Any blood experts out there??? Time to donate is here again. Good or bad for MMA and for how long before a fight? If your blood is too thick, it's bad, and yet if your RBC count is too low, it's bad...
The Red Cross guidelines are pretty simple when it comes to the standards and time frames for donations. They also ask that you not do any lifting or work out for 24 to 48 hours? But they do not really have any detailed info on exactly how long until you are back to 100%. By that I mean ready to lift hard and have full strength and O2 blood capacity and endurance for sports and things like grappling and MMA. The folks at the donation centers can not seem to tell you how many days, weeks or months it takes from a regular donation or from giving double reds it takes to be back to ?full? speed and power. The assumption from their time limits makes it appear that it takes 8 weeks to fully recover from a regular donation and 16 weeks for double reds. If that is true, that would seriously impair an athlete. My numbers tend to run on the high side (as far as some doctors are concerned). Hemoglobin at 16-18 and Hematocrit at 49-55. Research on numbers for men shows that this is not actually so high as to cause concern, but my current (soon to be former) doctor thinks these numbers are too high. Athletes use high altitude training, meds and blood doping with their own blood in an effort to get their RBC far over the 50% level to increase performance, and we all know what happens if it is pushed too high. Some men actually donate blood to keep their % low and avoid the health risks of having thick blood?
So the real question is, by donating blood or especially giving double reds, how badly do you hurt your training, endurance and performance, and for how long??? I have found that each study seems to come up with a different answer, and most only seem to use running and cycling as their test. I donate because they need my blood type, and because I was told a long time ago that if your numbers run high, it is a good idea to donate anyway. And I have noticed a drop in performance afterwards. But reading thru all the reports and info I have not found a real graph or chart with typical results and expected times to full sports recovery. They all seem to agree that your endurance will suffer by about 10% but disagree as to whether it will take an athlete 10 days, 4 weeks or even 8 weeks to fully recover or compete. Could donating or donating double reds make the difference between winning & losing, or gassing in the middle of a round? Maybe even be an extra risk considering the further blood loss that can occur from elbow cuts during the fight? I found a few reports in which athletes were told NOT to donate even in their off season, and others that said that you would not only be squared away, but possibly better off a few weeks after?
Any personal experiences or definitive medical findings???
Red Cross Donation Guidelines:
Hemoglobin, Hematocrit, Blood Count:
Acceptable if you have a hemoglobin at or above 12.5 g/dL.
Acceptable if you have a hematocrit at or above 38%.
Wait at least 8 weeks between whole blood (standard) donations.
Wait at least 16 weeks between double red cell (automated) donations.
Normal values vary with age and sex. Men have 14.0-18.0 g/dL.
The normal ranges for hematocrit are dependent on age and, after adolescence, the sex of the individual. The normal ranges are: Adult males: 42-54%