Skip to main content

$5 any 20 oz coffee smoothie before 11 am!

What to Eat After Donating Plasma

August 8, 2022

What to Eat After Donating Plasma

IMG 3785

What should you eat after giving plasma? Foods high in protein, iron, and electrolytes will help your body recover after a plasma donation. Your body also needs plenty of water to avoid dehydration and replenish the lost plasma.

For those who aren’t afraid of needles, donating plasma is an easy way to earn some additional income and help those who rely on the medicine made from plasma. Yet, some people who donate regularly struggle to properly replenish lost nutrients (or may not grasp how important it is to do so).

That’s where we come in.

We’ll review what happens when the body loses plasma. Plus, we’ll offer healthy suggestions for post-donation recovery, too. Let’s get started!

What Happens When You Donate Plasma?

Plasma is the part of the blood that does not contain red blood cells. Its role is to carry nutrients, protein, and hormones throughout the body.

When someone donates plasma, a process called “plasmapheresis” separates the plasma from the red blood cells. The machine that separates the plasma then returns the red blood cells to the donor, resulting in the body only losing plasma during the donation process.

Does Donating Plasma Deplete Protein?

Plasma donation centers recommend eating a high-protein meal after your donation. Studies have indicated that blood protein values are lower in plasma donors than in whole blood donors or non-donors. In other words, plasma donors are at increased risk of low serum protein levels.

The negative correlation between the frequency of plasma donations and protein levels suggests that our bodies can’t immediately replace the lost protein.

What to Eat After Donating Plasma

A basket of fruit, including kiwis, lemons, oranges, grapefruit, and a lime

Donating plasma can lead to lower protein levels and, as mentioned, dehydration; this is because plasma is mostly water. Because it contains water, salt, and proteins, it’s best to eat foods that can rehydrate and refuel your body.

To help your body recover, consider a protein smoothie. Protein smoothies are made with fruits and vegetables, and a nutrient-dense protein smoothie will hydrate and restore lost protein. Let’s take a look at which specific ingredients make smoothies a good, replenishing recovery option.

Juice and Electrolytes

Electrolytes are critical for balancing your water and pH levels, and when any water leaves your body, the electrolytes also exit. Plasma centers encourage donors to replenish their water and electrolytes after donating plasma. So, if you choose to recover with a protein smoothie, opt for one filled with fruits or fruit juice – great sources of electrolytes.

Here are some high-electrolyte foods to look for:

  • Bananas
  • Strawberries
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Coconut water

Protein

Before each donation, plasma centers will check your vitals and blood protein level. If your protein level drops too low, you will not be allowed to donate. Protein smoothies are a great way to help your body replenish protein and avoid complications during future donations.

Iron

As stated, donating plasma may decrease your iron levels, which can lead to exhaustion. To avoid these symptoms, look for protein smoothies near you that contain iron-rich vegetables.

Some veggies to look for might include:

  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Spinach

As a general rule, plasma centers recommend eating a healthy meal before and after your donation. Drinking plenty of liquids and eating high-protein, high-iron meals can help you stay healthy and avoid any severe side effects. So, where can you find a nutritious protein smoothie that checks off all the boxes?

Healthy Protein Smoothies Near You

A boy and girl sitting on a park bench drinking Smoothie King protein smoothies

Finding protein smoothies with all-natural ingredients and no artificial colors or flavors used to be challenging but not anymore!

At Smoothie King, we’re committed to making more nutritious smoothies. That’s why we use whole fruits and organic veggies in all of our blends and avoid any hydrogenated oils, artificial flavors, or high-fructose corn syrup.

Our new The Activator® Recovery smoothies can help you keep your body in peak physical condition. The Activator® Recovery smoothies are filled with protein and electrolytes, making them the perfect post-donation or post-workout choice. Find a recovery smoothie near you the next time you exercise or donate plasma.

Explore Other Stories