Performance and Health Benefits of Donating Blood
When I started working with Coach @johnnysebastian a week ago to optimize this unexpected transition to an extended off-season, he was adamant that I start donating blood regularly. Despite having been in the bodybuilding game for several years, I can’t honestly say that I fully understood the importance, or even the relevance, of donating blood. I’ve always been intellectually curious (or a nerd, if you want to be a dick about it...lol), and I consider myself a student of the game, so I started doing some research. Here’s the broad strokes of what I learned (specific to general health, not necessarily a bodybuilding-centric analysis):
Many of the benefits to regular whole blood donation centers on the maintenance of healthy iron levels in the blood, mitigating the risk of hemochromatosis, oxidative damage, various types of cancers, and the host of adverse second and third order effects that accompany each.
If you were born into a family with an extensive history of heart disease, as I was (my dad died of a heart attack at 52 years old), this next statistic is pretty moving: “the American Journal of Epidemiology found that blood donors are 88% less likely to suffer a heart attack.” Now I don’t know about you, but I plan to stick around this imperfect world for a long time and hopefully leave it a slightly better place. There’s a great deal I’ve yet to accomplish that I’d like to, and I look forward to growing old and raggedy with @britt_the_builder_ifbbpro so this fact alone would likely be enough to make a believer out of me, but there’s more.
Regular whole blood donation helps ensure that the blood circulating through our bodies remains less viscous, allowing for more productive, more efficient blood flow, less stress/pressure on your blood vessels and lining and ultimately reducing the likelihood of blockages, strokes and heart attack.
Blood donations also offer a free health screening, check not only for cholesterol and a variety of infectious disease, but in our “new normal" Covid-conscious environment, I will also find out if my blood contains Covid antibodies when my results come in.
Article written by Joshua Petrecky, IFBB Professional Bodybuilder. @alwaysjjp_ifbbpro
Additional resources on donating blood-