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Giving blood tomorrow! What should I eat?

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I have never given blood on a diet before, and I typically eat fairly small breakfasts. But I'm worried I'll feel faint and woozy for the rest of the day if I eat like I normally do (and that I won't be able to resist their yummy snacks when I'm done in the interest of my "health"!)

Plus, once I'm done, I have to go sit through eight hours of classes.

What would you eat for breakfast if you were giving blood at 10:30?

(Minus oatmeal. I hate it, no matter how much I try to like it.)

6 Replies (last)

Consider something high-protein; that will stay with you longer.

After donating, they usually have raisins.  That would be a good choice as a snack to help bring your blood sugar back up.

Take it easy on yourself.  I donated after starting my diet and almost passed out.  I also had some trouble getting my energy back, so I had to add high-iron foods to aid my recovery.  Good luck.

Eat a much bigger breakfast than you would normally.... If you've only had a light snack they shouldn't let you give blood.

I know it's too late, but in case others are interested, here is what I do (I used to give blood 4x/year when I was in college):

The night before, start chugging water. Lots of water. Way more than you usually drink. Try for a couple of liters.

In the morning, eat a good breakfast, focusing on carbs since they'll digest the fastest (if you're giving before lunch). Keep drinking water before & after you donate.

After donating, DO accept the juice and cookies. It's not really fair to count calories as usual - some of what you eat is getting sucked out of you!

Hopefully this will help for next time - ml According to the Mayo Clinic, donating blood burns about 650 calories (because your body has to replenish the donated blood). So definitely accept the snacks. When I've donated recently, they wouldn't let people leave until they'd had something to eat and drink.

Thanks to the last two posters! I actually donate blood a lot so that was totally helpful! I didn't know that it burned SO many calories! O_O! Total shock. I do accept the snacks because I definitely start feeling woozy now. I didn't used to, but the past few times I was pretty faint.

It's late now, but for the future: while I cannot give blood due to my anemia and all, I have to undergo a lot of draws. As a result I do get very woozy sometimes and so take a banana with me to the office. When she first noticed me doing this the nurse actually commended me - she had a draw of Mars bars and such for people that suddenly had an energy dip, but confessed she had never thought of bananas. Now she has a bowl of them on her desk instead! Lol, I felt proud. So, I recommend a good breakfast/lunch beforehand and taking along a banana! Or, of course, the snacks you are given. As loxosceles said it's not really right to count calories when you're giving blood.

6 Replies