Are There Any Side Effects to Taking Maca?

Are There Any Side Effects to Taking Maca?

Posted by The Maca Team on 30th Jun 2023

It’s something of a joke that you can’t have too much of a good thing, but in reality, that’s not always the case. This is especially important when you’re considering your diet. While it’s common sense that too many sweets can negatively impact your health, it’s also true that it’s a bad idea to “overdose” on things that are supposed to be good for you, like supplements or vitamins, or even certain foods. Which raises the question…

Can You Take Too Much Maca?

a lot of carrots

Ever heard of carotenemia? Yeah, that’s a thing. Too many carrots, and the excess of beta-carotene in your bloodstream may result in your skin turning an orangey color. Yes, it DOES happen, albeit very rarely - the Cleveland Clinic reports seeing one or two cases a year.

It’s highly unlikely that you’re going to eat too many carrots, but entirely possible that you’re taking too many supplements. While the human body tends to secrete or store excess vitamins and minerals, you can build up potentially toxic levels of certain vitamins. Ohio State University’s Wexner School of Medicine advises treading carefully with Vitamins K and B6, and suggests sparing a thought to your kidney function.

So what about maca? Well, it’s important to know first and foremost that maca isn’t a supplement, but a nutritionally rich superfood like kale and blueberries.

Maca does contain a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals, but noteworthy research has concluded that there’s no reason to anticipate any toxicity or side effects, though natives in the Peruvian Andes where maca has been traditionally grown stress that it should be cooked before consumption. To be fair, you probably wouldn’t want to eat a raw potato either, would you?

Can Maca Make You Sick?

scale weight at 5kg

While maca consumption has no known side effects, that doesn’t mean you might not experience an adverse reaction. You should always consider having a discussion with a licensed medical professional before making any significant changes to your diet. This brings us back to this idea of “too much of a good thing.”

One of maca’s primary purported benefits is an increase in energy levels, which makes it popular with everyone from athletes to people hoping to step up their love lives. One of the first questions we hear from customers looking to add maca to their diet is “how much maca should I take?” We generally recommend limiting yourself to 6-9 grams daily, at least when you’re starting off. Customers who have jumped right in with larger serving sizes have reported some minor jitters and difficulty sleeping, especially if they’re consuming their maca later in the day. It’s best to start your maca habit with a small serving size and build up over time.

Another issue that comes up from time to time is digestive trouble. Maca is sometimes referred to as an “acquired taste,” and not everyone likes its flavor. Between this factor and raw maca’s starch content, about 5% of our customers have reported some stomach upset and mild cramping. For those with sensitive digestions, we suggest trying out our gelatinized maca products, which have been pre-cooked to reduce the starch and make for easier consumption.

Can Maca Affect My Medications?

herbal remedies - ginger, cinnamon, anise, and others

Some “natural” remedies can impact the way your body responds to prescribed medicines, like reishi mushroom lowering your blood pressure. Maca has no known interactions with medications; it’s worth noting, however, that the ways it affects your body’s hormone production (namely with regard to estrogen) can present an issue. Again, we advise discussing any noteworthy changes to your diet with your doctor in advance.

Why Should You Try Our Maca?

whole yellow maca roots and yellow maca products on wooden table - powder, capsules, and liquid extract

There’s been a recent trend toward eating organically when possible, and knowing where your food is coming from. That applies to maca just as it does to anything else. We can help you there. We’re proud to state that our organic maca is certified Fair Trade and non-GMO, grown and harvested in the Junin Plateau region of Peru by local farmers as part of a long-standing tradition. We purchase it in small batches, ensuring that the maca that reaches you is as fresh as possible. And our wide variety of maca products means that there’s something for everyone - just try our handy Maca Finder tool if you aren’t sure which maca is right for you.

If you’re ordering our maca, it probably means that you or someone you love has made the decision to make a positive change to your diet. We want you to make that decision as confidently as possible. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to Contact Us using our web form, or call us toll-free at 888-919-8616.

Enjoy the day!

Read All Reviews