Building Muscle the Natural Way With Maca Root
One of the trends that we’ve noticed as experts in Peruvian Maca is that we are selling more and more Maca products to bodybuilders and athletes interested in natural products. We started asking our customers and doing research regarding the benefits of Maca for bodybuilding and athletic performance and want to share that information here.
In broad terms, we discovered that there is some strong evidence to Maca bodybuilding, with incredibly accomplished natural bodybuilders and athletes who take Maca powder and Maca capsules as a part of their training programs and rave about the results they get. These are men and women who are concerned about getting superior health results and interested in creating these results naturally, without the use of chemicals, steroids, doping, or other questionable techniques. We applaud these pioneers and at the end of this article, we’ll share some of their stories.
Superfoods Found In Natural Bodybuilding Supplements
Looking at some of the best natural bodybuilding supplements on the market we discovered some ingredients common to most of them. Hemp seeds or hemp seed powder shows up in many of them because of it’s incredibly high percentage of protein – 24% by weight. Other common ingredients are rice protein and goji berries.
Interestingly of the supplements we studied, only Maca Powder was found in all of them. Looking further into the nutritional details of Maca, we discovered that there’s a very good reason for that.
Why Natural Bodybuilders Love Maca Powder From Peru
We uncovered 6 major reasons why people interested in building their bodies naturally use and recommend Maca Powder.
- Maca raises energy in a balanced way – Let’s face it, if you want to build your body, you’ve got to exercise and move and to do that you need energy. One of the properties of Maca is that it boosts energy, but it does so in a balanced way, unlike caffeine, carbohydrates or sugar. This gives you increased endurance and muscular stamina which allows you to work out longer and more intensely. Interestingly, a boost in energy is one of the reasons people indigenous to the Peruvian Andes have traditionally used Maca. At high elevations where oxygen is scarce, Maca supports faster muscle recovery. Complete Maca nutritional profile is here
- Maca is a good source of quality protein – Maca powder contains 4 grams of protein per tablespoon. There is some debate among natural bodybuilders as to how much protein a person should have daily, but the average recommended is about 1.5 grams per 1 KG of body weight. If you weigh 60 KG, for example, you would take 90 grams of protein or so. That figure is based on animal proteins, which are harder for the body to assimilate. Vegetarian bodybuilders need to consume less protein because the body breaks down plant proteins easier. Maca, although not nearly has high as hemp seeds in quantity, is indeed a high quality source of vegan based protein. If you take just 2 tablespoons per day, you already get 2-3 grams of protein in addition to Maca’s other benefits.
- Maca is anabolic - The word “anabolic” itself means “building up muscle,” and that’s something Maca helps to do. Several of the natural bodybuilders we researched attest to this fact. Jeff Anderson of naturalbodybuildingtips.com says: “My day always starts with a protein shake. This typically consists of a vegetarian protein source like rice, pea or hemp protein, or some combination of the three. Blend 30-40 grams of protein in 8oz of organic coconut milk and 8-12 oz water. I also add a banana, some mixed frozen berries, a Tbsp of cacao nibs, and 2 Tbsp maca powder to naturally increase my testosterone to build more muscle.“
- Maca balances hormones for both men and women – Maca works as an adaptogen, which means that it adapts to the needs of a specific body based on health condition and gender. Both men and women can benefit from taking Maca for increased athletic performance and bodybuilding because it stimulates the production of balanced levels of appropriate hormones: testosterone for men and estrogen for women. That makes Maca unique among all supplements for muscle building.
- Maca reduces the size of the prostate – Studies have shown that Red Maca in particular reduces the size of the prostate gland. This is important of course for older men. But it’s also important for any males who have ever tried steroids of any kind. Steroids enlarge the prostate, which can lead to some life threatening consequences. Taking Red Maca appears to remedy the situation.
- Maca is suitable for vegan and raw food vegan bodybuilders – There are some amazingly accomplished natural bodybuilders who’ve created their strength exclusively through raw food vegan foods. Quality Maca, like ours, is always vegan (unless in gelatin capsules) and raw (not treated with heat) except for Gelatinized Maca.
Does Maca Really Work as A Supplement For Muscle Gain
Although Maca has been used for over 2000 years stretching all the way back to Incan warriors who took it in training and preparation for battle, it only became known outside of Peru in the 1980s. Since then natural bodybuilders and athletes have used it in their training. Here are few examples:
- Stephen Alrin (a.k.a Thor Bazler), author of “Raw Power – The Power of Raw Foods, Superfoods and Building Strength and Muscle Naturally” has used Maca for years and includes it in all his natural raw food bodybuilding supplements.
- Mike Adams, the Health Ranger of www.naturalnews.com says this about Maca: “Many bodybuilders use, instead of artificial steroids, the natural power of Maca tuber. Maca naturally stimulates the body’s own production of testosterone and it gives visible results in strength and endurance sports.”
- Peter Ragnar, who has performed various world class feats of strength as a 100% raw vegan, told us that he has gotten great gains in strength using Maca and hemp seed powder.
- Finally, Bijan Anjomi, who captured the title of “Mr. Universe – Natural Division” three times – in the years 1993 and 1994 at ages 51 and 52 – – and finally in 2003 at age 60, did so as a vegan and taking Maca.
Maca is now also making it’s way into the mainstream. Here’s what Dr. Oz said about it on Oprah Winfrey’s website:
“In the heights of the mountains, Peruvian tribesmen get energy by sucking on maca (Lepidium meyenii) plants. This turnip-or radish-shaped vegetable from the mustard family has been used as food and medicine, to promote endurance and improve energy, vitality, sexual virility and even fertility. The data on its increased energy effects seem strong, but the reported side effect is insomnia. It can be obtained in a powder at many stores (Whole Foods, etc.) or from reputable dealers on the Internet. A single teaspoon (that’s the dose in the studies) can be added to blender drinks, pancakes and other food products. The teaspoon keeps you going all day long.” (See our Maca Recipes section here)
Another note: if you find yourself drawn to Maca because of its energizing effects, your body may be trying to tell you something. Iron deficiency is a leading cause of fatigue and weakness. Maca contains only about 23% of the RDA at our standard dosage. Your doctor can perform a simple test to determine if you are iron deficient. Iron supplements can help get your levels back on track.
How Much Maca To Take For Natural Maca Bodybuilding
Most bodybuilders and athletes we know and talk to take between 1 and 3 tablespoons of Maca per day. At those levels one kilo (2.2 lbs.) of Maca powder will last 45-60 days.
All of our Maca is certified organic, fair trade and fresh from our favorite organic farming cooperative in the Peurvian highlands. While we love and use all types of Maca our experience has shown that for natural bodybuilding Black Maca and Red Maca are the best.
Enjoy the day!