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Red Blood Cells

Updated: Mar 15

What are Red Blood Cells?

Red blood cells are the blood cells that carry oxygen to the body. The presence of blood in the urine following intense physical activity or vigorous exercise can occur in some individuals after an intense training session, and particularly after exercises involving impact on the body, such as running, jumping or contact sports.



How can the levels be affected?

The presence of blood in the urine can be linked to a number of factors, including :

  1. Muscle breakdown: During intense physical activity, muscles can be subjected to shock and breakdown, resulting in the release of small amounts of blood into urine.

  2. Damage to organs during exercise: High-impact activities or contact sports can shock the kidneys, causing minimal bleeding. As a result, red blood cells can end up in urine.

  3. Exercise-induced haemolysis: Intense physical activity can sometimes cause the destruction of red blood cells following repetitive movements or impact on the body, leading to the release of haemoglobin in urine.

  4. Dehydration: Severe dehydration can sometimes lead to an excessive concentration of substances in urine, including red blood cells, which can give the impression of blood in urine.

Exercise-induced haemolysis is a normal, benign reaction which generally resolves rapidly once exercise is stopped.


How can I maintain an optimal rate?

To reduce the presence of blood in the urine or the risk of haemolysis when practising sport, follow these tips:

  • Stay well hydrated: Make sure you stay well hydrated before, during and after training.

  • Gradual increase in intensity: Gradually increase the intensity and duration of your training sessions to allow your body to adapt to the physical stress. Sudden peaks in intensity or overtraining can increase the risk of muscle damage and haemolysis.

  • Proper warm-up and cool-down: Performing a proper warm-up before training to prepare your body for physical activity helps reduce muscle breakdown. After training, allow yourself enough time to recover, which can help reduce stress on the body.

  • Listen to your body: Watch out for any signs of discomfort, pain or unusual symptoms during exercise. If you feel pain or discomfort in your muscles or urinary tract, consider reducing the intensity of your workout or taking a break.

  • Avoid high-impact activities: If you have a history of blood in the urine or haemolysis, consider avoiding high-impact sports or activities that involve repetitive movements, collisions or contact likely to increase blood levels in urine.

  • Use of suitable equipment: Use suitable equipment for your sport or activity that reduces the impact, shock or vibration on the body, thus avoiding premature damage to red blood cells. This can help reduce the risk of serious injury in the event of a fall or collision.

  • Be careful when using medicines: Use medicines responsibly and according to your healthcare provider's instructions. Avoid unnecessary use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and aspirin, as they can potentially contribute to haemolysis.

By following these tips and taking precautions, you can help reduce blood in the urine and the risk of haemolysis during physical activity, making for a safer and more enjoyable exercise experience.


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