Health

How fast does blood travel round the human body?

Your total ‘circulating volume’ is about five litres. Each
red blood cell within this has to go from your heart,
down the motorway-like arteries, through the
back-road capillary system, and then back through the
rush-hour veins to get back to your heart. The process
typically takes about a minute. When you’re in a rush
and your heart rate shoots up, the time reduces as the
blood diverts from the less-important structures (eg
large bowel) to the more essential (eg muscles).

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