Yesterday I gave blood with Bloodworks Northwest. The last time I tried to give blood, around six or seven weeks ago, I was turned away. My hematocrit was too low — I think it was sitting at 28. Normal is 45-ish for men. Anything under 35 (if I recall correctly) and they don’t want to take your blood.

At first I was rather concerned. Anemia is a problem.

Then I started digging into some research on it.

I’ve never had a problem with my blood count before and suddenly things were low. What changed?

Exercise. Lots of it.

At the time (March) I was around five weeks into my workouts. Not just any workout, but some pretty strenuous workouts. And it was pretty sudden.

It turns out that starting to exercise can cause what looks like anemia — even though there aren’t any symptoms. It’s basically caused by having more plasma volume than normal. After a while things even out a bit — like they did for me.

My hematocrit level yesterday was 40. Back in the normal range.

Oh, and my blood pressure was 102/72.  :-D  W0ot!

And I managed to give a pint of blood in less than five minutes. 4:55 according to the clock on the computer. But I had to be shown up by another George across the aisle: 4:19. Bastard.