Updated at: 22-06-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

Important proteins are found in plasma, a clear, straw-colored liquid component of blood. Plasma proteins, such as albumin and globulin, are critical for blood coagulation and infection resistance. Life-saving medicines can be created from donated plasma for individuals with uncommon disorders whose bodies cannot execute these important activities on their own. As a plasma donor, maintaining a healthy protein level is critical.

The following are some of the ways that you can increase your protein levels for plasma donation.

Protein Levels and the Plasma Donation Process

Certain eligibility criteria and checks must be met before a plasma donor’s plasma can be used. Testing for total protein (TP) as part of the screening procedure is necessary.

How to Get Protein Levels Up for Plasma Donations

The procedure for determining the total protein concentration is straightforward. A finger prick blood test is used to acquire a sample of blood. The TP level is then determined by spinning a capillary tube holding a sample of blood. Plasma donors must have a TP level of 6.0 g/dl or higher in order to donate their blood.

In order to donate plasma on the day of the test, your TP levels must be at least that high. However, if you find yourself in this situation, there are things you may do to raise your protein levels and resume your plasma donation sessions.

3 Tips to Increase Your Protein Levels for Plasma Donation

1. Consume Animal Proteins

It’s a good idea to eat animal protein in order to increase your blood’s protein content. One of the best sources of animal protein, red meat has a lot of saturated fat, which might have a negative impact on your cardiovascular system. Choosing leaner cuts of red meat like sirloin steak and filet mignon will ensure that you are getting enough protein while also keeping your health in control. Red meats such as beef, pork, and lamb have a protein content of 23 and 22 grams per serving, respectively.

Pork, chicken, and fish are other high-protein meat options. Three ounces of pork provides 23 grams of protein, chicken provides 24 grams, and salmon provides 17 grams of protein per ounce.

2. Consume Dairy and Eggs

Another great protein source is dairy and eggs. One big egg has 6 grams of protein, while low-fat ricotta and cottage cheese have a significant amount of protein without a high fat percentage compared to other cheeses. There are 20 grams of protein in one cup of low-fat ricotta and 23 grams in one cup of big curd cottage cheese.

3. Consume Plant-Based Protein

For those who avoid animal products, there are still ways to enhance their protein consumption through plant-based diets. Protein can be found in tofu, lentils, beans, nuts, seeds, and dark leafy greens like spinach and kale.

4 Ways to Get Protein Levels Up for Plasma Donations

Plasma Donation Process

Similar to donating blood, plasma donation is an option. When you have an IV inserted into your arm, a machine called plasmapheresis is used to separate the plasma from your blood. The platelets and red blood cells are subsequently reintroduced to your bloodstream and circulated throughout your body.

Plasma Donation Protein Level

If you want to give plasma, you must have blood protein levels between 6.0 and 9.0 grams per deciliter, according to the FDA. Including high-protein meals in your daily diet can help you avoid a low-protein blood test. The RDA for protein intake, according to Harvard Health Publishing, is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of weight. This works out to 54 grams of protein for a 150-pound person. However, persons who lead busy lifestyles may benefit from taking in up to double the recommended daily allowance (RDA).

Animal Sources of Protein

Adding red meat to your diet is a great way to improve your blood’s protein content. Ground beef made from 80 percent lean beef provides 19 grams of protein per 4-ounce meal, according to the USDA (USDA). Red meat, on the other hand, is generally heavy in saturated fat, which has been linked to heart disease. It’s best to choose leaner cuts of meat like sirloin or filet mignon when eating red meat, or to clip off any visible fat before eating. A better alternative is to use 93% lean ground beef.

A 3.5-ounce portion of grilled pork provides 26 grams of protein. Meat, poultry, and fish are all excellent sources of protein. The protein content of a four-ounce serving of chicken breast is 26 grams. Approximately 16 grams of protein can be found in a 2.5-ounce serving of tuna fish.

Eggs and Dairy

The USDA estimates that one big egg has 6 grams of protein. Another good source of protein is milk and other dairy products. Cottage cheese, for example, has 11 grams of protein in a half-cup serving. Choose low-fat or nonfat dairy items if you’re concerned about the amount of fat in your diet before donating plasma.

Plant-Based Protein

It is possible to increase your protein intake before to plasma donation even if you do not consume animal products or meat. According to the USDA, one cup of soybeans has 22 grams of protein. Tofu, beans, almonds, seeds, potatoes, and dark leafy greens are some of the other plant-based sources of protein that can be consumed in moderation.

Other Protein Products

Protein bars and premade protein smoothies are great on-the-go options for getting more protein. Also, you can prepare your own protein shakes. Dairy ingredients, such as whey and casein, are the source of these protein powders. In the event that you are lactose intolerant, look into pea or soy protein options.

Everything You Need to Do Before and After Donating Plasma

How to Prepare for Your Plasma Donation

What to Eat Before Donating Plasma

Plasma donation can be scary if you have no prior experience with it. Don’t worry, I’ll take care of it. You don’t need a lot of time or money to have a quick and comfortable plasma donation experience. Preparing for plasma donation involves drinking a lot of water and consuming protein and iron-rich foods, so it’s better to avoid dehydration. You should have a substantial meal within two hours of your appointment on the day of your donation.

What to Expect before you Donate Plasma | BPL Plasma

You don’t simply feel better after donating if you eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and lean protein. Additionally, it ensures that you will pass your pre-donation health screening.

A pre-donation vitals check may be familiar to those who have donated blood, convalescent plasma, or platelets. Besides checking your vital signs, we’ll also take a look at your hematocrit and total blood protein levels. The reason you should know your hematocrit is that donating blood destroys some of your red blood cells for a short period of time. Before you give blood, we’ll check your hemoglobin levels to make sure you have enough to be safe. Maintaining a healthy hematocrit requires a diet high in iron.

Iron-Rich Foods

Anemia or iron deficiency can be indicated by low hemoglobin levels. Iron-rich meals can help you maintain a good blood balance and raise your iron levels naturally. For your pre-appointment meal, choose proteins with plenty of heme iron, which is a type of iron present in animal sources and your body can absorb it more easily. A diet rich in lean red meat, poultry, and seafood is an excellent option. But if you are a vegetarian or vegan, you should include tofu, beans, quinoa and lentils in your diet as good sources of non-heme iron (iron from plant sources).

Eating these meals, in addition to the proteins listed above, can help you raise your iron levels:

  • Dark leafy greens like collards (kale), collard greens (spinach), and broccoli are some of the vegetables to include in your diet.
  • A variety of dried apricots and raisin-based fruits are also available.
  • Iron-enriched goods and wheat products (like pasta, cereal, or rice)
Protein-Rich Foods

When preparing for a plasma donation, it is a good idea to eat according to your recommended protein consumption (or slightly higher). In order to ensure you have enough protein for your appointment, you should use this nutrition calculator to establish how many grams you require.

To get the most nutrition out of your meal, choose lean proteins like chicken or fish.

The following foods are high in protein:

  • Beans
  • Shrimp
  • Eggs
  • Yogurt
  • Nuts, seeds, and nut butters
Vitamin C-Rich Foods

Consume meals high in vitamin C, which aids in the absorption of more non-heme iron, to increase your iron consumption even further. As a plant-based diet donor, this is very significant. Some foods that are high in vitamin C are also high in iron. Spinach, broccoli, kale, peas, and strawberries are just a few examples. Adding bell peppers, oranges, tomatoes, kiwis, and papayas to your pre-appointment meal is also a good way to get plenty of vitamin C.

What Not to Eat Before Donating Plasma

A day before your donation, try to stay away from high-sodium, high-fat meals and beverages such French fries, pizza, chips, candy, ice cream, and soda. A high-fat diet can cause lipemia, which is a condition in which your blood cells have an abnormally high number of lipids (fats), in addition to harming your general health. This can result in a “milky” appearance in your plasma, which might affect the results of blood tests. You may be prevented from donating if your donation cannot be properly tested.

Consuming high-fiber foods or beverages near your pre-donation meals, such as coffee, tea, wine, chocolate, or milk, may help enhance your iron levels. Too close to lunchtime consumption of these foods and beverages can interfere with iron absorption.

Tobacco and nicotine use should be avoided for at least an hour prior to your donation, according to the CDC.

What to Drink Before Donating Plasma

Before donating plasma, it’s important to be hydrated. It’s a good idea to drink a lot of water after donating plasma, because it’s roughly 90% water.

Drink 9 to 13 cups of water in the 24 hours leading prior to your donation. The American Red Cross recommends that you drink an additional 16 ounces, or two cups, just before your visit to ensure that you are properly hydrated. If you’re trying to stay hydrated, stay away from drinks that are either too cold or too hot because they can have an effect on your core body temperature. Instead, drink water that is at room temperature.

The most effective use of your time is to keep yourself well-hydrated. Plasma is primarily composed of water, thus consuming the required daily amount of fluids will hasten the donation process.

Some blood donation locations recommend drinking a couple cups of low-sugar fruit juice as an alternative to water, so feel free to do so if you like. Vitamin C levels can be raised through the consumption of orange juice.

Prior to their visit, plasma donors should abstain from alcohol and caffeine to avoid dehydration and their pulse from being affected.

Other Ways to Prepare

There should be no wait time at all for plasma donation. When giving plasma, there are a few simple things you can do to make the experience as pleasant as possible. We propose that you use:

  • Being well-rested the night before an important event
  • bringing entertainment in the form of books, movies, or audiobooks
  • If you’re worried about getting too cold, consider bringing a sweater or jacket.
  • Wearing sleeveless clothing makes it easy to roll up your sleeves.

If you have a fever, are sick, or are otherwise unwell, please stay at home and rest. Come back when you’re feeling better; we’ll wait for you.

Staying Healthy After Your Plasma Donation

Take these basic precautions to avoid side effects like weariness or dehydration following your plasma donation.

  • Getting out of bed should not be a rushed process.
  • Within two hours of your appointment, have a snack or light meal.
  • Drink a lot of water, and don’t stop. During the first 24 hours after a blood donation, the American Red Cross advises donors to consume an additional 4 cups of fluids.
  • After making a gift, refrain from drinking for at least four hours.
  • One hour after the donation, refrain from using cigarette or nicotine products.
  • For the remainder of the day, refrain from doing anything vigorous, particularly heavy lifting.
  • Your next meal or meals should include enough protein to meet your daily protein needs.
  • Consume iron and vitamin C-rich foods on a regular basis.

Nutrition Tips for Regular Plasma Donors

When thinking about being a regular plasma donor, it is imperative that you maintain a healthy diet that includes at least two weekly plasma donations. In addition to affecting your overall health, your diet has a direct impact on whether you’ll be able to continue donating plasma and how well you feel afterward.

As a general rule, regular donors should eat a diet high in protein as well as iron every day. The same pre- and post-donation advice applies when it comes to fatty meals, which should be consumed in moderation. If you’re going to have a treat meal, make sure it’s at least 24 hours away from a scheduled appointment.

If you have a history of iron deficiency, you may want to consider supplementing your diet with vitamins and minerals. Consult your doctor to determine the best iron supplement regimen for you, which may include dietary and lifestyle modifications as well as iron supplements.

Best Foods to Eat After Plasma Donation - Canadian Plasma Resources

It’s A Wrap!

Are you looking for answers to the question, “How can I raise my protein levels so that I can donate plasma?” In that case, please read through this post thoroughly to get a better understanding of the methods we’ve outlined. To learn more about organ and embryo donation, check out our articles on the subject. For those who stayed with us to the finish, we’d want to thank you!