If you’ve ever given blood, you know that it’s a pretty big deal. You have to give up a whole hour of your time, get poked with needles and spend the rest of the day feeling nauseous as though you’re coming down with some sort of virus. These are all sacrifices worth making if you care about helping others and truly want to make a difference in this world. So, if you’re thinking about giving blood again or for the first time – is it okay to drink coffee after donating blood?
Luckily, drinking coffee after donating blood doesn’t have any negative impacts on the process or your body. In fact, having caffeine will help your body recover faster and reduce post-donation fatigue. .
What Happens When You Donate Blood?
To understand the importance of drinking coffee after donating blood, we need to first understand the physical and chemical processes involved in the donation itself. When you decide to donate blood, you’ll be required to fill out a short form with some basic health information. Your blood will then be tested for any diseases or infections that could be dangerous to others. After that, the blood will be put through a process called “depletion”. What this does is lower the number of red blood cells in your blood by removing them completely. This is necessary because donated blood must be kept at a certain temperature and red blood cells are the most sensitive to heat.
Is It Okay To Drink Coffee After Donating Blood?
After the blood has been “depleted”, you’ll be given a meal and told to wait for about 2 hours before you go home. After this, you’ll be given blood back in the form of a blood transfusion. This will bring the red blood cell count back to normal levels.
However, this transfused blood isn’t your blood, it’s the blood of another donor. This means that the red blood cells will have antibodies which are meant to fight off any infections the donor may have encountered in their lifetime. After the transfusion, you’ll be asked to rest and let your body re-absorb the new red blood cells. This generally takes about 5 hours.
Why Coffee Is Good For Recovery After Donating Blood
Coffee is full of antioxidants which help fight off infections. This is one reason why coffee is recommended after having an operation. However, donating blood doesn’t include any surgeries, so why are antioxidants important? Coffee also has caffeine in it which is a stimulant that increases your heart rate and blood pressure. This is important because it will help your body re-absorb the new blood and complete the process of donation faster.
After a donation, your blood pressure is lower than normal and this process takes a little longer. If you drink coffee after donating blood, your heart rate will increase, blood pressure will rise and you’ll get back to normal a lot quicker.
Tips To Reduce Fatigue After Donating Blood
- Before your donation, eat something high in iron like red meat. Iron helps prevent anaemia and will give you more energy throughout the day.
- Try to donate blood when you’re well-rested. Fatigue usually sets in after 8 hours without sleep. This means that you may not have enough energy to make it through the donation if you donate blood when you’re tired.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
- Wear comfortable clothing that you can easily take off and put back on again like sweatpants and a t-shirt.
- Relax, take a nap or listen to music to help you calm down and relax before the donation.
- If you’re sick, don’t donate blood because the antibodies in the transfused blood may not be strong enough to fight off the virus.
Some people may feel fine after drinking coffee, while others may feel lightheaded or dizzy. If you are concerned about how caffeine will affect you, it is best to wait at least an hour after donating blood before consuming any.