No, you shouldn’t drink coffee after donating plasma. Caffeinated drinks like coffee dehydrate you. Plasma donors need considerable hydration post-procedure.
After carefully researching several plasma donation centers and checking with doctor recommendations, we’ve determined that coffee’s kick isn’t worth the dehydration risk.
Why You Should Avoid Coffee After Donating Plasma
Plasma is primarily made up of water. It breaks down to 90 percent water and 10 percent proteins.
Each donation takes between 625 and 800 milliliters of plasma.
Coffee and other caffeinated beverages are diuretics. Diuretics encourage urination, which reduces the amount of water in your body.
Donating plasma has already lowered your water levels, and paired with caffeine’s diuretic impacts, and you’re likely to become dehydrated post-donation.
Decaffeinated coffee removes about 97 percent of the beverage’s caffeine, so make it decaf if you need a cup of joe.
Don’t drink coffee before donating, either. The beverage lowers your ability to absorb iron.
You’re losing considerable amounts of water from donating plasma, so drink lots of fluids before and after the procedure.
Before your donation, drink 9 to 13 cups of water and an additional 16 ounces daily.
Before a Plasma Donation
Adequate preparation ensures your plasma donation goes off without a hitch. Begin a couple of days in advance. Start by eating iron and protein-rich foods.
Stick to healthy meals. Eating iron and protein-rich foods several days before the appointment will build up your plasma.
Enjoy a healthy snack/meal a few hours before your donation. Stay thoroughly hydrated and steer clear of nicotine an hour before donation.
Try to get a thorough night of sleep at least eight hours before your appointment.
Most importantly, hydrate thoroughly. No step has a more significant impact on the success of your donation and the efficacy of your recovery. This means you should avoid coffee before donating as well as after.
Donating plasma loses 625 to 800 milliliters, or up to 32 ounces, of bodily fluids. You need these liquids to remain healthy and to go about your daily life.
Preemptively replacing the liquids you’ll lose helps soften the blow.
Prepare your paperwork in advance. Plasma centers turn away potential donors lacking the correct documentation.
To check in, you’ll need the following:
- A government-issued ID
- Proof of address: a license can fulfill this obligation and serve as ID. However, a utility bill does the trick if you don’t have a license.
- A social security document: a social security card is the obvious choice; however, a W-2 form or paystub will also fit the bill.
Dress for ease. Pick something short-sleeved or loose enough to roll the arms up easily.
Plasma is drawn from a vein in the crook of your elbow, and your drawer needs ready access to that area.
During the Plasma Donation
Once you’ve checked into the donation center, the real fun begins. Prepare to dedicate your entire day to the process; while the donation requires about two hours, you’ll need ample time to recover.
After you’ve checked in, plasma donation occurs in four steps:
- Screening: Think of this as a mini-physical. The screening ensures you’re healthy enough to provide plasma without side effects. This includes a blood test and having your blood pressure and pulse checked. The center will also take your temperature.
- A Physical: Now for the real thing. This won’t happen at every donation; however, you’ll receive an annual physical to ensure you’re healthy. The exam is quick and performed by a medical professional.
- The Donation: Once you’ve passed the screening and physical, you’re ready for the main event. A staff member hooks you up to a plasmapheresis machine. These devices draw your blood, separate the plasma, then return the remainder to your body. This ensures you only lose plasma when the blood is drawn while your platelets and red and white blood cells find their way back into your arm. During the one-hour donation process, you’ll receive liquids to keep your circulation steady and healthy. Some centers administer the fluids intravenously; others provide an oral option.
- Recovery: Much of the recovery period will take place in the comfort of your own home. However, the center holds you for between ten and fifteen minutes to ensure you’re steady on your feet and not suffering any adverse effects from the donation. Once you’re released, it’s a matter of allowing your plasma time to regenerate. Fortunately, this happens relatively quickly. Generally, plasma regenerates between 24 and 48 hours. During this time, hydrate thoroughly and eat iron and protein-rich foods.
After Plasma Donation
You must return to the same plasma center within six months to donate again. The Food and Drug Administration requires two plasma tests to determine the substance’s safety and usability.
You can schedule your second appointment quickly. Centers allow two donations per seven-day period.
However, you must wait 48 hours before the second donation, so your body can regenerate the missing plasma.
If you plan a swift return, avoid coffee until after the second donation. A second plasma donation after 48 hours only succeeds if the donor is well-hydrated, and caffeine ensures you won’t be.
Drink plenty of hydrating fluids 24 to 48 hours following donation to prevent low blood pressure.
Avoid caffeinated beverages like coffee and soda, which will dehydrate you. Steer clear of alcohol 24 hours after your donation.
Post donation, add four cups to your daily 9 to 13 cups of water for 24 hours.
Avoid drinking coffee before and after plasma donation. Both the substance and the process remove fluids from your system.
Combined, plasma donation and caffeine increase your risk of dehydration.
Plasma donation is an intensive process that shouldn’t be undertaken lightly. While the medical facility does everything possible to ensure your safety, taking personal precautions is essential.
Cutting out coffee and other caffeinated beverages immediately before and after donation ensures you’ll make it through unscathed and recover quickly.