Plasma donation is different from blood donation. The process of plasma donation is called apheresis, in which plasma is extracted from the blood, and the rest of the constituents return to the body.
The donated plasma is then used for people with blood disorders. Is there any significant relationship between plasma donation and muscle growth?
Many people hesitate to donate plasma because with plasma, proteins like albumin are drawn by your body that are necessary for muscle growth.
This article will reveal whether donating plasma affects muscle growth is a myth or a fact.
Table of Contents
- Does Donating Plasma Affect Muscle Growth?
- Potential side effects of donating plasma
- Can I Exercise Right After Donating Plasma?
- Impact of Plasma Donation On Protein Metabolism and Muscle Growth
- Health Benefits of Donating Plasma
- Some tips to gain muscle after donating plasma
- Final Thoughts
Does Donating Plasma Affect Muscle Growth?
Donating plasma doesn’t impact your muscle growth in the long run, but it does have some short-lived side effects on muscle growth.
Plasma donation has no direct effect on muscle growth. However, plasma contains a necessary protein albumin that contributes to muscle health.
On donating plasma, you lose a small amount of plasma from your body which means your hydration and protein levels also decrease. But the body prepares new plasma within the next two days.
Most studies found no significant effect on muscle growth and function after plasma donation. If you donate plasma within the safety limits, then it is completely safe.
Just after donating plasma, you might experience low energy levels that are completely normal. By maintaining your diet, specifically protein levels you can get away with the tiredness.
Potential side effects of donating plasma
Donating plasma is considered a healthy practice, but there are a few underlying short-term side effects. The following side effects impact your efficiency in working.
Low protein and sugar levels
Plasma carries some essential nutrients like protein and sugars. During the plasma donation process, the blood undergoes an automated machine that draws out plasma only leaving other constituents like white blood cells and red blood cells back to the body.
For optimal functioning and alertness, blood sugar levels play a significant role. After plasma donation, most participants experience low protein and sugar levels that can hamper their productivity in a gym.
As plasma is a water-based component, drawing it out of the body will leave you dehydrated. Working out in a dehydrated state is not recommended. Strength training requires proper hydration and optimal energy levels.
You lose essential nutrients during plasma donation that will make you feel tired for the next 24 to 48 hours, according to your body’s recovery capacity.
Study reveals your efficiency to workout decreases by 11% for the 2 hours after plasma donation.
Arterial puncture is a rare side effect that occurs when a technician mistakenly pricks the artery while looking for a vein. An artery has greater blood flow than a vein. Hence the pain will lead to your elbow which can hinder your training routine.
Can I Exercise Right After Donating Plasma?
It is not recommended to perform strenuous exercises after donating plasma. A healthy person undergoes dehydration and tiredness after plasma donation.
So, you are not 100% in form to work out, especially when you aim for muscle growth.
Push-ups and sit-ups are easier to perform in such a situation. But if you perform weightlifting exercises, you might experience vomiting and fainting. So, it is better to give time to your body for natural recovery.
Impact of Plasma Donation On Protein Metabolism and Muscle Growth
Plasma donation is completely safe in terms of acquiring viral infection during the process. But it comes with a loss of some essential nutrients from the body.
As the plasma leaves your body, it removes liquid portions from your blood, electrolytes, antibodies, and some proteins.
While plasma donation has no direct impact on protein metabolism and muscle growth.
If you are not consuming extra proteins or your body is not going through the recovery process, then you can be at risk.
Iron and albumin are essential for muscle recovery and growth. Lower iron levels can result in poor performance and weaker muscle.
On the other hand, albumin works as a transporter for the other proteins in your body. If your body undergoes an albumin deficit, then you will have difficulty in muscle repair and synthesis.
Metabolic processes are also dependent on amino acid availability. So, it’s good to consume iron-rich foods like meats or leafy green vegetables to fulfill the requirements.
Health Benefits of Donating Plasma
Donating plasma does interfere with your working out capacity, but it has notable health benefits mentioned below:
Maintenance of A Healthy Lifestyle
Plasma donation is generally a healthy activity as your body prepares new plasma after donation that will make you feel fresh and healthy. It is recommended to have vitamin C-rich and high-protein foods after plasma donation.
To maintain your hydration level, drink plenty of water. Good hydration levels will improve your blood flow as well.
Donor’s plasma goes through a screening process, and by doing a regular donor can get alert if there’s a risk of any disease. Knowing early on will give you timely medication and treatment.
Reduce Cholesterol Levels
A study highlights that donating plasma lowers total and LDL cholesterol for both men and women.
So, for ensuring excellent cholesterol levels, plasma donation is helpful. It also lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Even if you take an off from the gym after donating plasma, you still shed some pounds on plasma donation.
You also burn around 450 kcal when you donate plasma, which can contribute to weight loss.
Elevates your mood
Doing a healthy activity boosts your mood. Helping people in need will create a sense of happiness and release more endorphins that lower your stress hormones and improve your emotional well-being.
Some tips to gain muscle after donating plasma
On the safer side to avail maximum effectiveness, follow the tips to gain muscle after donating plasma.
The most important factor for gaining muscle is rest and recovery. Allow your body to get a peaceful sleep of a minimum of eight hours after plasma donation.
During this time your body will go through a speedy recovery and get prepared for the grind of the upcoming day.
Plasma constitutes about 90% water, which means you can feel dehydrated after plasma donation. To replenish your water requirement, drink water or an energy drink. For muscle growth, the electrolyte-rich drink can work well.
Resting alone will not serve the purpose. You will require a high protein meal including fish, meat, and beans with whole grains to maintain your energy levels and body’s requirements. You can also have coconut water or watermelon to keep yourself hydrated.
Generally, processed foods, alcohol, and tobacco are known to have toxins that have a negative impact on your health. Toxins also slow down the repair and recovery process.
Not that caffeine is not a toxin, but consuming it in limited amounts also hinders recovery.
Plasma donation is safe and has no long-lasting side effects. But make sure that your weight and general well-being are not compromised in this act. There is no such evidence that plasma donation affects muscle growth.
Due to some underlying side effects of plasma donation, you can experience tiredness or low performance which can be subsided by maintaining good hydration status, rest, and diet.
Generally, it is recommended to avoid weight lifting or resistance training after plasma donation. You can resume your workout routine after 24 hours.
If you are experiencing unusual side effects after plasma donation, consult a healthcare professional at the earliest.