Why does blood taste like iron? If you are unfortunate enough to bite your lip or tongue at some point, you are bound to have noticed the slightly metallic flavor of the blood in your mouth, indeed it has often been described as tasting of iron.
The metallic taste comes from the hemoglobin in your blood. Hemoglobin contains iron and is the chemical that helps your blood to absorb oxygen and transport it around your body to your cells. It also carries carbon dioxide from the cells back to the lungs and from there it is expelled by the body.
Hemoglobin is what gives blood the distinctive red color. When the iron in the hemoglobin is oxidized, it is bright red in color, but when it is non-oxidized, it is blue—hence the blue appearance of the veins below your skin. The red color is due to the fact that a combination of iron, oxygen, and globin will absorb blue and green light, but reflect red light, which is what our eyes see.
As well as tasting like iron, blood also smells metallic and when there is a large amount of blood lost, you will notice a distinct coppery scent. This is because blood plasma, the liquid that helps your blood flow easily through arteries and veins, contains proteins that help to transport copper into our bone marrow. The process is known as ceruloplasmin. The accumulation of copper inside the bone marrow helps the body to produce new red blood cells.
Why does blood taste like iron or copper? One person’s blood can taste very different to another person’s blood and this is largely due to the levels of iron and sugar in their blood. Iron is a mineral and it comes from the food and water we ingest. The different levels of mineral content in each of us will affect the level of iron in our blood, which in turn affects how metallic our blood tastes. The more iron we have in our body, the more metallic our blood will be. A diet rich in iron will usually contain lots of red meat and green vegetables, although many breakfast cereals and other processed foods often have iron added.
People who are anemic have low levels of iron in the their blood, either due to a general deficiency in vitamins and minerals, or because of a deficiency due to pregnancy. One of the symptoms of low levels of iron in the blood is lethargy and a lack of energy. People who are anemic are also very pale looking. Fortunately, taking an iron supplement or increasing the levels of iron rich food in the diet can easily cure an iron deficiency.
Does blood taste more like iron or copper?
It actually tastes like both of them. Although blood does have a metallic taste, it is quite difficult to distinguish between iron and copper. The reason some people think blood tastes more like copper than iron is down to the fact the many water pipes are made from copper, and therefore people tend to be more familiar with the flavor of copper