What Is Maca Powder Good For?
If you’ve heard about Maca and are wondering what you can realistically expect when you start eating it, this article is for you. We’ve had over 20 years of experience with Maca and will point you in the right direction.
From “Maca - What’s That?” To “I Love Maca” In 20 Years Or Less
At The Maca Team, we’ve known about and enjoyed Maca since the late 1990s. Our founder discovered it at a lecture on raw vegan nutrition attended by just a few people. Back then Maca was an obscure root vegetable that only a few dedicated natural health practitioners knew about and used. Even in Peru, where it comes from, this cruciferous vegetable was marginalized and only eaten by mountain people who deeply understood the benefits of Maca root as passed down to them by elders.
Since then, a lot has changed. Peru as a country is now very proud of Maca and considers it to be a significant “cultural heritage” product. Although mainstream Peruvians are yet to adopt this adaptogenic herb on a large scale, Maca is showing up in powder form at small health food stores in Lima. It also has made its way on to the menus of some at posh restaurants in the city. In addition, drinks made with Maca are served for breakfast at street corner food carts. And in the mountains, small shops sell all sorts of Maca products from fresh Maca roots to Maca liqueur. All in all, several 1000s of people now work in the Maca industry in Peru.
Outside of Peru, Maca has become increasingly popular as a “superfood.” Sometimes known as "peruvian ginseng," people all over the world are taking high quality organic Maca powder and capsules and reporting powerful benefits from it. There are even several well-known doctors who support Maca. Natural doctors, like Joseph Mercola, recommend adding Maca as a supplement to a healthy diet. And even traditional allopathic physicians are now using Maca in their practices or looking for further information on Maca.
So, What Can Maca Really Do For You?
The hype around Maca is great, but you might be wondering if it’s realistic or not. Before answering this question with a detailed outline of the benefits of Maca powder, we want to stress that we are very careful as a company not to exaggerate how Maca affects people's energy levels and overall well-being. All of the positive outcomes you see on our list below are backed up by either Maca testimonials from users, scientific Maca research or both.
Hormonal Imbalance - This is actually where Maca really shines. Studies suggest that special nutrients called macaenes and macamides are responsible for Maca’s ability to balance hormone levels. Since hormones affect many other aspects of wellness, it’s not a surprise that Maca is associated with several other positive gains.
Fertility – Maca was first discovered because it boosted fertility rates in livestock. It can work well in humans also. We’ve heard from more than 10 couples who conceived while using Maca. Here is one:
“I wanted to let you know how much I love your product. My daughter was born 10 years Post vasectomy after her dad and I started taking Maca Powder. We are now trying for a second. Your powder is the best on the market. I am so grateful to have found your maca!!!!” – Jody B.
Since overall reproductive health is complicated, we recommend working with Maca for fertility in cooperation with your doctor. And we suggest both partners take Maca for the best chance at getting results.
Sexual Dysfunction – Animal studies performed in Peru and Europe have demonstrated a significant increase in sexual activity with the use of Maca. The overall sexual health and libido of humans is also positively affected with Maca since it does boost sex hormones. But it’s important to note that Maca doesn’t work like other supplements or drugs that heighten sexual function. If you are using it to boost libido or to solve erectile dysfunction, patience is important. Results may take several weeks of consistent use.
Sperm Production – This is an interesting feedback from one of our customers regarding Maca’s ability to increase counts. Studies in laboratories have also seen similar results with sperm production time being decreased.
"I would like to thank you soooo much big time for the quality and great maca you sell , it helped me magically in less than 4 weeks to boost my sperm count from 4M to 290M ,,, I can't believe it's true ... "– Hassim
Muscle Building – Athletes regularly use and benefit from Maca in their training. We sponsor several professionals including natural bodybuilders who love taking our Maca for this purpose.
"I like the Black Maca more then the Yellow Maca for bodybuilding. Provides noticeable strength/endurance gains after continuous use. The 1lb package lasted me roughly 2 weeks with 1-2 shakes a day. I mixed approximately 1 tablespoon per protein shake but always wanted to mix more. Love this product! "– Jason.
Sasha Digulian (pictured below) is a world champion rock climber and a big Maca fan. She recently shared a really nice video about our Maca.
Stamina– In clinical trials conducted in the U.K. it has been found that Maca increased the recovery rate and stamina of semi-professional and professional cyclists by around 7% over the course of 3 weeks use of Maca.
Energy– A main reason people in the high Andes eat Maca is to give themselves an energy lift. The energy boosting effects provided by eating this simple root vegetable are sustained and natural and do not stress your adrenal glands like coffee or tea. It even works for people with serious conditions:
"Red Maca has given me the energy I had before being diagnosed with celiac disease and has eliminated that crazy, nervous feeling I constantly had in my stomach that makes you want to scream." – Jenna
Blood Pressure – One result of taking Maca is that it boosts circulation and thereby can reduce hypertension. It is important to consult with your health care professional when you are adding Maca to your diet if you are already taking medication to lower your blood pressure.
Menopause – This is one of the biggest Maca powder benefits for women. And it makes total sense given Maca’s effect on the hormonal system. We’ve seen over and over again that a regular serving helps decrease symptoms of menopause. Usually, hot flashes, night sweats and mood changes normalize within 2-3 weeks of starting with it.
Anxiety and Stress – We regularly receive feedback on Maca’s ability to help people remain calm focused and stress free. Maca is top among a group of adaptogenic foods and herbs that can alleviate stress:
"I got anxiety and depression cause of my 2 jobs, I couldn’t even sleep well and often cry so easily. I got some medicine to sleep but it did work for just some time. My mother started to prepare Maca drinks for me everyday... I don’t need pills to sleep anymore and I am more energetic and positive." Lee
Thyroid – It’s important to understand that Maca contains iodine and can affect thyroid health. If you are concerned about Iodine intake please read this article on Maca and Iodine
Acne – Maca definitely can help acne that is related to an imbalance in hormones.
"I have been struggling with adult acne for the past year and a half. I've spent hundreds of dollars on various acne regiments which only dried my face out and did not help with my cystic acne. A few months ago, I broke down and went to the dermatologist who put me on a harsh week-long antibiotic, spironolactone, and a face cream. I had marginal improvement over the past three months. Then I decided to give Maca a try. Within 2 days, my acne was diminishing. I could not believe it. I am seeing so much improvement in my complexion every day. I also feel great and so energized throughout the day. I am so excited about your product. I can't wait to see continued results over the next month!" – Danielle
Depression– We’ve seen an “increase in good mood” cited often as people use Maca. As an adaptogen, Maca elevates overall life force energy.
"From my mood to my energy, it changed it all for the BETTER. I'm back working out because I have the energy to go after work and what a relief to be off of anti-depressants as well, a true blessing. I will never go a day without my MACA!!!!" - L.D.
Mental Acuity - We have several students who rave about Maca and its ability to help them focus and study. Research has noted that Maca can cause increase in brain function.
Enhancing Curves – Maca can support curves in various ways. First, for women it can stimulate the body to produce more estrogen which can lead to increased breast size. Second, in combination with exercise, it can make the buttocks larger.
"This is my 4th 2.2 lbs bag of maca it sure builds a nice bootie when u take it while working out I have the proof of the caboose I gained weight in all the right places – I love my increase in booty size!" J. Donn
Bones – In 2 clinical studies Maca has been show to increase bone density in mice and may even help prevent osteoporosis.
Prostate – Red Maca can work for prostate health. We regularly hear from customers about this.
"I’m a 63- year old guy, and take a tablespoon of Red Maca every morning in warm water. I’ve had very good results with easing enlarged prostrate discomfort and plan to take this stuff permanently with results like this! I actually look forward to the taste, too." – TD in DC
Weight Loss – Maca is low in calories and fat and because of its energizing effect may indeed help people lose weight.
"From my own personal experience and as a Pharmacist and Clinic owner, the Red Maca (LINK) from your company really accelerates weight loss. I personally lost 45 lbs and I OWN a weight loss clinic." - Jimmy Beale
What Types Of Maca Are There?
In terms of your choices for Maca, there are several factors to consider. Before getting specific, it is important to understand that the quality of the Maca you take should be your top priority. To get the most vitamins and minerals from Maca it should
- Organically grown
- Cultivated in Peru above 14,000 feet (don’t use Chinese Maca) – A Maca plant is sensitive to elevation and grows best near Junin, Peru
- Harvested at the appropriate time – it takes about 9 months for a plant to mature. For maximum nutrient density they should not be harvested before or after
- Dried properly – Maca should be either dried in the mountain sun for about 40 days or dehydrated immediately after harvest
- Processed into a powder shortly before packaging – Dried Maca roots should be stored whole and made into a powder only on demand to maintain freshness at the highest level
- Packaged in high quality non-permeable, sealed containers – Oxygen and humidity negatively affect Maca and it’s important that once packaged it is fully protected from these elements
- From the current year’s harvest - Maca is harvested once a year, usually from June to August. By December of a given year you should be able to get Maca from that year’s harvest.
Maca Can Either Be:
- Raw – unheated Maca powder and minimally processed OR
- Gelatinzied – pre-cooked Maca which has had its starch content removed and is easier to digest
Both of these are available in powders, capsules and liquid Maca extract forms and can be made from 100% Red, Yellow or Black Maca roots or a combination of all three.
To make choosing the right Maca easier we've developed a couple of ways to for you to quickly find the Best Maca for you.
Notes on The Safety Of Maca
Maca is a food (from the cruciferous family - like cabbage) and not a drug or supplement. It has no documented side-effects, works well for most people and causes few issues. That said, we recommend that you follow these guidelines when starting with Maca:
- If you have sensitive digestion use a Liquid Maca Extract or Gelatinized Maca instead of Raw Maca.
- Start with a small amount of Maca first and build up – full Maca dosage guidelines
- If you experience any indigestion with Raw Maca, try the tips listed here
- If you are sensitive to iodine, consult with your doctor before taking
- If you are pregnant or nursing, ask your doctor about Maca
- If you have high blood pressure, monitor yourself carefully while taking Maca
Tips To Get The Most Out Of Maca
One: Make sure that you have a high quality, fresh, organic product
Two: Make sure that you have the best color and type for your purpose
Three: Make sure to take the best form of Maca for you - powder, capsule, extract or chip
Four: Stay consistent. Maca takes time to work, so you need to keep taking it each day for at least one month to begin to see benefits.
Five: Be patient. For some people the benefits will show sooner, but for others it takes more time.
Six: Be open to change. You may find that taking Maca will also lead you to change other habits – everything from eating less to exercising more to quitting tobacco or even coffee.
We hope this article has inspired you to take action to improve the way your body feels and give Maca a try. We’ve tried to be as complete as possible in covering the effects of Maca. And still if you have any questions please let us know. We’re always happy to help.
Enjoy your day!