Blood testing is used to detect traces of bad things in the bloodstream, unlike urine testing, which detects metabolites that are produced by the body after its used. These days, blood testing is relatively rare in the workplace because it can be expensive to perform, unlike urine tests that can be done quickly and easily (and beaten using synthetic urine).
Blood tests are done in a controlled environment, and can only be performed by a trained individual. They cannot be completed on-site, so the blood samples must be sent to a laboratory, and this means that there will be a delay in terms of getting the results. Blood screenings offer an insight into the person’s status at the exact moment of the test. They can detect a range of substances, and sometimes will be used to test for general health issues at the same time.
Often, these tests are carried out by insurance companies and are performed in conjunction with urine tests (sometimes the mouth swab test will be used). This is done because the urine test will give an idea of longer term usage.
There are some ways to beat blood tests, but it is much harder to trick this type of test. The best option is to wait for the substances to clear out of your body the natural way, but depending on what you are concerned about being tested for this may not be an option. Some chemicals will give a clean reading within days, but for others it can take several weeks.
If you can’t wait out the contamination, then the only option you have is to try a cleanse or a detox. There are several cleansing products that promise to detoxify your bloodstream. These products offer a short window of time during which your blood will not show up signs of contamination. The window of cleanliness is quite short – about five hours. You can extend this briefly by drinking lots of water, but it is better to take the test during the cleanliness window.
The detection times are based on the contaminate in your body, rather than the metabolite. The contaminate usually stays in your blood for just 1-3 days, with the exception of nicotine and a few other things. The exact detection time will vary from test to test, so it is best to err on the side of longer detection times unless you know exactly what substance test will be used.
Note that it’s common for blood screenings to be administered alongside urine tests. If you are concerned that a urine test might flag up something undesirable, then urine test almost definitely will. This means that you will need to prepare for that with a synthetic urine sample, or some form of urine detox.
Want to learn about different kinds of screenings? Read our full report on the hair follicle test.
Of course, the best option is to stay away from substances. However, you cannot always do this. You may have been exposed by accident, or have taken a supplement or some prescription medication not realising that it contained a substance that is banned in your sport. Rather than have your career ruined over an honest mistake, it makes sense to do what you can to solve the issue safely, promptly and without getting a black mark on an unblemished record. If nothing else, the stress of trying to pass the blood and urine tests will hopefully teach you to be far more careful about what you allow yourself to be exposed to in the future.