Will Maca Keep Me Up at Night?
Say good morning to maca: finding your sweet spot for optimal results from this powerful adaptogen.
High up in the Andes Mountains, generations of Peruvians have been harvesting maca, a root vegetable in the cruciferous family. Known for its various medicinal qualities, this vegetable is much stronger than your average produce. It’s used to boost mood, energy, and even libido. It’s often cited as a key answer to restoring balance to hormones and immunity. From bodybuilders to women experiencing menopause to folks just looking to deal with stress in healthier ways, maca is providing results for new people each day. It’s so powerful that it’s considered both a superfood and an adaptogen. Because of all its reported health benefits, maca has become popular recently, far beyond those beautiful mountain ranges of Peru.
One of the top reasons people take maca is for its energizing effects. Many add a little powder in their smoothies, baked goods, or even drink it to replace their coffee. Unlike coffee or sugar, which provides a rush followed all-too-quickly by a crash, maca provides a notable boost of energy that is then sustained all day. This is not a fake stimulant that drains your adrenals. Quite the opposite. This is real food, with real health benefits. Maca can provide multiple health benefits while boosting energy, and sustaining it for many hours.
But can maca give you too much energy?
So that may be making you wonder: if it’s so powerful, can maca keep me awake at night? If it provides sustained energy, could it provide too much energy?
The answer is a definite sometimes and for some people. Why? Many factors influence how maca will affect each individual differently. We’re all unique, so just your own body’s makeup will create a unique response for you. But your body is your body. (Not much you can do for a drastic change in your body composition today!) However, there are a few ways to adjust your results when taking maca. With a little trial and error and noticing the response of your own body, you can find your sweet spot. The time of day you take maca, in what form, and how much you take: these all help you control your energy levels and health benefits.
So you’re ready to try maca and are interested in optimal results with maca? Read on.
One: take just enough, not too much
Sometimes, a bit of a jittery, can’t-sleep feeling is caused by taking too much maca. This can be especially true when first starting to take this superfood. Maca is a powerful food source. Though it won’t hurt you to take more, you will want to find the right amount for you. Maca powder can be added to hot and cold foods and drinks, both sweet and savory. We’ve created some maca recipes to get you started here. The convenience of powder makes it possible to add this superfood to your smoothie, your oatmeal, and more—all while measuring exactly how much you want to take.
When using the powder form of maca, you can begin to reap its health benefits with a teaspoon or even less. Then as you continue taking maca, add a little bit until you’re in the recommended 1-3 teaspoons per day. Of course, our premium maca is more potent, so you may need even less to get the full benefits of maca when giving yourself the best, most powerful superfood option available. For a full rundown of recommended serving sizes, we have a complete chart of all the options laid out for you here.
Building up little by little will help you notice changes and help you know how much your body needs to get the full benefits of your maca. Whether you’re adding a powder form to smoothies, taking liquid dropperfuls, or eating the chips directly, stay mindful of your serving sizes.
Two: take maca early in the day
Much like the name of our maca coffee substitute blend (which includes maca, cacao, and mezquite), this superfood can be a powerful motivator. Maca is recognized as an effective mood lifter and energizer. You’ll notice the use of the word “Morning” alongside the Motivator, and that’s not just because we associate coffee with our morning cup.
If you’re concerned about maca root keeping you awake at night, or if you’re just starting out with maca, it’s important to be careful about the time of day you take it. Taken before 2 pm, in a proper amount as explained above, maca shouldn’t interfere with your sleep. It’s recommended to take maca in the morning.
Because maca is not a stimulant, like caffeine and sugar, you won’t get a crash after your energy boost. You should feel a sustained amount of energy throughout the day. All the more reason to make sure you’re enjoying your maca in the morning! Otherwise, that benefit of increased energy may last longer than you’d like. So, go ahead and make that cup of Morning Motivator, or add some of our gelatinized maca powder into your muffins or oatmeal, and enjoy a boost all day long.
Three: take with food
You often see these instructions on a bottle of medicine from your doctor: take with food. Sometimes with medicine, there’s something in the medicine that can upset your stomach. Sometimes your body is just better able to absorb it with food. Is that why you may want to try taking maca with food? Well, yes… and no. If you are taking raw maca, instead of gelatinized, then there’s a chance it could bother your stomach. About 5-10% of people report that raw maca has created some stomach upset. Taking raw maca with some food may help your body digest it better than on its own.
Taking maca with food can also help your body slow down its absorption, so you don’t get a fast “hit.” If you find you’re one of the people sensitive to maca’s powerful energy-boosting properties, try taking it with food. That may be just enough to give you that nice, even, sustained energy without overwhelming your body too fast.
For most people, there’s no need to include food. But for others, taking maca with food can create the perfect release of its powerful benefits. The best option is to try different ways of taking maca and find the one that’s best for you.
But what if I want to stay up late?
Can you take maca to stay awake? As we’ve mentioned, maca is not technically a stimulant, and it doesn’t have caffeine. So far we’ve been talking about ways to not let maca interfere with your sleep or keep you up late.
But sometimes you want to stay up late and keep going. If that’s you, then by all means, do the opposite of what you’ve just read. Maybe take it a little later. Maybe add a little more than you normally do, without going overboard. Perhaps take it all by itself, like powder mixed into tea for example. As we’ve explained above, if you’d like to have sustained energy during the day and get to bed early and sleep soundly at night, there are several ways you can still take maca and do just that. Then again, if you want to stay up late, maca may be able to help you with that as well. There are safe, healthy ways to use maca at any time of the day.
Now you have it: our three best tips for getting the right amount of sustained energy boost that will still let you get your sleep. After all, your energy levels don’t just depend on great nutrition. Without good sleep, you will be tired. Take good care of your sleeping habits, and you’ll start off in the right place.
But even with the best night of sleep, life can be exhausting and stressful. The gift of maca is its ability to support both your energy needs while also not draining you like stimulants and other harmful energy boosters. Now that you know the when, how, and how much—you can find your maca sweet spot. You're on the road to getting the perfect, long-lasting, health-benefiting energy boost.
Once you’ve got these three key secrets to doing maca the right way, you can enjoy not only the energy boost, but all of maca’s benefits. It’s not just a coffee replacement, after all. Maca is reported to balance hormones in both men and women, assist with anxiety and depression, boost libido and fertility, and strengthen your immune system. This adaptogen can even help manage stress.
So say good morning to maca and get back into balance.
Enjoy the day!