Updated at: 31-10-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

Are you thinking about giving blood? And before you start eating, you should have some idea of what you should be eating. To assist you in getting ready, we have compiled a list of foods that reduce the potential for adverse reactions when donating blood.

Let’s start with the reasons why giving blood is so important. Donating blood could save your life or the life of a loved one if you’ve been injured in an accident. This is the simplest solution.

Giving blood is crucial in the battle against cancer and cardiovascular disease. Patients who have undergone extensive surgery and are still recovering often require blood transfusions. Diseases like gastrointestinal bleeding can cause people to lose blood, therefore this is also relevant.


Donating blood helps people in need who are dealing with life-threatening conditions. However, there is a chance that fatigue or anemia will develop after a blood donation. A nutritious diet and lots of fluids before and after donation can reduce the likelihood of experiencing any negative reactions.

Here's what you need to know about donating blood

In the following sections, you’ll find information about what to consume before and after giving blood.

What to eat and drink

It’s important to drink lots of water before and after giving blood. Since water makes up half of your blood, increasing your iron intake can help make up for the iron lost when you donate blood. A lack of iron in the body can cause fatigue and other related symptoms.


Hemoglobin requires the mineral iron, which is essential to your health. Your hemoglobin carries oxygen from your lungs to every cell in your body.

If you eat a healthy, balanced diet, an iron-rich diet can help you store more iron. If you don’t have enough stored iron to make up for the iron you lose after giving blood, you risk developing iron deficiency anemia.

Some foods contain heme iron, whereas others include nonheme iron. Compared to nonheme iron, heme iron has a more noticeable effect on elevating the iron levels in your blood. The body can absorb up to 30% of the iron in heme forms, but only 2- 10% of the iron in nonheme forms.

It’s a good idea to up your iron intake before making a blood donation. In this way, you might have a lower risk of developing iron deficiency anemia.

Some examples of foods that are high in heme iron are:

  • Dehydrated beef and other forms of dried beef.
  • Poultry includes both chicken and turkey.
  • Fish and shellfish come in many forms, including mackerel, haddock, and shrimp.
  • in the same vein as the liver
  • Eggs.

Examples of foods that are high in iron yet do not contain heme are:

  • You can get a wide variety of greens and leafy vegetables at the farmer’s market, including kale and chard.
  • Cereals made from refined flour, such as white bread, wheat bran cereals like cornmeal and rye bread, and enriched pasta.
  • Dried fruits come in a wide variety and may be purchased at most supermarkets.
  • Beans come in a wide variety, including tofu, kidney, garbanzo, white, dried peas, and lentils.

Vitamin C

Even while heme iron increases iron levels more efficiently, vitamin C can assist your body better absorb iron from plants.

There are various fruit options that are rich in vitamin C. The list of vitamin C-rich fruits can include, but is not limited to:

  • cantaloupe
  • Citric fruit and juices
  • kiwi, a type of fruit
  • mango
  • papaya
  • pineapple
  • strawberries
  • raspberries
  • blueberries
  • cranberries
  • tomatoes


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

Additional 72–104 ounces (9–13 cups) of water should be consumed daily as part of your hydration intake.

What to avoid

Several foods and drinks can raise blood sugar levels dangerously. The following should be avoided before donating blood:


Drinking alcohol can cause you to become dehydrated. Donating blood requires a 24-hour alcohol-free period. You need to drink more water to make up for the fluids lost when you drink alcohol.

Fatty foods

Consuming fatty foods like french fries or ice cream prior to a blood test may cause inaccurate results. Donated blood must be screened for the presence of infectious diseases before it may be used for transfusion. So, skip the doughnuts on the day of the present.

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:

  • 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:
  • Several foods and drinks might affect how much iron your body absorbs. Avoid eating them alongside iron-rich foods or supplements, but don’t cut them out entirely. Iron absorption is slowed by the following foods.
  • Many foods and drinks can affect how much iron the body absorbs. You shouldn’t cut out these foods completely, but you should try to avoid having them at the same time as iron-rich foods and supplements. Iron absorption-preventing foods include:
  • chocolate


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

Are there any side effects of donating blood?

At least 48 hours before donating blood platelets, you must not have taken any aspirin.

Once you’ve had something to eat and a drink, you can get back to your regular schedule. The Red Cross recommends that you take it easy for the rest of the day and avoid any activities that require heavy lifting or excessive exertion.

If you are a regular blood donor, you may benefit from taking iron supplements; discuss the possibility with your doctor. Iron levels can take months to return to normal after blood donation. A 2015 study from Reliable Source found that iron supplements can cut down on recovery time by a significant amount.

What to eat after donating blood

The entire process of giving blood takes no more than ten minutes. At the conclusion of the process, you will have donated one pint of blood.

Lightheadedness or dizziness is normal after donating blood. There’s nothing to worry about; it’s entirely normal and should pass in a few hours.

Donating blood often involves a 15-minute wait in a waiting room for observation and safety purposes. The doctors and nurses will double-check your vitals before letting you leave the clinic.

Keep drinking water and other non-alcoholic beverages to avoid dehydration while your body heals over the next 24 hours.


Should I eat before blood donation?

Donors should eat within two to three hours of their donation to maintain stable blood sugar levels. Avoid high-fat and high-sugar diets since they may interfere with the body’s ability to absorb iron. It’s important that you take advantage of the refreshments that will be offered to you once you’ve made your donation.

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

What should I eat before giving blood in the morning?

Drink an extra 16 ounces of water and eat an iron-rich meal the morning before your donation, as recommended by the American Red Cross. Avoiding meals high in saturated fat, such as burgers, French fries, and ice cream, is recommended.

What should you not eat the night before donating blood?

Do not eat any fatty meals, such as french fries, potato chips, pizza, or desserts, on the day of your donation. Your plasma could turn milky during a blood test, and you might not be able to donate if that happens. Don’t drink alcohol before or on the day of your donation.

Can I eat eggs before donating blood?

If you don’t have enough iron in your system, the exhaustion and weakness of anemia can come in after you donate blood. Iron-rich foods include red meat, organ meats, and dark green vegetables.

What is the best food to eat after donating blood?

You should prioritize eating iron-rich foods like fish, poultry, lean meat, black beans, spinach, asparagus, and eggs after giving blood. Iron has a role in the production of hemoglobin. By breaking down protein, it also promotes growth and helps repair soft tissue injuries.

Is peanut butter good to eat before donating plasma?

You may up your protein intake by eating more seafood and lean meats…. Nuts, such as almonds and cashews, and nut butters and spreads made from them (almond butter, peanut butter, and so on) are a great way to snack on protein. When compared to a 1-ounce serving of whole nuts, the 8 grams of protein in just 2 tablespoons of peanut butter is a significant savings.

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

Some donors may find it helpful to take an iron supplement with 18-38 mg of iron or a multivitamin containing 18 mg of iron for at least 60 days after giving whole blood or a power red in order to keep their iron levels stable.

Can I drink coffee before donating blood?

Donors must be in high spirits and physical health on the day of their donation…. Donors should have a healthy meal and drink lots of water in the four hours prior to their donation. Drinking caffeine-containing beverages should be avoided before making a donation.

Can I take vitamins before donating blood?

In light of this, the American Red Cross advises that all regular blood donors take a multivitamin every day. You can choose between tablets and gummies, as both are readily available. However, a daily vitamin will not be able to replace a healthy diet.

How long does it take to recover blood after donating?

The blood supply in the body is fully restored within 24 hours. The Food and Drug Administration requires an eight-week break between blood donations since it takes four to six weeks for red blood cells to be entirely replenished. You can safely lose a pint of blood without worrying about any unwanted effects.

Is oatmeal good before donating plasma?

Peas (edamame), broccoli (broccoli), and leafy greens like spinach (kale), and collard greens are all excellent vegetable options for those looking to increase their protein intake (collard greens). Dried apricots, dates, raisins, and strawberries, among other fruits and berries, are included. Products containing wheat or iron enrichment (like pasta, cereal, or rice)

What is the fastest way to recover from giving blood?

Hydration levels drop after a blood donation. The healing process can be aided by consuming fluids like water, broth, or herbal tea. The American Red Cross recommends drinking an extra four glasses of fluid in the first twenty-four hours after giving blood (or 32 ounces).

It’s A Wrap!

Donating blood is a simple process that takes only a few minutes and leaves the donor feeling great again. Due to this, many more people are committing to frequent blood donations. Donors who give blood regularly should discuss taking iron supplements with their doctor or healthcare provider in addition to preparing their diet before giving blood. If you do this regularly, your body will be better able to compensate for iron loss. It’s also helpful to know what to eat before and after donating blood to avoid any potential complications.