Does drinking blood have calories?

Blood is a complex biological fluid that contains a variety of nutrients and compounds. Drinking blood, while not commonly practiced, can theoretically provide calories and other nutrients to the consumer. However, the number of calories and nutritional value derived from drinking blood depends on the source and type of blood consumed.

Nutritional Components of Blood

To understand if drinking blood provides calories, we must first examine what nutrients and compounds are found in blood. The main nutritional components of blood include:

  • Water – Blood is comprised of about 83% water.
  • Proteins – Blood contains many proteins including albumin, globulins, and fibrinogen.
  • Glucose – Blood glucose levels are tightly regulated and range between 70-100 mg/dL normally.
  • Lipids – Blood contains triglycerides and cholesterol encapsulated in lipoproteins.
  • Vitamins & Minerals – Blood contains many essential vitamins like folate, B12, and minerals like iron and zinc.
  • Gases – Blood transports respiratory gases like oxygen and carbon dioxide.

The abundance of proteins, lipids, glucose, and micronutrients means that blood has the potential to provide calories and nutrition. However, the amounts can vary based on the blood source.

Calories in Human Blood

Human blood, when consumed, does contain calories based on its macronutrient composition. The calorie estimates per 100 mL serving of human blood are:

  • Protein: about 7-8 calories
  • Carbohydrates: about 5 calories
  • Lipids: about 2-3 calories

This amounts to approximately 15 calories per 100 mL or 150 calories per serving of blood. However, this does not take into account the bioavailability of the nutrients when consumed. Heat from cooking, digestion, and absorption may alter the calories. Nevertheless, human blood contains compounds that theoretically provide energy.

Other Nutrients in Human Blood

In addition to calories, human blood contains a variety of other nutrients including:

  • Iron – An essential mineral that transports oxygen.
  • Vitamin B12 – Important for red blood cell formation.
  • Platelets – Involved in clotting.
  • Electrolytes like sodium, potassium, chloride.
  • Antibodies – Immunoglobulins that provide immunity.

Many nutrients and compounds in blood play essential biochemical roles. However, their functions would be disrupted and not fully conveyed if blood is consumed directly. The nutritional value ultimately depends on how blood is obtained and processed before drinking.

Calories in Animal Blood

Animal blood, specifically from livestock like cows and pigs, can also provide calories and nutrients when consumed. However, the composition varies across animal species.

According to the USDA, here are the calorie estimates per 100 mL of animal blood:

Animal Calories
Beef 26 calories
Pork 19 calories
Chicken 12 calories

In general, the blood of meat-producing livestock contains more calories and protein compared to poultry. The calorie content of animal blood is higher than human blood due to greater concentrations of protein, iron, lipids, and other nutrients.

Other Nutrients in Animal Blood

In addition to calories, animal blood contains an array of other beneficial nutrients:

  • Vitamin B12
  • Iron
  • Fatty acids
  • Zinc
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium

Certain animal blood types like beef and pork provide higher amounts of iron and vitamin B12 compared to chicken blood. The nutrient composition varies based on species and diet.

Common Uses of Animal Blood

Animal blood is more commonly consumed than human blood. Some cultures around the world utilize animal blood as an ingredient:

  • Blood sausage – Uses pork or other animal blood as a key ingredient.
  • Blood soup – Common in Asian cuisines, soups made with duck or pig blood.
  • Blood pancakes – Involves cooked animal blood added to pancake batter.
  • Blood pudding – British dessert using pig blood, milk, suet, oats.

Animal blood is rich in protein, lending a unique flavor and texture to food. However, the blood requires proper cooking to avoid adverse effects.

Risks of Consuming Animal Blood

While animal blood can provide nutrients, there are also risks to consider:

  • Toxins build-up – Waste products excreted into blood.
  • Bacterial contamination – Pathogens like E. coli present.
  • Prion diseases – Neurodegenerative disorders like bovine spongiform encephalopathy.
  • Allergic reactions – Possible allergies to proteins in blood.
  • Ethical concerns – Views on animal rights and slaughter methods.

Thorough cooking and processing of animal blood reduces certain risks, but does not eliminate them entirely. Caution should be exercised when consuming blood from animal sources.

Does Vampire Blood Have Calories?

The existence of literal vampires that consume blood for sustenance remains the stuff of myth and legend. However, if vampires did exist, would their blood contain calories and other nutrients?

Since vampires are fictional, there are no definitive answers. However, we can speculate based on vampire lore:

  • Human origins – If converted from humans, vampire blood may have similar calorie content.
  • Dietary dependence – Feeding on blood may alter nutrient composition.
  • Enhanced physiology – Increased abilities may require more energy.
  • Supernatural factors – Magical qualities could affect calorie levels.

Overall, if vampire blood existed, it would likely provide some level of calories and nutrition to sustain their bodies. However, the extent and bioavailability could differ greatly from normal human blood.

Role in Vampire Lore

Drinking vampire blood, instead of being consumed, also plays a role in folklore:

  • Turning humans – Can transform humans into new vampires.
  • Life essence – Used to extend life spans and youth.
  • Psychic links – Connects vampires telepathically to humans.
  • Augmented strength – Temporarily enhances abilities of humans.

The mystical properties of vampire blood enable intriguing mythical abilities according to legends. But since vampires are fictional, the function of their blood remains imaginary.

Blood Substitutes as Calorie Supply

Due to the impracticalities and potential risks of consuming real blood, scientists have worked to develop artificial blood substitutes. These serve as calorie sources and attempt to mimic certain blood functions.

Some examples of man-made blood substitutes include:

  • Perfluorocarbons – Synthetic hydrocarbons can transport gases like oxygen.
  • Hemoglobin-based – Use hemoglobin proteins to carry oxygen.
  • Stem cellgrown – Cultivate red blood cells from stem cells.

These substitutes aim to provide nutrients and oxygen delivery without needing to obtain real blood. However, their nutritional value and efficacy as blood replacements remains under investigation.

Limitations of Current Substitutes

Unfortunately, current artificial blood products have certain drawbacks:

  • Temporary effect – Short circulation half-lives.
  • Toxicity – Some cause organ damage.
  • Immunogenicity – May provoke immune reactions.
  • Cost – Expensive to produce and use.
  • Oxygen limits – Do not mimic all oxygen delivery functions.

Further research is underway to develop improved blood substitutes that can effectively mimic the nutrient profile and functionality of real blood.


In summary, drinking blood does contain calories derived from proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. However, the nutritional value can vary greatly based on the blood source.

Animal blood, especially from livestock, generally provides more abundant nutrients compared to human blood when consumed. However, there are ethical issues and health risks that come with ingesting animal blood.

The concept of vampire blood calories emerges from myth and folklore, with no definitive answers. Meanwhile, artificial blood substitutes aim to provide calorie sources while mimicking certain blood functions.

Overall, under normal circumstances, drinking blood is not an advisable or practical source of nutrition. A healthy balanced diet can easily provide the necessary calories and nutrients without the risks.

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