Maca: The Plant Based Pre-Workout!
What is Maca?
Maca is a plant, native of Peru. It grows in the Andes of central Peru and is scientifically known as, Lepidium Meyenii, or or Peruvian Ginseng. Maca is a Cruciferous Vegetable therefore related to kale, cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower. The Main Edible part of the plant is the root, which grows underground and exists in several different colors, ranging from pink, yellow, and black.
Maca is considered to be a Super Food and not only due to Maca being Organic and Plant Based, but the Benefits it offers is second to none. According to Heathline.com Maca offers the following benefits:
It May Boost Sports Performance and Energy
Maca root powder is a popular supplement among bodybuilders and athletes.
It has been claimed to help you gain muscle, increase strength, boost energy and improve exercise performance.
Moreover, one small study in eight male cyclists found that they improved the time it took them to complete a nearly 25-mile (40-km) bike ride after 14 days of supplementing with maca extract (20).
Currently, there is no scientific evidence to confirm any benefits for muscle mass or strength.
It's Highly Nutritious
Maca root powder is very nutritious, and is a great source of several important vitamins and minerals (2).
One ounce (28 grams) of maca root powder contains:
Carbs: 20 grams
Protein: 4 grams
Fiber: 2 grams
Fat: 1 gram
Vitamin C: 133% of the RDI
Copper: 85% of the RDI
Iron: 23% of the RDI
Potassium: 16% of the RDI
Vitamin B6: 15% of the RDI
Manganese: 10% of the RDI
Maca root is a good source of carbs, is low in fat and contains a fair amount of fiber. It's also high in some essential vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, copper and iron.
It Increases Libido in Men and Women
Reduced sexual desire is a common problem among adults.
Consequently, interest in herbs and plants that naturally boost libido is great.
Maca has been heavily marketed as being effective at improving sexual desire, and this claim is backed by research (5).
A review from 2010 that included four randomized clinical studies with a total of 131 participants found evidence that maca improves sexual desire after at least six weeks of ingestion (6).
It May Increase Fertility in Men
When it comes to male fertility, sperm quality and quantity is very important.
A recent review summarized the findings of five small studies. It showed that maca improved semen quality in both infertile and healthy men (9).
One of the studies reviewed included nine healthy men. After consuming maca for four months, researchers detected an increase in the volume, count and motility of sperm (8).
Maca Can Improve Your Mood
Several studies have shown that maca can enhance your mood.
Maca contains plant compounds called flavonoids, which have been suggested to be at least partly responsible for these psychological benefits (15).
It May Improve Learning and Memory
Maca may improve brain function (25).
In this regard, black maca appears to be more effective than other varieties (29).