Updated at: 25-05-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

Considering donating blood? Then you need to know what to eat before you do so. To help you prepare ready, we’ve put together this list of foods that make it easier for people to donate blood.

Let’s take a look at the benefits of blood donations first. If you or someone you know has been in an accident, donated blood may be of great assistance. This is the most obvious approach.

Donated blood is essential in the fight against cancer and heart disease. Blood transfusions are frequently needed by patients who have undergone significant surgery and are still recuperating. Medical disorders like gastrointestinal bleeding can cause patients to lose blood, therefore this is also relevant.


People with serious medical issues can benefit from donating blood. Donating blood, on the other hand, may cause exhaustion or anemia as a side effect. Having a healthy diet and consuming plenty of fluids prior to and after your donation can help you avoid unpleasant side effects.

Here's what you need to know about donating blood

Learn what to eat and drink before donating blood, as well as what to do afterward, in the following sections.

What to eat and drink

Before and after donating blood, it’s critical to stay hydrated. Due to the fact that water makes up half of your blood An additional reason to raise your iron intake is to counteract the loss of iron that occurs during blood donation. Symptoms of exhaustion might be caused by an iron deficiency.


Hemoglobin is made from iron, which is a vital component in your body. All of your body’s cells receive oxygen from your lungs through hemoglobin.

An iron-rich diet can help you store more iron if you follow a healthy, well-balanced diet. You can develop iron deficiency anemia if you don’t have enough iron stored to replace the iron you lose when donating blood.

Heme iron and nonheme iron are two forms of iron that can be found in food. Because heme iron is more readily absorbed, it has a greater impact on increasing your blood’s iron content. Heme iron is absorbed by your body at a rate of up to 30%, while nonheme iron is absorbed at a rate of 2% to 10%.

Before donating blood, consider boosting your iron consumption. As a result, you may be less likely to suffer from iron deficiency anemia.

Heme iron-rich foods include:

  • Dried meat and other types of dried beef.
  • Chicken and turkey are two examples of poultry.
  • There are several varieties of fish and shellfish, such as mackerel, haddock, and shrimp.
  • like as the liver
  • Eggs.

Nonheme iron-rich foods include:

  • Kale and chard are among the many greens and leafy vegetables you can find at your local farmer’s market.
  • White bread, whole-wheat bread, and enhanced cereals such as enriched pasta and wheat bran cereals like cornmeal and rye bread.
  • There are many different kinds of dried fruits that may be found in the grocery store.
  • Tofu, kidney, garbanzo, white, dry peas, and lentils are all types of beans.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C can help your body better absorb plant-based iron, or nonheme iron, even if heme iron raises your iron levels more effectively.

Vitamin C is found in many fruits. Fruits high in vitamin C include, but are not limited to

  • cantaloupe
  • fruits and juices from citrus
  • the fruit known as the kiwi
  • mango
  • papaya
  • pineapple
  • strawberries
  • raspberries
  • blueberries
  • cranberries
  • watermelon
  • tomatoes


Water makes up around half of the blood you donate. This means that you’ll need to stay hydrated at all times. You may experience dizzy if your blood pressure drops as a result of fluid loss during the donation process. Prior to donating blood, the American Red Cross suggests that you consume an additional 16 ounces of water. It’s fine to drink other non-alcoholic beverages, as well.

95% of donor blood units used in Nigeria 'unsafe,' experts warn | The Guardian Nigeria News - Nigeria and World News — Nigeria — The Guardian Nigeria News – Nigeria and World News

As a part of your daily fluid consumption, you’ll need to drink an additional 72 to 104 ounces (9 to 13 cups) of water.

What to avoid

Several foods and beverages can have a detrimental impact on your blood sugar levels. Avoid the following before giving blood:


Dehydration is a side effect of drinking alcohol. Before donating blood, refrain from drinking alcohol for at least 24 hours. If you do indulge in a drink, be sure to counteract the dehydration by upping your water intake.

Fatty foods

It’s possible that fatty foods like french fries or ice cream will alter the results of blood testing. In order to use your blood donation for transfusion, it must be checked for infectious illnesses. So, on the day of the gift, forego the doughnuts.

Iron blockers

The absorption of iron is influenced by a variety of foods and beverages. Don’t absolutely avoid these foods, but avoid consuming them at the same time as iron-rich foods and supplements. Foods that inhibit the absorption of iron are:

  • a cup of coffee or tea
  • Milk, cheese, and yogurt are all high-calcium foods.
  • wine made from red grapes
  • chocolate


In order to donate blood platelets, your system must be aspirin-free for at least 48 hours prior to the donation process.

What to eat and drink after donating blood

In exchange for your blood donation, you’ll receive a food and a beverage. This will help keep your blood sugar and hydration levels in check. Drink an additional 4 cups of water in the next 24 hours and avoid alcohol to rehydrate.

Are there any side effects of donating blood?

Giving blood usually has no negative consequences for the donor. Waiting in the refreshments area for 10 to 15 minutes after donating blood ensures that you’re in good health.

As soon as you’ve eaten and hydrated, you can resume your normal routine. Heavy lifting and strenuous exertion should be avoided for the rest of the day, according to the Red Cross.

Ask your doctor about iron supplements if you’re a regular blood donor. After donating blood, your iron levels can take months to return to normal. Taking iron supplements can drastically shorten this recuperation time, according to a 2015 study by Trusted Source.

What to eat after donating blood

Donating blood only takes ten minutes from start to finish. You’ll have provided one pint of blood at the end of the procedure.

Be prepared for a mild dizziness or lightheadedness after donating blood. This is perfectly normal, and it should go away in the next few of hours.

After giving blood, you’ll likely be requested to wait for 15 minutes in a waiting room for your safety’s sake. Before you leave the clinic, the staff will want to make sure that you’re in good health.

You should continue to consume water and other non-alcoholic beverages for the next 24 hours to aid with dehydration as your body recovers.


Should I eat before blood donation?

Keep your blood sugar levels constant by eating 2-3 hours before your donation. Stay away from foods high in fat and sugar, which might hinder the absorption of iron into your bloodstream. You’ll be provided refreshments after your gift, and it’s critical that you take advantage of them.

Everything you need to know before donating blood - Times of India

What should I eat before giving blood in the morning?

The American Red Cross suggests that you consume an extra 16 ounces of water and eat an iron-rich meal the morning of your donation. Saturated fat-rich foods like hamburgers, French fries, and ice cream should be avoided.

What should you not eat the night before donating blood?

On the day of your donation, avoid greasy foods like french fries, potato chips, pizza, and sweets. Blood tests may be affected and your plasma may become milky as a result, preventing you from donating. Before and on the day of your donation, refrain from drinking alcohol.

Can I eat eggs before donating blood?

Anemia, which manifests as fatigue and weakness, might set in if you don’t have enough iron stored away before giving blood. Leaky green vegetables and leafy greens, as well as red meat, are good sources of iron.

What is the best food to eat after donating blood?

Iron-rich foods including fish, chicken, lean meat, black beans, spinach, asparagus, and eggs should be at the top of your post-blood donation meal list. Hemoglobin synthesis is aided by iron. It also aids in the repair of soft tissue injuries and promotes development by breaking down protein.

Is peanut butter good to eat before donating plasma?

By consuming lean meats and seafood, you can increase your protein consumption…. Get your protein fix by snacking on a range of nuts, such as almond and cashews as well as cashews, walnuts, almond butter and peanut butter. Compared to a 1-ounce serving of whole nuts, peanut butter contains 8 grams of protein every 2-tablespoon portion.

How do I make sure my iron is high enough to donate blood?

After donating whole blood or a power red, some donors may benefit from taking a supplement with 18-38 mg of iron or a multivitamin containing 18 mg of iron for at least 60 days to help maintain their iron levels.

Can I drink coffee before donating blood?

Participants must be in excellent health on the day of donation and be in a cheerful mood…. In the four hours leading up to their donation, donors should consume a good meal and drink plenty of fluids. Caffeinated beverages should be avoided before donating.

Can I take vitamins before donating blood?

For this reason, the American Red Cross recommends that all people who donate blood on a regular basis take a daily multivitamin. It’s up to you if you want to take pills or gummies, as there are many options out there. A daily vitamin, on the other hand, will not be able to take the place of a nutritious diet.

How long does it take to recover blood after donating?

Within 24 hours, the body’s blood supply is replenished. The FDA demands an eight-week wait between blood donations because red blood cells take between four and six weeks to completely replenish. There is no negative impact on your body from losing a pint of blood.

Is oatmeal good before donating plasma?

The following vegetables are good sources of protein: peas (edamame), broccoli (broccoli), and leafy greens like spinach (kale), and collard greens (collard greens). A variety of dried fruits and berries, including dried apricots, dates, raisins, and strawberries. Iron-enriched goods and wheat products (like pasta, cereal, or rice)

What is the fastest way to recover from giving blood?

Donating blood depletes the body’s fluids. Drinking water, broth, or herbal tea can aid in the recovery process. According to the American Red Cross, the first 24 hours after donating blood necessitate an additional 4 glasses of drinks (or 32 ounces).

It’s A Wrap!

A blood donation is usually a short and easy process that leaves the donor feeling good about themselves again in a matter of minutes. So many people are now giving blood on a regular basis because of this. For regular donors, talking with your doctor or healthcare provider about iron supplements is a good idea in addition to planning your meal before donating blood. Your body will be better able to deal with iron loss on a frequent basis if you do this. It’s also a good idea to learn about the best foods to consume after donating blood and the best foods to eat before donating plasma.