Maca for Chronic Fatigue


If you’re here wondering if maca root can somehow help restore energy, support relaxation, improve sleep, enhance mental focus and relieve symptoms of chronic fatigue, you’re in the right place.   In this article we will take a deep dive into the following topics:

What is Chronic Fatigue?
What Recent Research Says About Maca And Chronic Fatigue
Other Ways Maca Can Help You Recovery Your Energy
Does Maca Really Work to Relieve Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue?
Which Maca Is Best for Chronic Fatigue?
How To Take Maca for Chronic Fatigue
Final Words

What Is Chronic Fatigue?

maca-for-chronic-fatigue.jpgChronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a systemic disease in which individuals experience a range of symptoms including low energy, sleep impairment and cognitive issues.   According to the National Institute of Health, the syndrome affects between 1 and 2.5 million people in the United States and between 17 and 24 million people worldwide.  Of those individuals about 25% are severely debilitated, meaning they are house or bed-bound.    

Although there have been 1000s of studies of chronic fatigue syndrome, there is as yet no definitive cause for it.   Some studies suggest that a virus or bacteria may be responsible for the disease, while others suggest that it is rooted in unfavorable environmental conditions.  Research is ongoing to determine factors that may be associated with CFS.  

Even though the cause is not 100% understood, CFS can be treated.  Stress reduction techniques, massage, meditation, bio-feedback, dietary changes and nutritional supplements have all been used with varying degrees of success to help people restore at least some of their energy.   

The American Chronic Fatigue Society lists 5 nutrients that show some promise in supporting recovery from the disease.  These include Acetyl-L-Carnitine, antioxidants, CoQ10, essential fatty acids and vitamin B12.  Interestingly, maca root products contain most of these at significant levels, and, as we’ll see below, maca also contains another nutrient that is very promising for relieving fatigue.  

What Recent Research Says About Maca And Chronic Fatigue

In 2022, four researchers from Japan published an article in the journal “Functional Foods in Health and Disease” that focused on maca root as a treatment for fatigue.  The research team identified one specific nutrient in maca that improves endurance by preventing glycogen depletion: benzyl glucosinolate.  

The study followed 60 women for 4 weeks.   Half of the women consumed maca while the other half consumed a placebo.    After the 4 weeks the women who had taken maca expressed significant improvement in day-to-day symptoms of fatigue as compared to the control group.  

The study concluded that… “intake of maca extract containing benzyl glucosinolate may have anti–fatigue effects in women. So, maca supplements containing benzyl glucosinolate represent a food and drug candidate for reducing fatigue.”

The researchers are hopeful that more work will be done to encourage maca root as a potential natural treatment for CFS since, “foods that can improve daily fatigue represent a medically and socially significant need."

Other Ways Maca Can Help You Recovery Your Energy

Beyond the glucosinolate content in maca root, there are a few additional ways that it works to support healthy energy and activity levels.    

  • First, it’s well known that this humble vegetable supports hormone balance.  Maca does not contain any hormones itself.  Instead it contains some specific nutrients, called macaenes and macamides, which are thought to stimulate the body to produce (or reduce) levels of hormones.    Since hormone levels are directly related to various systems in our body, regulating them is a key to overall wellness.   
  • Second, maca is thought to help reduce inflammation at the same time as supporting blood flow.  Both of these can lead to positive outcomes in terms of energy.   
  • Finally, maca is one of just a few foods or herbs that are considered to be “adaptogens.”   These types of plants have the unique characteristic of boosting life-force energy.  The general definition is:  “Adaptogens are plants and mushrooms that help your body respond to stress, anxiety, fatigue and overall wellbeing.”  Some of the more common adaptogenic herbs/foods besides maca  are ginseng, ashwaganda and eleuthero.  Interestingly, the part of the plant that is consumed for these purposes is the root.   Perhaps, on some level, they relieve stress by providing a sense of grounding much like a lightning strike is dissipated and “calmed” when it hits the earth.   

Does Maca Really Work to Relieve Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue?

Although the study cited above is one of the first to scientifically track the use of maca root for fatigue in humans, we’ve been aware of this potential benefit for years.   That’s because we’ve received a significant number of comments from customers like the one ones below.  

“I have CFS and has been really tired for 10 years or more. I have been taking this for 3 weeks and it has made a difference already. I read The Maca Team Website very carefully to make sure that what I ordered what was right for me, I have been taking 1/2 teaspoon every morning before breakfast and slowly increased the dosage to 1 teaspoon, I can't believe how must it helps. I am feeling more alert, more energy , my skin has cleared and I am sleeping better. I shall keep taking this in future." -  Lesley

    "This maca is great for energy, i don't need coffee anymore. My chronic fatigue symptoms are greatly improved. I take 6 caps at breakfast, then 2 others in the morning, without any digestive issue. I notice an increase in well-being and libido, anxiety is almost gone too, which is great for socialising. Shipping was fast (i live in Europe), thank you !" -N.J.

   "I bought this to counteract my fatigue issues and it has helped me a whole lot. I've noticed my cravings for coffee have diminished which is a plus. I add the recommended amount to my breakfast smoothies and it fills me up therefore providing healthy appetite control. Great product!" A.A.

    "I bought Red Maca to alleviate my sluggishness & fatigue symptoms, and it's helping. I started off with 1T (now 3T) into my smoothies: (any nut) milk, yogurt, fruits, and chia seeds). I just ended my 3rd week and will take a week off to allow the maca do its' thing. I've noticed I am more energized, clear headed, alert, and my BIG appetite has lessened. I'm content with this maca, it's obviously a superior product." - Alexa

Which Maca Is Best for Chronic Fatigue?

does-maca-help-chronic-fatique.jpgWhile all of our maca root products contain glucosinolates, only our premium maca root powders and capsules have a standardized glucosinolate content.   All of our premium products all have a minimum of 1% glucosinolate content.    

The process that produces these products differs from the traditional one in that roots are dried immediately after harvest rather than in the sun.  This preserves more nutrients in the final product.   

Because the recent study cited above looked at glucosinolate content as a key factor for maca helping people overcome fatigue, we recommend our premium products this purpose.  That said, we’ve had good feedback from other products as well.   It’s important to understand that all of our maca products to contain glucosinolates.  It’s just that the premium ones have standardized levels.   

We offer our premium maca powders and capsules in both raw and gelatinized form.   If you have generally strong digestion and are not sensitive to starch, then raw maca is the best.  If, on the other hand, you have any digestive issues, we recommend a gelatinized product instead.   That’s because, these products have had the starch content dissolved and therefore will not upset digestion for the vast majority of people.   

When it comes to maca colors, we’d suggest either our red maca  or black maca products for help with CFS.   If you’d like to get some of both in one package, then please try our tricolor maca products.

To summarize, the best maca for chronic fatique syndrome is premium red, black or tricolor maca root in powder or capsule form.  Remember to go for the gelatinized over the raw version if you have any concerns about digestions.  

One final note about premium maca products is that they are significantly spicier and more pungent in taste than standard maca products.   Some people appreciate the taste, while others do not.   If you’re unsure, we recommend either getting a small bag of powder at first or capsules instead of powder.

How To Take Maca for Chronic Fatigue

The way a person takes maca to support healing from CFS depends on the format in which you take maca: liquid extracts, capsules or powder.

When it comes to taking liquid maca extracts all that is needed is to take 1-4 droppersful each day.  The best method of taking maca in this form is to hold the liquid under your tongue for 30 seconds to one minute before swallowing it.   This helps the body absorb the nutrients into the blood stream quickly and efficiently.    

In terms of maca capsules we recommend taking 2-8 capsules daily in the morning either with breakfast or about 30 minutes before breakfast.   Capsules have the advantage of being easy to take and with them you can be sure that you are getting a precise serving size each time.    

Maca powders are the most flexible (and least expensive) way to get maca into your diet.   The simplest way to take them is to mix 1-3 teaspoons into your smoothie or other beverage daily.   But maca powders can also be used in a variety of recipes.   We have an extensive maca recipes section on our website for you to enjoy.   Here is one of our favorites:

Vegan Maca Pancake Recipe:vegan-maca-pancakes-for-chronic-fatigue


  • 1 banana, peeled
  • 1/2 c almond milk
  • 3/4 c spelt or buckwheat flour
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/4 t vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 T premium maca powder


  1. Combine banana, vanilla and milk in high speed blender, blend on highest speed to a smooth liquid.
  2. In mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and maca.
  3. Pour banana milk into dry ingredients, whisk until just combined.
  4. Using 1/4 cup scoop, form pancakes onto prepared (buttered, sprayed) griddle over low heat. Pancakes will not bubble, will easily come up to turn after about one minute. Flip and cook another half minute or so, until cooked through.
  5. Serve with sliced banana and maple syrup. 

Final Words

We hope that this article has helped and inspired you to give maca a try to support your overall health and wellbeing.  Including maca for chronic fatigue in your diet may indeed support your body to heal, especially when combined with other life affirming practices.   Keep in mind that this article is meant only for informational purposes and not meant to cure any disease.   We are happy to help with any general questions you have about our favorite root vegetable,  but if you have any specific doubts about using maca, we recommend that you consult a competent medical professional before starting.   

Thanks for reading.

Enjoy the day!


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