Frequently Asked Questions
We’ve taken the most commonly asked questions about Maca and our Maca products and answered them on this Maca Faq page. Shown here are summaries of each answer. Click on the arrow next to the question to reveal the answer. Then, if available, click on the links to get more detailed answers for each question. Also, if you have a question that isn’t answered here, please search this site using the search bar above. And of course, please contact us if you still have doubts. We're happy to help!
- What Is Maca?
Maca is a root that grows high in the Peruvian Andes at altitudes of 14,000 feet (3500 m) above sea level. It has been cultivated for 1000s of years and used by indigenous people to boost their energy while living at such extreme elevations where oxygen is in short supply. It looks similar to a radish or turnip and comes in a variety of colors ranging from white to dark purple. Peruvian Maca root has the distinction of being the highest growing food plant anywhere in the world. More Maca facts...
- What is Maca Used For?
Maca was discovered over 2000 years ago when Incan farmers first grazed their flocks in the high mountains. They noticed that when their animals grazed on Maca they would become much healthier, hardier, and stronger, and also they would tend to copulate more and have a much higher fertility rate. After this discovery, people began using Maca themselves. Maca is now used in humans to promote fertility, build muscle, increase stamina, relieve menopause symptoms, boost energy, support prostate health, increase bone density, alleviate depression, boost libido, balance hormones in both sexes and more.
- What Are The Benefits of Maca?
Continued, and persistent use of high quality Maca promotes improvement in the hormonal, physical and emotional states of regular people everyday. Here are the most commonly reported benefits:
- Increased energy and endurance
- Increased stamina
- Alleviated chronic exhaustion (fatigue) syndrome
- Improved sexual function and libido in both men and women
- Enhanced fertility in people and animals
- Reduced hormonal dysfunction during menopause & andropause
- Balanced hormonal irregularities
- Alleviated depression
- Reduced anxiety and stress
- Improved circulation leading to reduced anemia and faster wound healing
- Enhanced memory, learning, and mental ability
- Improved and more youthful skin appearance
- Healthy teeth and bones
- Acts as a fungistatic and bacteriostatic
- Acts as an anticarcinogen and antioxidant
- Is an alternative to anabolic steroids, helps to build muscle
Read more in our extensive Maca Benefits section.
- Is Maca Safe?
Maca is a food that has an extensive use by humans and with animals. There have been no findings that Maca is harmful in any way. That said, it is important to use Maca with respect. It is a superfood and there is such a thing as overdoing it. See our Maca serving guidelines for more details.
- How Does Maca Work?
The use of Maca by humans stretches back over 2000 years and more recently has been studied scientifically. Both scientific studies as well as folklore validate that Maca works very well to promote many of the benefits listed above. If you’re new to Maca, you may want to read our testimonial page to hear from some happy users of Maca. Read more…
Nutritionally, Maca is rich in amino acids, phytonutrients, fatty acids, vitamin and minerals. According to nutritional research published in the Journal “Food Chemistry” in 1994 and 2001 Maca contains the following:
- Composition: 59% carbohydrates, 10.2% protein, 8.5% fiber, 2.2% lipids
- Essential Amino Acids: nearly all including Aspartic Acid, Glutamic acid, Serine, Histidine, Glycine, Threonine, Alanine, Tyrosine, Phenylalanine, Valine, Methionine, Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, HO- Proline, Proline, Sarcosine
- Free Fatty Acids: 20 have been found of which the most abundant are linolenic acid, palmitic acid, oleic acid
- Vitamins: A, B1, B2, B3, C, D
- Minerals: iron, magnesium, copper, zinc, sodium, potassium, calcium
- Macaenes and macamides: novel polyunsaturated acids and their amides
- Sterols: campesterol, stigmasterol, beta-sitosterol
- Alkaloids: Aromatic glucosinolates including: benzyl glucosinolate, p-methoxybenzyl glucosinolate
- Isothyocyanates: benzyl isothiocyanate, p-methoxybenzyl isothiocyanate
- Glucosinolates: fructose, glucose, benzyl isothiocyanate
- 4 Unique Alkaloids (Macaina 1, 2, 3, 4)
This array of nutrients makes Maca a true nutritional powerhouse and amazing daily supplement. See Maca’s Full Nutritional Values
- What Kind of Maca Is Best for Me?
Our best selling and favorite Maca is Red Maca. It’ s the highest in pythonutrient levels. That said, Black Maca is better for certain uses and for certain kinds of people. We’ve written an extensive article comparing all of our Maca powders and recommend that you check it out before you buy. Get Your Maca Recommendation Here...
- What Is The Difference Between Raw Maca and Gelatinized Maca?
Raw Maca powder has never been heated above 118F/43C. That makes it a whole food and leaves all its nutrients intact. Gelatinized Maca has been heated to remove starch content. The process does destroy some nutrients, but makes Maca powder easier to digest. If you have normal digestion we recommend Raw Maca powders over Gelatinized. But if you do have any digestive issue, Gelatinized will be better for you. Read More….
- How Much Maca Should I Take?
We recommend that most people start with 1-3 teaspoons (2-8 capsules) per day, depending on your body size and the kind of Maca that you purchase. We suggest that you read our complete Maca servings page for more. Get your personalized Maca serving recommendations here...
- How Should I Take Maca?
The most effective way to take Maca powder is to mix it into water or a simple fruit juice and take it on an empty stomach 10-15 minutes before you eat breakfast. Taking Maca on an empty stomach allows it to absorb a bit faster and more thoroughly. It’s also fine to mix Maca powder in smoothies and other drinks as well as in some kinds of food. Read More….
- Is Peruvian Maca The Best?
If you’ve done a little bit of research you probably already know that Maca root originates in the high Andes mountains and is today primarily grown in Peru and Bolivia. What you probably don’t know is that over the past several years, China has also started growing and exporting Maca root products. This article explains the difference between the two and why you should insist on Peruvian Maca. Read more...
- When Should I Take Maca?
To make things easy most people prefer to take their full dosage of Maca first thing in the morning. Others prefer to spread it out throughout the day. And some people swear by taking it around 2 pm because that is when hormone levels are usually at their lowest. One thing to keep in mind is that Maca can energize you to the point where it’s difficult to fall asleep. This happens for some people and for others not. If you are concerned about this, we recommend not taking Maca after about 2pm.
- How Long Can I Take Maca?
The people in Peru use it regularly throughout their lives. We do recommend that you take 1 day off per week or 1 week off every two months. This is simply for the same reason that we would take a break from eating any fresh fruit or vegetable once in a while. It’s just nice to give the body a break.
- Does Maca Have Any Side Effects?
Maca is a food and not a drug and has no known side effects. Our products contain only 100% pure Maca powders and no other ingredients, so there is no chance of other ingredients affecting you. That said here are some things to watch out for:
- A few people have reported getting “jittery” or :having too much energy” when they take Maca. If this happens to you simply reduce your dosage.
- About 5% of our customers report upset stomach after taking Raw Maca. If this happens, it’s due to the starch content in Raw Maca. We recommend Gelatnized Maca or our Maca Extracts for people with sensitive digestive systems.
- Some people have reported insomnia after taking Maca. It’s best to take it early in the morning if this is an issue for you.
- Some customers have reported an increase in acne after starting with Maca. This is a temporary symptom. As your body balances its hormones the acne will lessen and likely disappear. Read About Maca and Acne Here
- Maca and Heartburn - It’s very rare, but if it affects you read the linked article for help. Read more…
- How Many Days Before I Feel The Effects of Maca?
Keep in mind that Maca is a food and not a pharmaceutical medicine. It’s not like taking an aspirin and watching your headache melt away. Maca takes time and consistent use to show effects. Most people who take Maca daily report seeing some benefits within 10-14 days of starting. Others, often those taking Maca therapeutically, report seeing benefits after about 30 days. Our recommendation is to stay consistent with your Maca routine and make sure that you give it enough time to work. We sell Maca in 1 kg (2.2 lb.) bags at low prices for just that reason. If you take our standard recommended dosage of Maca, 1 bag will last you about 80 days. Within that time you will absolutely know if Maca is for you or not.
- Can I Use Maca During Pregnancy?
There are no contraindications for using Maca during pregnancy or nursing. Still we recommend that pregnant and nursing women use extra care and take small dosages of Maca and that they consult their doctor for complete approval.
- Does Maca Cause Weight Gain?
Maca is low in calories and fat. 3 teaspoons (9 g) of Maca contains just 35 calories and 1 g of fat. So, in and of itself, Maca does not promote weight gain. However, Maca is anabolic and does help build muscle. It also balances hormones and may increase appetite. In this way it can support weight gain.
- Is Maca Safe For Children?
Yes, children can take Maca. Just keep the serving size much smaller than for adults (1/8-1/4 tsp to start). If you have any doubts please consult your physician.
- What Effect Does Maca Have on Blood Pressure?
Maca can actually reduce blood pressure since it improves circulation. Because of this, if you are on blood pressure medication be sure to monitor your blood pressure while taking Maca and to ask your doctor for advice if your blood pressure changes.
- What Medications Can I Take Maca With?
There are no know contraindications for taking Maca. That said, if you are on high blood pressure medicines, have your doctor monitor your blood pressure while taking Maca as it may reduce your need for the medicine.
- What Drinks Or Food Can I Mix Maca With?
You can mix Maca Powder in with most foods and drinks. But if you have digestive difficulties we recommend that you use Maca separately from fruit as the mixture of the two can potentially disturb digestion. Gelatinized Maca is also the best choice for people with digestive sensitivity, since the process that makes it removes all starch content from the powder. Also since cooking destroys some of the vital nutrients of Raw Maca Powders, we recommend only using Maca recipes that involve heat below about 120 F/ 45 C. Get our top Maca recipes here….
- Is Maca Powder Gluten Free?
Yes, Maca is absolutely gluten free. Read more...
- Is Maca Powder Safe For Diabetics?
While Maca does contain some sugars, it is low on the glycemic index and considered safe for diabetics. What's more, some evidence is showing that compounds in the maca root can help keep blood sugar controlled in type 2 diabetics. Blood sugar is often lowered with the secretion of the hormone insulin, and most research suggests that maca may help with the distribution of this hormone. If you have any health concerns please consult your doctor. Also you may want to try one of our Maca Extracts as all sugars are removed during the extraction process.
- Is There Any Way To Hide The Taste Of Maca?
Many people enjoy the taste of Maca - especially our Red Maca, which is sweeter than the others. However, some people simply don't enjoy it. One way to entirely avoid the taste of Maca is to take Maca capsules. Another simple way is to enjoy our Maca extracts (which taste somewhat sweet). Beyond that there are several things you can do to help disguise the taste. Read more...
- Will Maca Help Me Become More Curvy?
Since Maca works to build muscle and to balance hormones it can have positive effects on physical appearance. Our customers have reported success in building muscles in the glutes as well as slightly increasing breast size after using Maca. Read more…
- Does Maca Contain Resistant Starch?
The short answer to this question is "no." Neither Raw nor Gelatinized Maca contains significant levels of resistant starch. Read our full article and see the results of lab tests here.
- What If Maca Gives Me An Upset Stomach?
We've seen this happen in about 5% of people. If this happens to you, here are four things that may help.
- Have Any Studies on Maca Been Done?
Yes, many research studies on Maca have been completed. Over 400 studies of Maca (Lepidium meyenii) are indexed on PubMed, the National Library of Medicine alone. Other Maca research has also been published – in particular in Peru where Maca is from. We have listed the most relevant ones on our Maca Research page.
If we’ve left your question unanswered here, please let us know and we’ll get back to you quickly with an answer.
Enjoy your day!