Maca is a root vegetable that grows in the Andes Mountain’s of Peru. It has been used in the medical world with great effect for years and is mainly found in powder form. It is full of nutrient rich ingredients supplying the body with essential vitamins and minerals. They include calcium, magnesium and iron, plus vitamin C and vitamins B1, B2, B6, and B12. The powder is approximately 10% protein & contains 20 amino acids, 8 essential amino acids, is 60% carbohydrate & 8.5% fibre.
Maca powder works by helping your endocrine system, such as the adrenals, pancreatic, pituitary and thyroid glands. This is done through hormone stimulation where they are released into your blood stream causing an up regulation on the endocrine system.
As it’s a hormone regulator it’s found to be beneficial for both males and females. In men it has been shown to increase testosterone levels and up your sperm count. It has also been shown to up your libido and can help with erectile dysfunction. In females it can help increase sexual stamina leading to an increase in fertility. More importantly it is used for improving moods when assisting with the symptoms of both PMS and menopause and will generally be used before over the counter prescriptions are prescribed.
Another benefit is its ability to combat against osteoporosis, a condition in which the bones become brittle and can easily break when simple stresses like lifting are performed. This is due to the powder containing an abundance of proteins, fiber, fatty acids, iron and calcium, which are all factors to consider when talking about osteoporosis.
So far so good! It gets better…
In the fitness / training world specifically it also has multiple benefits, a few of which are:
- Maca Powder is what is known as an adaptogen, which basically means it’s a biological substance that helps the body adapt to changes and stress. Now I know most of us are stressed and what happens when we are stressed? Our cortisol levels are raised resulting in poor quality sleep and slowing down your gains in the gym. So as you guessed it, Maca powder protects against stress, aiding in a better quality of sleep and even curing insomnia.
- It has the ability to increase energy and stamina, aids in quicker recovery from injury, supports your neurotransmitter production, increases your metabolism which can help with weight loss, improve workout performance, endurance, stamina, strength & muscle gain.
And there’s more…
- It can increase brain function leading to better mental clarity, it helps with gut digestion and aids in detoxification, lowers high blood pressure and even lowers cholesterol. For those of us who over-train it can help reduce the onset of chronic and adrenal fatigue.
So how do you take it?
I personally take 2 x 10g serving a day, one in the morning and one in my pre workout shake combo. I would suggest however you start of with 2 x 5g servings. You can easily sprinkle it on top of your food or mix it in your coffee or any other drink you may consume.
There you have it, one powder with so many health benefits for all of us. It’s relatively cheap, easy to obtain and with a nutty texture it tastes pretty good too. So why would you not supplement it into your diet?
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