Preparing to Donate

After making your appointment to donate blood, there are a few things you can do to prepare. Here are the DOs and DON’Ts of preparing to donate blood:

Preparing to donate


  1. Always be sure to drink plenty of water before donating blood!
  2. Eat an iron-rich meal. Eating enough iron is essential to ensuring that your hemoglobin level is right for donating. You can check out some tips for getting enough iron here and on our Iron and Blood Donation page.
  3. Bring your donor ID. If you have a donor ID, be sure to bring it with you to your appointment, as well as valid photo identification.


  1. Drink alcohol. You cannot donate with any alcohol in your system, so skip Happy Hour this time.
  2. Eat fatty foods. Fatty foods can inhibit the tests we do on your blood after donating.
  3. Take aspirin (if you’re donating platelets). Aspirin reduces the potency and performance of your platelets, so avoid taking aspirin for 48 hours before your platelet donation.