Things to Avoid Doing Before Donating Plasma in Orem

Donating plasma is a valuable and impactful act as it can directly and indirectly save people’s lives. Patients who require plasma transfusion benefit directly from these donations, while the rest of society will benefit from plasma-derived medicines. 

The process is very similar to donating blood. You arrive at an accredited donation center, undergo a quick medical assessment, and if the doctor clears you, you’ll be ushered to a bed where you will rest while hooked up to a plasma extraction machine. 

Plasma donation is a safe procedure. However, plasma makes up 55% of whole blood. Unsurprisingly, although it happens rarely, some experience side effects like dizziness, weakness, fatigue, and dehydration. 

Unprepared donors, i.e., people who ignore the recommended foods to eat before donating plasma or don’t follow pre-donation guidelines, have a high risk of experiencing adverse side effects. So, if you’re planning to donate anytime soon, read these tips on what to eat before donating plasma. 

What To Eat Before Donating Plasma

The food you consume days before donating will affect your well-being during and after extraction.

We recommend eating the following before donating plasma in Orem, Utah:

  • Water – Hydration is crucial for plasma donors. Remember that plasma constitutes more than half of your whole blood composition. If you are low on water before donating, you’ll be at risk of dehydration after the procedure. Proper hydration also makes the veins fuller, and your blood flows freely, so the extraction process in the apheresis machine can proceed smoothly. 

Good hydration helps maintain your blood volume and prevents dizziness or fainting. So drink lots of water within the 12 hours before your donation. Drink water or fresh fruit juices to ensure proper hydration.

  • Iron-rich food – Donors need to have healthy iron levels in their bodies. Iron is essential for blood donors because it is a key component of hemoglobin, which helps maintain your energy and strength. Iron is also critical to the production of blood cells. 

Here are examples of excellent iron food sources:

  • Lean red meat – ham, beef
  • Poultry – chicken, eggs, cheese
  • Vegetables – green leafy vegetables, broccoli, spinach, kale, beans
  • Fish
  • Turkey
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Watermelon
  • Yogurt
  • Protein-rich food – Protein is crucial for regenerating and repairing body tissues. It is also a primary component of plasma. Your blood plasma contains essential proteins like antibodies and coagulation factors, which promote blood clotting to stop bleeding when you are injured. Having sufficient protein in your bloodstream will ensure the quality of the plasma you’re donating. 

Below are examples of protein-rich foods to eat before donating plasma:

  • Lean meats – beef, lamb, pork
  • Chicken
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Fish and shellfish
  • Soy products – soy milk, tofu
  • Beans and grain – lentils, green peas, chickpeas, 
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Complex carbohydrates – Complex carbohydrates are a source of sustained energy, which will benefit the body after donating plasma. Unlike simple carbs, which the body immediately processes, complex carbs (starch and fibers) are digested more slowly and released gradually into the bloodstream. These are healthier energy sources compared to simple sugars, which can cause blood sugar levels to spike quickly.

Whole grains are the best sources of complex carbohydrates. Here are more examples:

  • Brown rice
  • Quinoa
  • Whole-wheat bread
  • Peas 
  • Beans
  • Vitamin C-rich food – Vitamin C facilitates proper iron absorption, so eating food rich in ascorbic acid and iron should go hand-in-hand. 

Citrus fruits are the best sources of Vitamin C, while vegetables are great additional sources that add flavor and texture to your meals:

  • Oranges
  • Strawberries
  • Grapefruits 
  • Bell peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Healthy fats – Keeping one’s strength is vital when donating plasma. Since fats are difficult to digest, they are also sustainable energy sources that plasma donors need. As such, adding healthy fats to your diet would be beneficial. 

You may include these fat sources in your meals at least a day ahead of donating:

  • Avocado
  • Olive oil
  • Fatty fish – salmon, mackerel, anchovies, herring, striped bass
  • Nuts – almonds, walnuts
  • Chia seeds
  • Dark chocolate
  • Peanut butter
  • Olives

Now that we’ve covered what to eat before donating plasma let’s discuss the food you should avoid.

What Not To Eat Before Donating Plasma

To ensure you have everything covered, here are some of the foods you should avoid days before you donate plasma: 

  • Fatty food – Avoid food rich in saturated fats, otherwise known as “unhealthy fats,” at all costs. These can hurt your blood tests and prevent you from donating on the day.
  • Sweets and candy
  • Fast food – french fries, burgers
  • Pizza
  • Junk food and processed snacks
  • Ice cream

We’ve mentioned above that hydration is essential before donating. However, not all liquids are beneficial. Some are diuretics and flush excess water out of your body instead. Below are examples of these drinks you must avoid:

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Alcohol

Alcohol is a huge no-no because it could alter your blood chemistry and cause dehydration. Moreover, drinking alcohol might make sleeping difficult for you, and plasma donors must be well-rested the day they donate. For this reason, avoid alcohol at least 24 hours before donating.

Donate Plasma Safely 

Knowing what to eat and what not to eat before donating plasma ensures your well-being during and after the procedure. Preparation is important. Otherwise, you might become terribly fatigued after or faint in the middle of the procedure.

The most important thing, however, is donating plasma at a reputable and highly trusted clinic. If it’s your first time, the clinic will provide guidelines on what to do before, during, and after donating plasma. 

Find a trusted plasma donation center when donating plasma in Orem, Utah. Fortunately, you don’t have to look far.

ABO Plasma is part of a small group of independent plasma collectors in Utah committed to helping save lives by collecting medical-grade source plasma. We have a vastly experienced executive team leading us to provide a superior, customer-focused donor experience. 

If you want to learn more about ABO Plasma or our procedure, message us through our Contact page.