How you prepare

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Maintain a healthy diet that includes iron-rich foods, such as spinach, red meat, fish, poultry, beans, iron-fortified cereals and raisins. Get plenty of sleep the night before you plan to donate.

Eat a healthy meal before your donation. Avoid fatty foods, such as hamburgers, fries or ice cream before donating. Tests for infections done on all donated blood can be affected by fats that appear in your blood for several hours after eating fatty foods. Drink an extra 16 ounces (473 milliliters) of water and other fluids before the donation.

If you are a platelet donor, remember that your system must be free of aspirin for two days prior to donation. Otherwise, you can take your normal medications as prescribed.

May. 26, 2011