8 Benefits Of Maca Root Powder, Nutrition, And Side Effects

From rich protein content to antioxidant properties, this root is amazing for your health.

Medically reviewed by Julie Freeman, RDN, LDN, RYT Julie Freeman Julie FreemanRDN, LDN, RYT facebook_iconinsta_icon
Written by , BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health Ravi Teja Tadimalla BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health Experience: 8 years
Edited by , BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma Arshiya Syeda BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma Experience: 7 years
Fact-checked by , BTech (Biotechnology), Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach Sindhu Koganti BTech (Biotechnology), Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach Experience: 6 years
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The benefits of maca root powder are gaining popularity nowadays. While their usage dates back to thousands of years ago, research is only progressing now. It is said that people in the Peruvian Andes mountains consumed this root.Maca root

Maca root is a superfood packed with many healing nutrients. It also contains powerful antioxidants that can significantly enhance mood, improve memory, balance hormone levels, improve sexual health, and maintain overall wellness. Moreover, this root is an adaptogen that helps the body to adapt to various stressors like a demanding job or hectic schedules. As an adaptogen, it also may help treat various health issues. The root is generally used in the form of powder.

This article further discusses maca root powder, its nutrition facts, benefits, and side effects. Continue reading to know more.

protip_icon Know Your Ingredient: Maca Root Powder

What Is It?
A root vegetable, a relative of radishes and turnips, available in various colors and consumed as a powder, capsule, or tincture.

What Are Its Benefits?
Maca root treats hormonal imbalance, boosts sex drive, helps in bodybuilding, regulates blood pressure levels, and relieves anxiety.

Who Can Consume It?
It is safe for most people, especially for menopausal women and people with hormonal imbalances.

How Often?
To increase libido, 1500-3000 mg per day; to treat menopausal symptoms, 2000 mg per day.

Caution
Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid maca root powder.

What Are The Benefits Of Maca Root?

The maca powder benefits include:

1. Maca Root Powder Boosts Sex Drive

Animal studies have shown how maca can boost the sperm counts of livestock. Further research showed that men on maca had improved sexual desire in a matter of 8 weeks.

Preliminary research also shows how maca can modestly boost your libido. In yet another study, men with mild erectile dysfunction, when given maca, had shown significant improvement in their sexual performance (1).

protip_icon Trivia
In 1549, a Spanish conqueror called Juan Tello de Sotomayor reportedly used maca to improve the fertility of cattle that he had imported from Spain.

2. Treats Hormonal Imbalance

Some research shows that people can take maca orally for treating hormonal imbalance (2). Other studies have also shown that the natural root, when taken by early-postmenopausal women, helps regulate hormonal processes and balance hormones. The root powder had also alleviated the associated discomfort, including hot flashes and night sweats (3).

Some research says that intake of maca root powder can also enhance breast growth in women. It is also controversial as to whether it supports increasing estrogen or not. However, we need more research in this aspect.

Did You Know?

Maca has become quite trendy in parts of Los Angeles as a great substitute for coffee.

3. Might Boost Thyroid Health

Maca roots might boost thyroid health
Image: Shutterstock

Herbalists usually recommend maca root powder for thyroid problems. Some sources say that it can stimulate the thyroid gland, and this can be of benefit if you are suffering from hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid).

However, we recommend you have a word with your doctor before taking maca root powder for your thyroid issues.

4. Can Help In Bodybuilding

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The nutrient profile of maca is so impressive that it is often used by athletes as a replacement for steroids to improve stamina and strength.

Stuart Patrick, a fitness vlogger, shared his experience of consuming maca root for two months to improve his endurance and strength. He said, “I have noticed some significant strength gains. I’ve noticed improvements in numbers for my deadlift bench, weighted pull ups, and other areas too (i).”

Maca is rich in protein, amino acids, and other vitamins and minerals – all of which are important to fuel an exercise routine. More importantly, the antioxidant effects of maca can help prevent delayed-onset muscle soreness. The antioxidants increase the number of immune cells responsible for muscle repair, and this helps relieve exercise-induced muscle damage.

5. Can Regulate Blood Pressure Levels

A study showed that maca root powder could help reduce blood pressure, especially in the case of postmenopausal women (4).

In yet another observational study involving 50 people, maca intake was associated with low blood pressure (5).

However, we recommend you consult your doctor before using maca for this purpose – as some sources also suggest against the use of maca for reducing blood pressure.

6. Might Help Relieve Anxiety

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One 2008 study showed that maca could have a beneficial effect on reducing depression and anxiety. Another pilot study conducted on post-menopausal women showed that maca could help reduce depression.

Interestingly, as per a report by the Harvard Medical School, maca root powder can also help treat the side effects of antidepressants, which also include issues with sexual performance (6).

7. Can Enhance Skin Health

Some sources suggest that maca can help treat acne and blemishes. The root powder can also reduce skin sensitivity – which means it can help your skin withstand extreme temperatures, especially in hot or cold weather.

Did You Know?

Maca has been widely consumed since the time of the Inca civilization. It is still used as a food source by the Andean people, the Quechua.

8. Might Prevent Hair Loss

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Although there is no evidence that maca can be directly used to prevent hair loss, it may support this by helping to balance the hormones. Hormonal imbalance is also one cause of hair loss, and by addressing that, one can prevent hair loss.

Those are the benefits of maca. Scroll down to learn a scrumptious and nutritious recipe so you can reap these advantages.

Maca Root Recipe

1. Maca Root Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 tablespoon of maca root powder
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon of chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon of sliced almonds

How To Prepare

1. Combine the ripe banana, maca root powder, milk, Greek yogurt, honey, and cinnamon in a blender.
2. Add some ice cubes to the blend to add a refreshing cool touch.
3. Blend until the drink is smooth and creamy.
4. Pour the maca-infused smoothie into a glass.
5. Top it off with chia seeds and sliced almonds.

Nutritional Profile Of Maca Root

Nutrition Facts Serving Size 100g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 325Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g5%
Saturated Fat 0g0%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 18mg1%
Total Carbohydrate 71g24%
Dietary Fiber 7g29%
Sugars 32g
Protien 14g
Vitamin A0%
Vitamin C475%
Calcium25%
Iron82%
Protein
Amounts Per Selected Serving%DV
Protein14.3g29%
calories
Amounts Per Selected Serving%DV
Calories325(1361 kJ)16%
From Carbohydrate250(1047 kJ)
From Fat17.9(74.9 kJ)
From Protein57.1(239 kJ)
From Alcohol~(0.0 kJ)
Vitamins
Amounts Per Selected Serving%DV
Vitamin A0.0IU0%
Vitamin C285mg475%
Vitamin D0.0IU0%
Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol)~~
Vitamin K~~
Thiamin~~
Riboflavin0.4mg21%
Niacin5.7mg29%
Vitamin B61.1mg57%
Folate~~
Vitamin B12~~
Pantothenic Acid~~
Choline~~
Betaine~~
Minerals
Amounts Per Selected Serving%DV
Calcium250mg25%
Iron14.8mg82%
Magnesium~~
Phosphorus~~
Potassium2000mg57%
Sodium17.9mg1%
Zinc~~
Copper6.0mg300%
Manganese0.8mg39%
Selenium~~
Fluoride~

All good. But how much of the powder do you need to take a day to avail its benefits?

What Is The Recommended Dosage Of Maca Root?

If you want to take maca for increasing your libido, the dosage would be anywhere between 1,500 to 3,000 mg a day in capsule or powdered form. For treating menopause symptoms, you may increase the dose to 2,000 mg of maca root powder per day.

If you are taking loose powder, you can start with 1 teaspoon a day and work up to a maximum dose of 3 to 6 teaspoons.

This may be continued for 3 to 6 months and take a break of 2 weeks, before resuming again. It may also be worthwhile for women with hormonal conditions to have their blood or urine retested to see if hormone levels are balancing appropriately. You can take all of the root powder in the morning at once or spread it out several times during the day.

protip_icon Trivia
The domestication of maca is believed to have happened around 2000 years ago in Junin, Central Peru.

The dosage is important. Because if you exceed it, it can lead to an entirely different set of complications.

What Are The Side Effects Of Maca Root?

  • Issues During Pregnancy And Breastfeeding
Maca root powder may cause issues during pregnancy
Image: Shutterstock

Since there is not enough information here, we advise you stay away from maca during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

  • Might Aggravate Hormone-Sensitive Conditions

These include breast cancer, uterine and ovarian cancers, uterine fibroids, and endometriosis. As maca extract may stimulate estrogen, it may aggravate these conditions.

Infographic: Maca: The Peruvian Ginseng

Maca root powder is powered by its rich nutritional profile to help give your health a much-needed boost. As popular as maca root powder is, its main hypocotyl (stem) is also worth mentioning.

Check out the infographic below to learn more about maca root, its different uses, and where you can find this beneficial plant.

maca the peruvian ginseng (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Get the high-quality PDF version of this infographic.

Download Infographic in PDF version

Maca root is an adaptogen that promotes good health. It is packed with many beneficial nutrients that offer a wide range of benefits. Maca root benefits include improved mood, better memory and hormone levels, and enhanced sexual health. Additionally, maca root may boost stamina and contribute to thyroid and hair health. You can take organic maca root supplements or powders to reap its benefits. It is vegan and 100% gluten-free. However, the root may aggravate certain hormonal conditions in some. Since the safety standards have not been determined yet, pregnant and breastfeeding women should consult a doctor before consuming maca root.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the different types of maca root powder?

There are three types of maca root powder. Red maca, which is considered the rarest type of the root, has a malty taste and contains the most number of antioxidants. Black maca is particularly potent in increasing sperm count and boosting sex drive. Yellow maca has a unique tangy taste and helps relieve menopause symptoms.

What are the different ways to use maca root powder?

You can sprinkle some of the powder in your morning coffee. Or add a bit to your smoothie. You can also make maca a part of your cookie dough.
You can also mix maca with moringa seeds or flax seeds in your recipes. Or simply have maca powder with milk.

Does maca have caffeine?

No, it doesn’t. But it can be a good substitute for caffeine and doesn’t give you the jittery feeling that caffeine does.

Where to buy maca powder?

You can get it from your nearest supermarket store or even get it online at Amazon.

How long can you store maca powder?

Maca powder can be stored in the freezer to prolong its shelf life (lasts for up to 2 ½ years). You can also store it at room temperature (lasts for up to 24 months).

What can I mix with maca powder to gain weight?

You can consume maca powder by mixing it with milk, shakes, smoothies, and even oatmeal.

Can I put maca on my face?

Yes, you can apply maca powder on your face. Anecdotal evidence suggests that maca root benefits the skin due to its hormone-balancing ability and can aid in preventing hormones, making it an excellent addition to one’s skincare routine.

Does maca make your skin glow?

Anecdotal evidence suggests that maca has antioxidant properties that may stimulate skin cells, thus improving texture and imparting glow. However, more studies are needed to support this claim.

Key Takeaways

  • Maca powder is rich in vitamins B, C, And E, calcium, potassium, and iron.
  • It might help combat hormonal imbalance and treat symptoms of PMS and menopause.
  • Maca powder might also help in boosting stamina, energy, and endurance.
  • You can consume 2000mg of maca powder every day to treat menopause.
  • Consuming maca powder may aggravate breast cancer and uterine fibroids.
Maca Root Powder

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

Learn about the amazing health benefits of maca root with this informative video! Check it out to discover how this superfood can help improve your overall health and well-being.

Personal Experience: Source

References

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. “Subjective effects of…”. US National Library of Medicine.
  2. “Hormone-balancing effect of…”. US National Library of Medicine.
  3. “Hormone-balancing effect of…”. US National Library of Medicine.
  4. “Maca reduces blood pressure and…”. US National Library of Medicine.
  5. “Some “natural” therapies may be safe…”. Harvard Medical School.
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