Donor Tips

Follow These Healthy Guidelines Before You Donate

These dietary guidelines were developed to help you enjoy a comfortable donation experience. When you follow a proper diet 24 to 48 hours before your donation, you will keep your donation time between 60 and 90 minutes.


Eat Healthy

Maintain your iron and protein levels by eating a well-balanced diet that may include fish, chicken, turkey, beans, tofu, fruits, vegetables, pasta, bread and non-dairy products.

Prior to donating, be sure to eat a well-balanced meal. Do not skip a meal. Avoid alcohol and beverages with caffeine such as coffee at least 24 hours before your donation.

Avoid Fatty and High Cholesterol Foods

Foods that are high in fat and cholesterol should be avoided 24 to 48 hours prior to your donation. Avoid foods like butter, cheese, whole milk, ice cream, donuts, fried foods, pizza, hotdogs and hamburgers.

Drink Lots of Water

Start by drinking up to eight 8-ounce glasses of water or caffeine-free liquid throughout the day before your donation, as well as the same day you donate. The amount of water you drink directly impacts your donation, from the fullness of your vein when the phlebotomy is performed to how quickly the Auto-C machine separates your plasma. Taking in extra fluids will greatly reduce your donation time.

After you donate, be sure to drink plenty of water to replenish fluids.


Learn more about how to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet by reading Health & Nutrition Tips.

In short, take good care of yourself. It could become a habit!