Updated at: 04-05-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

As a plasma donor, we want you to enjoy the experience as much as we do, thus it is important to know how to prepare for plasma donation. Donating plasma can be intimidating if you have no prior experience. Even so, there’s no need to be concerned.

Donating plasma can be quick and easy if you follow a few healthy habits. Donors of all levels, including those making their first donation, will benefit from these points.

Preparing to donate plasma, donors should drink a lot of water and consume a diet rich in iron and protein. Plasma, unlike whole blood, contains 90 percent water. At least two hours before your visit, eat a nutritious, balanced meal. After a donation, you’ll be eating better for more than just your physical well-being. It’s also good for your health and well-being. Health screenings are required before donating to ensure that you are in good physical condition. There’s a lot more to it than this, so don’t be afraid to delve deeper!

What to Expect before you Donate Plasma

On the day of the donation, steer clear of high-sodium and high-fat foods and beverages, such French fries and pizza. Having an abnormally high level of lipids in your blood is known as lipemia. Additionally, a high-fat diet can have negative consequences for your overall health. The results of blood tests may be tainted if your plasma appears “milky.” If the results of your blood tests indicate that you are ineligible to give plasma, you may not be allowed to do so.

COVID-19 Survivors Sought for Plasma Donations | UKNow

Thank you for taking the first step in donating plasma! Donors are lifesavers for those who are in need of blood and organ transplants. Most people who are qualified to donate do not, which is why what you are doing has such an impact. Do’s and don’ts for a safe, healthy, and comfortable stay


#1. Foods rich in iron

Anemia and iron deficiency can both be caused by low hemoglobin levels. Your iron levels can be maintained or even increased by eating iron-rich foods. Heme iron-rich meats can help your body absorb the iron more efficiently during pre-appointment meals.

Animal products provide the majority of the world’s heme iron. Chicken, beef, and seafood are some of the healthiest meats to eat. Non-heme iron sources including tofu, quinoa, beans, and lentils are excellent for vegetarians and vegans.

#2. Foods high in protein

If you’re planning to donate plasma, it’s a good idea to eat a lot of protein. A nutrition calculator can help you figure out how much protein you need each day. The day before your appointment, eat the recommended quantity of protein. Choose lean protein sources like chicken and fish to get the most nutrients out of your food.

#3. Foods high in vitamin C

The iron absorption is aided by the consumption of vitamin C-rich foods. As a result, your body will be able to absorb more iron. The iron content of some vitamin C-rich meals can also be high, as is the case with several of these foods. Because of its high vitamin and mineral content, zucchini is one of the healthiest vegetables you can eat.

Vitamin C-rich foods and vegetables, such as oranges, grapefruits, and kiwis, can help avoid dehydration prior to your appointment. In addition to papayas and kiwis, other common tropical fruits and vegetables include bell peppers and tomatoes.


  • Eat a protein and iron-rich meal no more than a few hours before your donation. You don’t want to go to bed hungry!

Prior to your donation, consume a high-protein and iron-rich meal. You don’t want to go to bed hungry!

A few hours before donating food high in protein and iron should be consumed. You don’t want to be starving!

Get some protein and iron in before your donation by eating some protein and iron-rich foods. You don’t want to go to bed with an empty stomach!

  • Before you make a donation, enjoy some fatty food and treats. You may not be able to donate blood if you consume any of these foods, which can interfere with blood tests.
  • Before making a contribution, refrain from food and drink for 24 hours. It’s critical that you’ve had a nutritious meal in the hours leading up to your donation.

Included in the list of foods to steer clear of are but not limited to:


Before donating blood, it’s a good idea to ingest something high in fiber to help improve your iron levels. Foods that are ingested within two hours following a meal can impair iron absorption. A minimum of one hour prior to your donation, refrain from smoking or ingesting any nicotine-containing substances.

If you prefer to drink fruit juice instead of water, do so. Drink extra orange juice, for example, which is a good source of vitamin C. As a precaution against dehydration, plasma donors must abstain from drinking coffee or alcohol during the 24 hours preceding their appointment. It’s enlightening to learn why my blood donation was turned down.

The quality of your blood plasma is directly influenced by what you drink, just as it is by what you eat.


  • Before and after donating, drink a lot of water. Having a full vein and separating your plasma depends on how much water you consume. Before and after your donation, make sure you drink enough of water.
  • Reduce consumption of beverages that inhibit iron absorption, such as coffee and tea. However, reducing your intake does not need eliminating them entirely.


  • Before giving, have a drink of alcohol. Dehydration from drinking alcohol may make it more difficult for you to donate blood.


  • Before you donate your plasma, make sure you have a good night’s sleep. This will help you recover faster and provide a larger gift.
  • In order for the center team to access the veins in your arms, be sure that your sleeves are able to be pushed up.
  • A simple sweater can keep you warm during the donating process.
  • Bring any personal objects that will make you feel more at ease.
  • Bring something to keep you entertained, such as a phone, a book, or headphones. (WiFi is available for free at all BPL Plasma locations!)

You can save lives by donating plasma if you follow these guidelines and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Thank you for your continuing support of BPL Plasma and our mission. Find a location near you from our network of more than 50 across the country.

How To Prepare


  • Don’t skip meals for two hours before and after your donation.
  • Make sure you avoid greasy foods before you donate. Your blood will seem milky if you eat fatty foods, which can impact your blood tests. You will not be able to donate plasma that day if your plasma has this color look.
  • It’s important to stay hydrated. The night before and the day of your donation, make sure you’re well-hydrated by drinking lots of water or juice.
  • On the night before and the day of your donation, stay away from alcoholic and caffeinated beverages.
  • After donating, refrain from smoking for at least 30 minutes.
  • Prior to and following your donation, refrain from any vigorous activity for at least one hour.

Donating Your Plasma Can Help Others During the COVID-19 Pandemic


  • Dress comfortably. As a result, we ask that you dress warmly or bring a throw blanket with you to the centers.
  • Spend some quality time in bed.
  • If you’re feeling under the weather, don’t make a donation. Donors who wish to donate blood must be in generally good health. The facility has the final say on whether or not you are fit enough to donate on that particular day.
  • It’s best to pack a book or magazine or iPad to keep yourself entertained when flying. Each donor station is equipped with a flat-screen TV with cable and free Wi-Fi.
  • Keep your bandage clean and covered for a few hours after donating.

What To Expect

  • When you arrive at our center for the first time, please bring your photo ID and proof of citizenship or residency (such as a Social Security Number or an INS number).
  • Donors must live within a fifty-mile radius of the facility in order to be eligible.
  • You’ll be asked about your medical history and given a brief physical assessment at the donor kiosk to see if you’re a good candidate for donation.
  • The first visit can last up to 120 minutes, while following, more routine appointments can be completed in 90 minutes.
  • You can donate on the same day as your physical examination, provided you pass.


What helps plasma donation go faster?

The most effective use of your time is to keep yourself well-hydrated. Drinking the proper amount of water can speed up the plasma donation procedure, as plasma is mostly water.

Can you sleep while donating plasma?

Prior to your donation, make sure you get enough of rest and refrain from smoking for at least 30 minutes. See what’s in store by reading up on the details. When donating plasma, what can I expect? You’ll be able to relax in a reclined position, just like while giving blood.

Why do they check your elbows when donating plasma?

A puncture in an artery can result in bleeding into the arm tissues near the puncture site because arteries have higher blood pressure than veins. A quicker blood flow and a lighter-than-normal blood color in the tubes leading to the machine collecting your plasma are telltale symptoms of an arterial puncture.

How painful is it to donate plasma?

There is no harm in giving plasma. There is no difference between donating plasma and donating blood. When the needle is inserted, you may experience some stinging, but the team will take every precaution to keep you comfortable throughout the donation process.

Does donating plasma make you lose weight?

Will Donating Plasma Lead to Weight Loss? Donors have a prevalent belief that giving genuinely aids with weight loss. Calories are burned during the process of replacing the missing plasma in your body, but this is not enough to produce weight reduction.

Do they test for drugs when you donate plasma?

Drug testing is required prior to donating plasma. It’s not normally allowed for those who are taking certain prescription drugs, show evidence of injectable drug usage or are intoxicated to give plasma.

IU School of Medicine surgery faculty member gives plasma in efforts to combat COVID-19

Why am I so tired after donating plasma?

It’s possible that donating plasma will induce minor dehydration, which can lead to fainting spells or a dizzy or lightheaded feeling. Fatigue. You may feel fatigued if you are dehydrated or have electrolyte abnormalities. Bruises or pain that one feels.

It’s A Wrap!

In addition to the items listed above, make sure you obtain plenty of rest and pack a warm jacket or sweater for your plasma donation appointment. Avoid wearing clothes that is too tight and sleeves that are too long to be rolled back. Staying at home and resting until you feel better is the best course of action if you’re unwell. Before donating blood, it’s a good idea to know what to eat and what to eat after donating blood.