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Posted on Apr 19, 2022

The best foods to take before donating blood

If we are donating blood it is very important to remain hydrated before & after blood donation. It is important to take the below mentioned nutrients in a well balanced diet:


Before donating blood, we shall consider increasing our consumption of iron-rich foods. This can assist in raising iron stores in our body & lower our risk of iron deficiency anemia.

Vitamin C

Fruits high in Vitamin C are:

  • Citrus fruits & juices
  • Mango
  • Kiwi fruit
  • Papaya
  • Strawberries
  • Pineapple
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Watermelon


Nearly 50% of the blood we donate is made of water which means we need to stay completely hydrated. When we lose the fluids during the process of blood donation, our blood pressure can go down and lead to dizziness. We recommend drinking a surplus 16 ounces or 2 cups of water before blood donation. Other nonalcoholic beverages are also fine.

This surplus fluid is in addition to recommended 72 – 104 ounces or 9 to 13 cups, we should take very day.

Foods and beverages to avoid before blood donation

Before blood donation we shall try avoiding the below:


Alcoholic beverages cause dehydration. We shall abstain from drinking alcohol at least 24 hours before blood donation. If at all you take alcohol, you shall compensate by drinking additional water too. But leaving alcohol is the best.

Fatty food

Food which has high amount of fats like ice cream, French fries, etc., can affect the tests which run in our blood. If our donation cannot be tested for any infectious disease, then it cannot be used for a transfusion. Hence, skip those doughnuts on the day of donation.

Iron blockers

Food that lower iron absorption are:

  • Tea and coffee
  • High-calcium foods such as cheese, milk, yogurt
  • Chocolate
  • Red wine


If we are donating blood platelets which is a process different from donating, regular or whole blood, our system must be free from aspirin for at least 48 hours before donation.

After Blood donation

After blood donation, we are provided with some light snack & some drink. This helps us stabilize our blood sugar & the fluid levels. To replenish our fluids, we shall drink an additional 4 cups of water within next 24 hours & still abstain from alcohol.