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Hiya guys. First post, woo hoo.

Which would help produce the most efficient cardiovascular system: thick blood, or thin blood? I was diagnosed as having "thick" blood as a child, and was prescribed daily Aspirin. I probably only took them for a month, and now that I am training seriously, and my cardiovascular system is very important to me, I am wondering if I should resume taking one aspirin a day to thin my blood out. Or perhaps thick blood is desired. You tell me. Thanks =)
 

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Interesting to see where this post goes...

As for me, I've been taking blood thinners for the past 2 years due to a post-surgical clotting problem that occurred after I had knee surgery. I've gone off the thinners just once in the past 2 years and didn't notice any difference.

I went to a blood specialist to determine if my condition is something I'll be living with the rest of my life (which I will), but I did ask if being on the meds had any performance impact/benefit. The doctor said there was no impact or benefit from having thinner blood.
 

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Impulse Athletic Coaching
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Thin blood (not anaemic thin) will lower your blood pressure and typically give you a longer, healthier lifespan. However, neither thin blood nor thick blood directly affects your athletic performance.

What matters is the hemoglobin concentration that your blood can carry. If you can produce more hemoglobin, you will have a higher VO2 max (this is what altitude training and EPO do-increase your body's efficiency at deliverying oxygen to cells). Typically, this makes the blood thicker and more efficient. The problem lies when the blood gets too thick, and high blood pressure results. Your heart muscles will suffer when trying to pump the blood at the volume you are demanding, which causes heart disease, heart failure, and a hypertrophied heart (athletes heart). Remember: higher hemoglobin concentration = thicker blood, NOT the other way around.

Acetaminophen reduces protein synthesis and concentrations of prostaglandin after a hard workout. Simply put, it inhibits the body's ability to build muscle after a hard ride. Do I need tell you that your training is suffering because of it, whether you can feel it or not?

Hope I helped,
James

*edited for clarity; it was almost 3am when i originally posted*
 

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After my father's fatal heart attack at 65, which followed his oldest brother's at 47, and his other brother's non-fatal attack at 47, I went to a cardiologist, and was put on 81 mg aspirin/day (as well as Zocor, although my total cholesterol was never above 165). The main thing I noticed was that for the first time in my life I didn't need to wear socks to bed, something I had done even in summer. So, in my case circulation improved, which I view as a good thing. I haven't noticed any other effects.
 

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"Blood thinners" don't make your blood less viscous

Blood has many components. Basically there are red blood cells which carry oxygen, white cells which fight infection, platelets which plug small holes and plasma which contains water, electrolytes, clotting factors and a variety of other proteins, lipids etc.
Red blood cells are the main factor in blood viscosity. The physiologically optimal concentration based on viscosity vs. oxygen carrying capacity is a hematocrit of 30%. This is significantly lower than the normal hematocrit of 40-45% for an adult male.
Blood thinners like coumadin work by inhibiting the production of certain clotting factors. Aspirin works by inhibiting the cyclooxygenase enzyme on platelets which prevents them from sticking together. They don't reduce viscosity. Acetominophen has no effect on cyclooxygenase. Also, aspirin does not reduce protein synthesis.
If the hematocrit is too high, the blood may not flow well through the capillaries.
Blood thinners also significantly increase the risk of bleeding and bruising with injuries.
So, you want a normal hematocrit and avoid blood thinners unless there is a strong medical indication for their use.
 

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Ed Leahy said:
Acetominophen has no effect on cyclooxygenase. Also, aspirin does not reduce protein synthesis. If the hematocrit is too high, the blood may not flow well through the capillaries.
Good catch. Aspirin does not inhibit protein synthesis, ibuprofen and acetaminophen do. Acetaminophen, however, DOES block prostaglandin production.

Read this for a brief understanding of how acetaminophen works with cyclooxygenase enzymes and prosaglandin:

http://www.highbeam.com/library/docFree.asp?DOCID=1G1:92524131

Either way, you shouldn't be taking aspirin regularly without good medical reason and with a recommendation from your doctor. The best way do better is to train better; it is NOT by playing chemistry with your body (not, at least, until you top the TdF apparently).
 
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