American Red Cross: Blood Donation for Student Athletes

American Red Cross Spokesman Brian Boyle

As a student athlete, here are some important things you should know about donating blood.

It is recommended that blood donors not participate in strenuous activity for a period of time following the donation. If you are a student athlete, this may interfere with practice and a game, but that doesn’t mean you can’t donate.

Keys to Success: 

Talk to your coach about your interest and the importance of making a difference through blood donation. 

Try to plan your donation around practice and games. If necessary, ask if you can miss practice for one day to participate in this life-saving cause.                    

Encourage your teammates to donate with you and make it a team effort.                    

After blood donation, student athletes should wait about 12 hours or more before resuming strenuous exercise, depending on how they feel.                    

You temporarily lose fluid after donation which your body replaces within 24 hours or sooner if you drink extra fluids. 

As a precaution, do not donate blood on the same day of a competition or strenuous practice. 

Your body replaces the red blood cells (the cells that deliver oxygen to muscles and tissues) within about two to four weeks,    depending on nutrition and iron status.                    

High-performance competitive athletes may notice a marginal decrease in exercise tolerance for about one week after donation.

For more information, please visit: Blood Donation for Student Athletes