The Best Time to Take Maca Root | 4 Unbelievable Benefits
There is a new hype, and it’s all about maca root!
You may be thinking, “Do I really need another supplement?” Potentially, yes! This one you want to try!
We get it. If we all followed the hype of every new supplement out there, we would have 50+ powders in our smoothies, but the growing popularity of maca root is for a good reason!
There are many well-studied benefits of maca root, suggesting possible benefits of:
- Increased energy levels
- Enhanced sexual function for both men and women
- Decreased inflammation
- Improved memory
- Improved hormonal balance
- Decreased risk for cancer
- Much, much more!
With any supplement, it’s important to take it at the right time and in the right dosage to get the most benefit. So, in this post, we will discuss the potential benefits of maca root, the proper dosages of maca root, and the best time to take maca root.
And if you read all the way until the end, you may even find a delicious maca powder overnight oats recipe to try out tomorrow morning!
Table of contents
- What is Maca Root?
- Maca Root’s Amazing Nutrient Profile
- The 4 Unbelievable Benefits of Maca Root
- The Best Time to Take Maca Root
- What Situations Make for the Best Time to Take Maca Root
- How to take Maca Root
- Best Maca Brands and Usage
- Maca Powder Overnight Oats
What is Maca Root?
Macar root is a Peruvian root vegetable that comes in three colors (red, yellow, and black). It grows at an elevation of 3700-4500 meters and has been consumed by being baked, roasted, or in soup for over 3000 years.
After harvesting, the root of the plant is ground and dried, making a golden powder that can easily be added to everything from smoothies, soups, bread, and so on. If you’ve been following us at FWDfuel for a minute, you know we absolutely love building smoothies, and using this delicious anti-inflammatory smoothie ingredient is one of our favorites!
Maca root gets its magic from the unique bioactive compounds it contains, including macamides, macaridine, alkaloids, and glucosinolates.
Maca has been labeled as a superfood, which is well earned for these bioactive compounds, plus the fact that it’s absolutely packed with a variety of nutrients. Talk about getting a huge bang for your buck!
Maca Root’s Amazing Nutrient Profile
The nutrient profile of maca will vary depending on what type was used such as red maca vs black maca, a blend, or the most common kind, yellow maca root.
Overall, maca is roughly made up of:
- 61% carbs
- 18% protein
- ~11% a mixture of fats, minerals, ash, and fiber.
Because we only consume a small amount at any given time, it is not a significant source of macronutrients.
However, maca root has a high number of super important amino acids, including nearly every essential amino acid. Specifically, it includes:
- Glutamic acid
- Aspartic acid
We aren’t finished though…
Other nutrients found in moderate amounts in maca root include are iodine, copper, zinc, iron, and selenium.
The real magic of maca may be in the plant compountds of polyphenols, macaenes, macamides, alkaloids, and glucosinolates naturally occuring in maca. [26,27,28]
- Polyphenols: Act as antioxidants
- Macaenes: Act as anticancer and antioxidant compounds
- Macamides: Act as anticancer and antioxidant compounds
- Glucosinolates: Anticancer, antioxidant, and antiinflammatory benefits
So, through its magical array of vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and antioxidants, maca root has been helping the Peruvian people experience increased energy, endurance, hormonal balance, libido, and reproductive health just to highlight a few of the many benefits appreciated since the 13th century.
Now that you have the 4-1-1 on what maca root is, let’s dive deeper into the benefits and discuss the best time to take maca root.
The 4 Unbelievable Benefits of Maca Root
1. Naturally Balance Hormones
One of the best times to take maca root is when hormones are imbalanced. If you aren’t sure if youre hormones are out of balance, learn when to test for hormone in balance and the the best tests for hormone imbalnace.
Hormones act as chemical messengers throughout the body for a variety of processes. You might know of hormones as being highly influential on reproduction. However, they also play a big role in regulating:
- Body temperature.
The prevalence of hormonal issues, such as high or low levels of estrogen and/or progesterone, high or low levels of testosterone and/or DHEA, high or low levels of cortisol is increasing at an alarming rate.
>>>> Check out our Ultimate Guide to Female Hormone Imbalance
What are the Most Common Cause of Hormone Imbalance?
Common causes of hormone imbalances include:
- Inflammatory diet
- Chronic stress
- Exposure to toxins (mycotoxins, plastics, phthalates, parabens, heavy metals)
- A diet low in nutrients
- Having a high percentage of body fat / poor body composition
- Blood sugar imbalances
We would bet your bottom dollar that you know at least one person suffering from thyroid, adrenal dysfunction, and/or fertility issues that have resulted in trouble conceiving, debilitation fatigue, sleep issues, osteopenia and osteoporosis, skin issues, bloating and bowel issues, sugar addictions, and the list goes on…
While it is possible to receive hormone replacement therapy and medications for hormonal imbalances, jumping straight to this approach may not be necessary with more natural hormone-balancing therapies, such as using maca.
Many scientific studies also show promising benefits for maca being an excellent adaptogen, which assists the body in responding to stress.
What are adaptogens?
Adaptogens help the body improve the function of the central nervous system by helping your body be resilient and “adapt” through times of high stress.
They have stress-reducing abilities that have been shown to fight fatigue, improve mental focus, and balance hormones. This is especially true if you’re a high-level athlete or bodybuilder regularly stressing your body to the max to maximize performance or muscle size.
Take Maca to Increase Sex Drive
It has even been studied and described as an aphrodisiac, helping to improve sexual dysfunction in women further.
There is also research on its ability to boost libido, especially in men and post-menopausal women. Some evidence suggests that taking concentrated maca supplements may benefit those with low libido or low sexual desire.
Multiple studies have linked intake of maca for 6-12 weeks with significant improvements in sexual function and libido in those who were experiencing sexual dysfunction.[8,9]
The benefits of maca root for hormone balancing can also be experienced by men, with multiple studies showing that maca can improve semen quality. In one pilot study of healthy men, it was shown that maca increased sperm concentration by 35%, total sperm count by 84%, and mobility and movement of sperm by a huge 109%.
Maca has been shown to increase progesterone levels, which makes for an overall favorable hormone balance.
Low progesterone has been a growing issue for women, leading to potent PMS symptoms and, in some cases, difficulty carrying a pregnancy. In these cases, low progesterone can be the best time to take maca root.
There is a strong correlation between high-stress levels and low progesterone levels, which makes sense as to why so many women have low progesterone levels, extremely high or extremely low cortisol, and associated estrogen dominance these days!
By balancing your cortisol levels naturally, you’re not only lowering stress levels but also improve your body composition, immunity, and energy levels, as these aspects are all affected by the release of cortisol.
Coming off The Pill
Though taking maca while on the pill is not recommended, using maca after coming off the pill or other forms of hormonal contraception may be helpful. Many women find it’s the best time to take maca root, noting an easier transition to natural cycling and boosting of hormone production after being suppressed for so long.
How long does it take maca root to regulate my period?
Every female body is different, so getting a regular period after coming off the pill will vary from person to person, but one can expect the cycle to return within 3 months of coming off the pill, and maca may help expedite that process!
Reduce Menopausal Symptoms
While it’s not fully understood how this magic powder works, maca has been shown to improve the function of the endocrine glands, which are the glands that secrete hormones throughout your blood.  This is super important for women going through menopause because ovarian production of hormones begins to slow down.
Maca has also been shown to significantly reduce the uncomfortable symptoms that are associated with menopause, including hot flashes, mood swings, fatigue, and decreased libido.  For these reasons, it is becoming a wildly popular remedy for women throughout peri and postmenopausal stages, given its ability to stimulate the overall production of hormones.
Disclaimer: It is not recommended to use maca to treat fibroids. Diet, lifestyle, and liver support are the areas you’d want to tap into for managing this condition.
2. Fight Oxidative Stress
Overall, our modern-day lifestyles have evolved into a state where we are continually bombarded with stress and environmental toxins that can deplete our immune system. Whether you’re working your tail off as a single parent, you’re living in a moldy house, eating food that has been sprayed with Round-Up (glyphosate), or bathing yourself in perfumes and parabens, toxic exposure is EVERYWHERE and is at an all-time high in the 21st century.
The best time to take maca root is now.
Of course, some individuals will go on about their everyday life seemingly unscathed, but many people experience lasting negative effects from chronic exposure to stress and environmental toxins that can cause free-radical damage or oxidative stress within the body. We are only just beginning to learn through modern science how all of this affects us. Oxidative stress has been shown to play a direct role in early aging, fatigue, and the development of diseases, including cancer. 
What’s the solution to oxidative stress?
Antioxidants! The best time to take maca root is in situations of oxidative stress.
Truly, antioxidants within the diet have never been more important, and a very unique quality of maca is that it’s rich in antioxidants.
Athletes are another group of individuals that stress their muscles frequently, driving more oxidative stress in the body. Recent animal studies show promising potential for their ability to reduce oxidative stress-induced damage by decreasing levels of reactive oxygen species in both blood and muscle. 
Maca has also been shown to have a protective effect on the mitochondria (aka the powerhouse of the cell) of spinal cells AND improves our muscle’s antioxidant activity by providing increased levels of muscle glycogen, superoxide dismutase, and glutathione peroxidase, one of the most important antioxidants for humans.  Additionally, it has been shown that the best time to take maca root is before exercise, as it may help reduce post-exercise levels of serum lactate dehydrogenase, lactic acid, and blood urea nitrogen, AKA all the things that leave us feeling sore and under-recovered! 
3. Improve Mood
It is estimated that 19.4 million adults, or 7.8 percent of all adults in the United States, had at least one episode of major depression in 2019 and rates continue to climb. 
While medication works well for some, according to the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care, it was estimated that in 2020, only 20 out of every 100 patients reported the effectiveness of their anti-depressant medication. 
Let’s take a moment to reflect on how shocking of a statistic that is. 20 OUT OF 100 PEOPLE, meaning out of 100 people, 80 people are taking medication for a condition that is not being improved.
With that being said, it’s no secret that many people are now realizing that anti-depressant medication use is often accompanied by unpleasant side effects, driving people to seek alternative treatments and supplements.
Ironically, there is a wide pool of research on maca for improvement in mood and cognitive function, showing that 3-3.5 grams per day of maca root may improve mood and energy, reduce anxiety and depression scores, and reduce diastolic blood pressure, particularly in postmenopausal women. [20, 21]
In the cases where conventional treatments are not working, it could be the best time to take maca root. When paired with other dietary, cognitive therapy, and lifestyle interventions, you can treat the root cause of the issue rather than slapping a bandaid on a gaping wound!
While more high-powered, large-scale studies are needed, much of the research thus far has been extremely supportive of using maca for depression, stress, and various hormonal symptoms.
*If you do find that you suffer from depression, we encourage you to seek professional help or speak with your healthcare provider before considering adding maca to your health plan.
4. Maca Root Increases Overall Energy
Who doesn’t want more energy? Everybody, yes, but what if we could do it in a way that served as a natural energizer without caffeine?!
Maca is a lifesaver for those who do not metabolize caffeine well, because it provides a nice energy boost without having to drink a cup of coffee!
There are multiple animal studies supporting the claim of the ability of maca to improve energy from helping endurance to fighting fatigue. A 2017 study found maca to be beneficial in improving swim duration and average acceleration when given to mice. Even more interesting is that blood sample testing found that compared to controls, mice who ingested maca had enhanced glutathione peroxidase and creatine kinase and decreased lactate dehydrogenase. 
This makes for less soreness and easier recovery!
A similar study completed in 2015, which provided various dosage amounts to mice versus a control group, found maca led to reduced exercise-induced fatigue as well as improving energy metabolism and antioxidant status. 
OK, we may not be mice, but the evidence is promising (and mice are kind of cute) so let’s roll with it; The research has to start somewhere.
Not to mention, how you feel in response to trying a supplement says a lot, and many of our clients (and ourselves included) report noticeable increases in energy and focus when routinely using maca. So, give it a try for yourself and notice an increase in energy without the highs and lows from sugar or caffeine!
The Best Time to Take Maca Root
In our experience, maca is best used earlier in the day.
Although it does not contain caffeine or act as a stimulant, many people notice increased energy levels after taking it; taking it in the morning or afternoon would be the best time to take maca root.
What Situations Make for the Best Time to Take Maca Root
We’ve dabbled in taking maca at all different times- before work, before weight training and long runs, and when having to do projects that require a large amount of concentration.
So, what situations will make for the best time to take maca root?
1. Long workdays
2. Long Workouts
3. When seeking to conceive or improve fertility
Have you seen what maca root looks like? We haven’t totally bought into the theory that nature gives us hints by the appearance of foods as to how they may help us (i.e. meat helps muscle, walnuts are great for the brain, etc.). But, maca root does look crazily similar to sperm…
But, it does help increase semen production and has been show to enhance fertility so if you’re looking to conceive, overcome fertility issues, freeze sperm because you’re getting snipped, etc. this is a great time to consistently consume maca roon.
4. To Improve Memory
5. To Improve Mental Health
6. To Fight Inflammation
When we personally think about the best time to take maca root, we often use it in times of physical or mental stress. We increase our dosage when we’re in peak training for a marathon or crossfit event and when we’ve had a lot on our plate.
Maca can help regulate hormones and reduce inflammation to help us manage these stressors.
How to take Maca Root
Maca has a naturally nutty taste to it, opening up plenty of options for consuming this superfood. Its taste can be masked by sweet foods or easily added to savory dishes. To maintain your daily intake, it’s all about creating a set habit, ritual, or routine for yourself when consuming maca.
Here are some suggestions for getting your maca in daily!
- Add into any of your protein shakes or smoothies
- Purchase in capsule form
- Purchase your own plastic capsules, which you can fill with the powdered form
- Sprinkle over salads
- Stir into a shot glass of water or juice and consume directly (if you’re not put off by the rich nutty taste!)
- Blend into your recipe mix for energy bites
- Add a pinch into your afternoon Golden Milk ot tea
- Make your own cashew butter with a couple servings of Maca
Maca is best consumed in raw form, as cooking or baking may reduce the number of vitamins, minerals, and other important antioxidants that are available, therefore reducing the overall maca root benefits.
Best Maca Brands and Usage
If you’ve been interested in exploring natural health remedies for a while now, maca is a great place to start in your journey to alternative therapies. When used orally and appropriately, short term. Maca appears to be safe in doses of up to 3 grams daily for 4 months.[24, 25]
A top brand of maca we recommend is 👉 Feel Good Organics Raw Maca Powder, because it is raw, 👉straight from the Andes Mountains 🏔 in Peru👈, and reasonably priced. The greatest concern right now is that due to the sudden increase in demand for maca, a variety of other countries, including China, have both legally and illegally obtained maca roots for growing. They obviously aren’t growing the plants in their native soil or climate, so the quality of nutrients is debatable.
Regardless of what you buy, we encourage you to stick with an organic brand that guarantees the maca is 100% from Peru.
It’s also important to note that maca comes in different varieties that may have slightly different nutritional content. Whether you’re looking for the best black maca (most rare), red maca (somewhat rare), or the yellow maca root (most common), just be sure to always buy from a brand that is organic and sourced straight from Peru.
Whether you’re looking to simply improve overall health, mood, and well-being or increase your energy levels, most everyone can experience the benefits of maca root. However, if you do have a particular condition that has already shown up in scientific studies as being effectively enhanced by maca, consider exploring options for maca root supplementation with this powerful superfood.
In general, you might consider the use of maca for the following:
- Time of high stress
- Fast-paced lifestyle
- Engage in high-level exercise
- Feel consistently sluggish
- Have trouble concentrating
- Infertility (both men and women)
- Suffer from depression or anxiety
- Work or live in a job where you are exposed to environmental toxins or chemicals
There is no set daily dosage of maca, but as with introducing any new supplement into your diet, it’s best to start in small doses and monitor your tolerance.
If you do end up purchasing a maca supplement, you will find that the manufacturer will recommend a daily intake of about 1 tsp or between 1000mg and 3000mg, with most evidence showing the use of 3-3.5 g/day. It is also helpful to remember that if you purchase a loose maca powder, 3000mg equals 0.6 of a teaspoon.
To really determine if maca may benefit you, regular daily use for 10-14+ days may be necessary to begin experiencing the benefits. Remember that maca is a food rather than a medicine; therefore, you don’t need to worry as much about overdosing as you would with a medication. However, this is not a license to be foolish!
Of course, by consulting with a naturopath or doctor who practices alternative or functional medicine, you can receive individualized guidance on maca use given your unique situation or condition.
If you’re already taking medication for a particular condition, then it is highly recommended that you seek professional guidance before adding or modifying a supplement.
For most people adding maca into the diet = taking an extra step toward a holistic approach to health. Rather than reaching for other quick energy fixes like that 4th espresso shot, Monster Energy Drink, or the pill for your hormonal woes, consider trying maca root.
On that note, if you are experiencing repeated bouts of high and low energy throughout the day or even chronic fatigue, you may want to also check out our post on Natural Energizers Without Caffeine.
Maca Powder Overnight Oats
Time for a recipe! Maca powder overnight oats have been a fan favorite with our clients recently! Give this one a try to switch up your conventional morning oatmeal or cereal and simultaneously support your health and hormones.
Apple Pie and Maca Oats
- ½ cup rolled oats
- ½ medium apple, chopped
- 1 tsp 100% maple syrup
- 1 tsp Feel Good Organics Raw Maca Powder,
- ½ cup water or almond milk
- ½ tsp cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
- Dash of nutmeg
- One scoop of collagen protein powder
- Optional Toppings: Maple Pecan Grain-Free Granola and pecan butter
- Add chopped apple to small saucepan
- Cook over medium heat, frequently stirring, until apple is softened and slightly browned (approximately 5-7 minutes)
- Add maple syrup to the pan and mix with apples.
- Add all remaining ingredients and mix until the oats are thick and creamy. You may add more liquid for a more runny consistency.
- Transfer to bowl and add toppings if desired
- Enjoy warm or store the remaining serving in the refrigerator.
Do you feel equipped with the necessary knowledge regarding one of the top superfoods on the planet and fully understand the best time to take maca root?
By using natural supplements like maca root to improve health issues, you can correct nagging symptoms and see a performance boost without the unwanted side effects of prescription medications. However, if you’re experiencing consistent issues such as fatigue or GI upset, it may be important to consider an elimination diet or see a functionally trained health professional to help determine the root cause of the problem.
Join forces with a practitioner for a deep dive into your gut health, hormones, and diet. Say goodbye to constant fatigue, stress, constant soreness, anxiety, and chronic inflammation with a personalized plan just for you.
Eager to get started? Check out our virtual coaching packages and then book a free 15-minute strategy call to talk with a member of our team about mapping out a plan just for you. Let’s chart a course for success with your very own virtual nutrition coaching!