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Ex-Hasbeen

Let's talk Hematocrit Levels

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So what sort of levels are your average AG punters running around with? Can we raise it significantly through training, without the use of PEDS?

Most of us have had blood tests at several points in our lives. Hct is a normal one of these. I just got results back this week, and it's the first time I've really gone through them. Is 47% higher than you would normally expect for an aging age-grouper? 

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Mine is lower than would be expected. I used to donate blood. Initially I donated whole blood but ended up too exhausted so started donating plasma instead. After 2 donations I was told that they didn't want me to donate anymore as my blood cell count was too low. Why that mattered for plasma donation I don't know. I was told that they would accept whole blood?!?  Anyway, all that to say that no, I'm always on the lower end, or under, normal. I read somewhere that runners can often be lower than the average punter - theory being that the constant jarring damages blood cells. Sound odd...

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You would have to think 47% is high of 50% is the maximum allowed by the UCI.

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1 hour ago, Ex-Hasbeen said:

Is 47% higher than you would normally expect for an aging age-grouper? 

Says a lot about what's in that water you're swimming in!

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8 minutes ago, mhvh said:

You would have to think 47% is high of 50% is the maximum allowed by the UCI.

The test shows an acceptable range  is 38 - 52. So if you have an "acceptable" level of 51%, does that mean that you would not be allowed to be a pro-cyclist?

Edited by Ex-Hasbeen

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Generally speaking, on Trannies it'd be pretty high IMO. 

 

 

Oh... 

Hematocrit.... LOL 

 

Sorry I thought you said hypocrite... 

 

My bad 😂😂😂😂👍😜

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3 hours ago, Ex-Hasbeen said:

So what sort of levels are your average AG punters running around with? Can we raise it significantly through training, without the use of PEDS?

Most of us have had blood tests at several points in our lives. Hct is a normal one of these. I just got results back this week, and it's the first time I've really gone through them. Is 47% higher than you would normally expect for an aging age-grouper? 

Before an EPO test existed, the UCI had a 'safe' level of 50% for haematocrit (Hct). I believe they chose 50% as there was only a small percentage of people that were naturally above 50%, maybe 1 in 100 or 1 in 1000 (I can't find the normal distribution tables).

Unfortunately Hct testing is very inaccurate as it's variable by hydration status, e.g. if you are very dehydrated in will read higher and vice versa. Lance et al were aware of this and would infuse a litre of IV fluid to drop themselves below 50% if the testers were on the way.

Haemaglobin mass is the most accurate method of testing RBC oxygen carrying capacity but the test is complicated and expensive (you need a lab and to breathe in a known volume of CO2).  It's what is used to assess for response to altitude training or other haemaglobin boosting training methods. 

Your 47% isn't unusually high. You might get another 3-4% on top of that (3-4% of 47%, not from 47 to 50 or 51) if you went and lived at altitude for a month or so. Rule of thumb is about 1% per week for the first 4 weeks although there is a huge individual variation.

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In Tyler Hamiltons book i think he says the lower your natural hct level was the greater the benefit of using epo to get to the 50% limit.  

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I'm 55 and my last test was 0.45 ( assume that's 45% ). The reference listed was 0.39 - 0.54

Heamoglobin was149 g/L. The reference listed was 130 - 180

Edited by softy

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15 hours ago, Ex-Hasbeen said:

The test shows an acceptable range  is 38 - 52. So if you have an "acceptable" level of 51%, does that mean that you would not be allowed to be a pro-cyclist?

There is no 50% HCT limit.

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On 27/07/2018 at 10:09 PM, Limited said:

In Tyler Hamiltons book i think he says the lower your natural hct level was the greater the benefit of using epo to get to the 50% limit.  

great book, sad how it portrays  cycling but great book

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My system is a bit all over the place I have a lowish Hct level at around 40% yet my o2 uptake was (when I was racing) around 78 ml/kg. I’d probably be a good candidate for some EPO! 😁

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I think I was 52 when I had my blood work done - blech, hate doing it...will see if I can find the results to double check...

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Just now, TenPints said:

I think I was 52 when I had my blood work done - blech, hate doing it...will see if I can find the results to double check...

Your alcoholic blood work would be finally coming down today after the weekend. Congrats to the Welsh.

FM

 

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1 hour ago, Flanman said:

Your alcoholic blood work would be finally coming down today after the weekend. Congrats to the Welsh.

FM

 

Thanks fella,  my small country is very proud of our Geraint - loved the Welsh flag and the mic drop! If the session into the early hours of this morning is anything to go by, then there is no chance of alcohol levels changing - out again tonight and then a rugby club charity event Friday afternoon. So glad us Welsh have 4 livers!

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Last blood test I was dehydrated, and all values are significantly higher than what was expected (thus I get to repeat next week) - Haemocrit was 0.49.

My average is sitting on 0.44, and the lowest I have recorded is 0.38

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