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I gave blood for the first time a few days ago and everything went fine.  I know that it helps out the person in need of blood, but what happens to our bodies?  Is it healthy?  Can I mess up my iron levels by giving blood?

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I think even if it is damaging, the good you are doing is worth it. Plus you will be giving the premium stuff instead of regular sad diet blood

Yea, hopefully whoever the blood is given to helps.  Since I didn't experience any negative side effects I think giving blood for me is fine. 

You do experience semi negative side effects giving blood. Not possible to give blood and hold the same vitality. Thats why athletes that blood dope do so during a period where they don't need max vitality and then they re inject that blood 2-3weeks later for a MASSIVE boost. I remember a Tyler Hamilton story where they gave blood for a doping programme then went out training the next day and got passed by recreational cyclists. Then once the whole team pulled out some blood and then couldnt finish the small time race. They told the media 'the entire team came down with food poisoning'.

When red blood cell count is low, so is stamina and power. Thats why athletes from sprinters, swimmers to cyclists use blood doping and EPO in combination.

Its a noble cause and thats fantastic but you asked if its good for your health and the answer is no way.  If something is bad for your vitality then its bad for your health basically.

You did good :)  I'd give mine, except I think I might still have high white cells. 

I've needed blood before so I think it's one of the best things you can do  :) 

Thank you for giving blood! You have given potential life! :)

 Thank you for giving blood. I think it is great when people do it. 

I read that men who regularly give blood have a life expectancy on par with women.  On the other hand, men who rarely or don't give blood don't live as long by several years.  They think it may be due to men carrying too much iron in their blood, and by giving blood regularly they reduce the amount.

I once gave blood and then later I played basketball where I almost fainted.  I can't remember if I had given blood the day before or if it was that same morning.  In any case, it was after the time which they had recommended for not doing any hard physical activities, but it still wasn't long enough time for me to recover.

"Almost fainted" is probably an exaggeration.  I was feeling light-headed, I made a stupid foul that could have got me hurt without really realizing what I was doing.  So I sat down for a few minutes to recover, then got up and went home.  Nothing too serious, but I was obviously not getting enough oxygen for the level of activity I was doing even though I was accustomed to it due to have given blood.

Giving blood is great.  Just try not to overexert yourself for the 24-48 hours that follow.

After I donate I feel weak for a couple of days.

I also notice that I'm more likely to catch a cold or something during the 48 hr period after donating.

This does not put me off though, keep at it and thank you for donating :)

Really?  I've only given once and just got a bruise.  I personally liked the experience.  I thought it would hurt, but I was surprised that it didn't.  I'm definitely going to give again. 

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