The effect of phlebotomy on physiological, metabolic, perceptual responses to submaximal exercise


Blood donation is a common procedure undertaken by healthy volunteers. Blood donation affects maximal exercise performance, but few studies are available on how it affects exercise responses at lower intensities. The purpose of this study is to determine the extent to which blood donation impacts (i) fatigue in response to submaximal exercise. The secondary purposes of this study are to determine the extent to which blood donation impacts (i) fuel selection during submaximal exercise, (ii) physiological responses (e.g., heart rate and breathing) during submaximal exercise, (iii) perceptual responses (e.g., feelings of effort and fatigue), and (iv) exercise performance (i.e., time to task failure at a constant power output) following submaximal exercise.


Currently recruiting participants: Yes

Eligible gender: Transgender, Other, Male, Female

Eligible ages: 18 to 50

Accepts healthy participants: Yes

Inclusion criteria:

1) Aged 18-50 years
2) Regularly exercising (minimum of 3 times/week aerobic training)
3) Non-smoker
4) Hemoglobin concentration of ≥125 or ≥130 g/L for females and males, respectively
5) Adequate understanding of English
6) Full vaccination against COVID-19 is required

Exclusion criteria:

1) Obesity (BMI < 30 kg/m2)
2) Peripheral vascular occlusive disease
3) Prescribed medications and/or investigational drugs that are known to affect cardiovascular or hemodynamic responses to exercise (e.g., β-blockers, anti-coagulants, etc.).
4) Consuming excessive amounts of alcohol (<21 or 16 units/week for men and women, respectively)
5) Pregnancy
6) Orthopedic issues that limit exercise capacity
7) Recent blood donation


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Method of contact

Additional information

Contact information

Hilkka Kontro PhD Candidate Faculty of Kinesiology

Principal investigator:

Martin MacInnis

Clinical trial: