Maca root is rightfully getting a lot of the spotlight right now as a crucial ingredient to put inside smoothies. Grown exclusively inside the Peruvian Andes, maca has a history of being used by indigenous tribes, for supporting fertility and energy. But how does maca root really work? And what is the best way to consume it? Here is what science says.
What is maca root?
As part of the brassica family of veggies (which includes rapeseed, broccoli, kale and radish), maca is grown within harsh climates of the central Andes and is known as an adaptogenic herb – which means a herb that helps your body cope with mental, physical and emotional stresses.
The turnip-shaped root is usually dried and boiled before you eat it. The benefits of maca come from its unique nutrient profiles.
Maca helps boosts energy and lower stress
The unique balance of its ingredients helps your body build resistance to stress and raise your mental and physical stamina.
Studies have revealed that active components inside maca increase the activity of antioxidant enzymes and aids cells in creating energy more effectively. Therefore maca can lower your fatigue or exhaustion during stressful times.
This adaptogenic effect causes maca root to be a popular choice for athletes. One study looked at the performance effects of maca for a soccer team from Cusco. The players took 1500 mg each day for 60 days, and tests were done to find the oxygen consumption, speed and performance, before and after this ingestion.
Results revealed a 10.3 percent boost in physical performance among the players and a boost in oxygen consumption of as much as 33%. Based on these numbers, it is believed that maca root helps the physical performance in humans.
Research also links maca root to increasing fertility
Maca is also a traditional solution for fertility problems, although human research here is lacking. Studies done on male animal show that taking maca can boost seminal volume and and sperm motility – independent of any hormonal changes. Maca is also proven to greatly improve even mild ED and sexual wellbeing compared to a placebo.
Author: Scott Dowdy