 750 ml. If you are donating blood for the first time and you have not had enough time, it is a good idea to think about rescheduling.
If you donate blood regularly and you have not had sufficient water, you should be fine to donate, so long as you have consumed the same amount of water that you usually would on the day prior to the blood donation.
As mentioned, any non-alcoholic fluid should do the trick, but water is best.
Three key benefits associated with drinking water before you give blood
As we have mentioned, you can feel faint when giving blood, which is the primary reason why you are recommended to drink water before your appointment. However, there are a number of benefits why people are advised to drink water, and this includes the following:
- You are less likely to feel light-headed while giving blood or after giving blood, as lowering the volume of your blood can result in your heart rate or blood pressure dropping temporarily. If you have a bottle of water just before you donate, this can lower your risk of feeling lightheaded.
- Your donation is going to go more quickly, as water makes everything flow better.
- Another benefit is that it will be a lot easier for the tech to locate a vein to start a donation. This is because when veins are hydrated, they are a lot easier to find.
Once you have had your blood donation
Once you are finished giving blood, your body is going to start to replace the water you have lost, and so all the hydration in your body is going to go toward replacing it. Therefore, your body must be ready with extra water when this happens.
It is also advisable that you do not drink alcohol or anything with caffeine after your donation, as both can result in dehydration, which is the opposite of what you need in this situation.
Working out how much water you truly need
Earlier, we gave you a brief outline of the amount of water you need. However, to get a precise quantity based on your body size and weight, there is an easy formula that you can follow.
Start off by taking your weight in pounds and then diving it in half. The number is the number of ounces of water you should drink per day if you are not doing anything strenuous.
If you do not know your weight or don’t have the time to figure this out, drinking around 16 ounces of water beforehand is typically advised to lower dizziness and fatigue and ensure your body is kept replenished and hydrated, so this is a good rule to follow.
Other important points about food and nutrition
Not only do you need to make sure you drink water, but you should never skip breakfast on the morning of your donation. If you do not fuel your body prior to giving blood, this can cause dizziness and nausea. Choose a breakfast that is rich in iron. Eggs are always a good choice!
You should try to eat a few hours prior to your donation so you can keep your levels of blood sugar stable. Avoid rich and fatty foods, as they can prevent iron from being absorbed back into your blood.
Enroll at PhlebotomyU Today
After achieving your CPT1 certificate at PhlebotomyU, you will be ready to find your dream phlebotomy job. As a nationally accredited phlebotomy training program, PhlebotomyU prepares its students with the skills they need to succeed afterwards including career services , a phlebotomy internship, and more. Interested? Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions.