Do you feel overwhelmed by the number of supposed testosterone boosters on the market? Looking for something that’s proven to work and won’t break the bank?
According to a number of peer-reviewed studies, there is a strong positive correlation between maca, testosterone, and overall health.
Maca root is a health staple used in homes across South America, but it’s only been within the last decade or so that it has made its way into the West. Used as a means to support longevity, thyroid health, and workout recovery, many experts are now recommending maca root testosterone supplements to naturally increase men’s hormone levels.
But does maca increase testosterone?
For guys who are searching for a natural and effective way to safely increase their testosterone levels, maca root could be the answer. Let’s take a look at the maca benefits for men.
- What is Maca root?
- Benefits of Maca root
- Can Maca boost testosterone?
- How to use Maca for the best results
- Has Maca any side effects?
Maca root is a staple in households across Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador. Studies show that it has been in the Andean diet for thousands of years to promote sexual performance, longevity, and overall wellness.
Related article: Does high testosterone make you mean?
Famously grown in the Andes or Sacred Valley of Central Peru, maca root is one tough vegetable. It thrives at high altitudes between 11,000 and 14,500 feet during growing season, and depending on the elevation level, you will find it might have a slightly changed but still beneficial nutrient content.
What’s more, there are three different colors of maca. While all are beneficial, containing most of the same benefits, they do differ slightly. Many health experts suggest matching the maca color to your specific health needs. The three colors are yellow, red, and black:
This color of maca makes up more than half of the total amount of harvested maca. Depending on the growing season, yellow maca can account for up to 70% of the harvest, making it the most cost-effective and readily available.
Yellow maca is commonly used to increase energy levels including mental focus. Women tend to use it for hormone health and to promote fertility.
Red maca is the second most common color of maca, accounting for up to 25% of the harvest, depending on a number of factors during the growing season.
Red maca is very similar to yellow maca, but many women will use it to alleviate symptoms of menopause. Men and women can use red maca for fertility, thyroid, and skin issues.
Black maca makes up the smallest percentage of the harvest, but it’s considered by many to be the most potent and valuable, making it the most expensive of the three colors.
Black maca is almost exclusively recommended for men because it is used to promote prostate health, boost hormone (testosterone) levels, and support exercise performance.
As a powder or capsule, maca is a convenient supplement that can support your health. Here are the proven benefits of maca for men:
Arguably the number one marketing claim for maca is based on its potential as a libido booster.
As we age or when our lifestyle decisions negatively impact our hormone health, sexual desire and cravings tend to decrease. This tends to be more prevalent with men as many experts agree that males hit their sexual peak earlier than women.
If you have noticed a dip in your mojo, maca root can help. Studies show that consistent supplementation with maca root can effectively increase libido, sexual drive, and sexual desire.
One study found that it only took eight weeks of maca supplementation before subjects – men and women – noticed a significant boost in their libido.
Continuing with the point above, as men age, they become less fertile. Your fertility is also dependent upon a few other factors such as lifestyle choices and diet.
For example, sedentary men who smoke are going to be far less fertile when compared to a man of the same age who exercises and doesn’t smoke.
If you’re trying to conceive or if you recently got bad news from your doctor and you want to boost your sperm production and sperm count, try maca root.
The catch? You have to be consistent with daily maca supplementation to maximize the benefits.
Did you know that our hormones have a direct effect on levels of depression and sadness? It should come as no surprise that if you’re having issues with your hormones, you might feel off or not like yourself.
Men who have low testosterone levels and women with menopause tend to report increased feelings of depression.
Studies show that incorporating a maca supplement into your daily routine can improve symptoms of depression. The catch here is that all of the studies have been performed on women with menopause.
However, if maca can support testosterone levels then it might be able to help with depression for men. More on this below.
Supports Exercise Performance
Everyone from the average Joe to the professional bodybuilder is looking for a way to have higher energy levels during their workouts.
Most people will turn to artificially flavored pre-workouts that are high in caffeine and not much else. Maca root could be a healthier and equally effective alternative.
One study found that maca root supplementation helped to improve endurance in animals. Another human-based study showed that maca root decreased fatigue and boosted exercise performance. Both studies had small sample sizes, but there is a lot of promise here. This could be why many supplements are putting maca into their whey protein and pre-workout products.
Promotes Cognitive Function
Did you know that the brain doesn’t stop developing at the age of 25 as many experts once suggested?
Brain and cognitive development is ongoing. But it’s important to use it or you lose it. Nutrition and dietary choices also play a major role in your brain health. Maca root is a proven way to promote a healthy brain.
One study found that maca root actually protects your brain from age-related breakdown. How does it do that?
The nutrients in maca root help to increase autophagy or the process by which your brain cleans itself out and gets rid of harmful environmental byproducts and compounds. Maca root can also support the health of mitochondria, the powerhouse of the cell, especially brain cells.
Maca’s effect on your brain goes beyond age and condition; many studies suggest that maca root can help to improve the learning process and memory.
One study found that rats who were given maca root demonstrated higher levels of spatial and performance memory. One thing to note for guys: Black maca was found to be the most potent in regards to cognitive benefits.
Even if you are in great health and you aren’t having issues with your hormones, mental state, or thyroid, maca root can be used to promote longevity and overall wellness.
Given its highly nutritious content, maca root is a powerhouse of important vitamins and minerals. If you’re considering a multivitamin, maca root may be a healthier and more natural substitute. Maca root contains high or considerable levels of vitamin C, copper, iron, potassium, vitamin B6, and manganese.
Now, for the most important question: What is the relationship between maca and testosterone? Can maca root increase your levels of testosterone?
The short answer is maybe.
Now for a bit more detail: Maca root supplementation has been shown in studies to increase luteinizing hormone and testosterone levels in rats. And these results have been replicated a number of times. However, just because maca root boosts testosterone levels in rats doesn’t mean it’s an effective method for humans.
With that said, a fairly recent study found that maca root does have androgenic effects on humans. Researchers did not confirm that maca root had a direct influence on testosterone levels, but they did note that it can support androgenic properties. Here’s the quote from the study:
“Our case of assay interference suggests that maca contains a compound with similar moiety to the human testosterone molecule. Maca may be exerting its androgenic effects through actions at the testosterone receptor on target organs without affecting level of testosterone or gonadotrophins.”
With that said, maca root might not directly increase testosterone levels, but it certainly supports all of the systems responsible for healthy testosterone production. Maca root contains compounds called alkylamides, which influence the endocrine system. The very system that plays a major role in testosterone production.
To sum it up: Taking maca root supplements provides only benefit and no side effects (as we’ll get into more below).
Maca is a root vegetable that cannot be consumed raw. You can cook it and serve it as a side dish, but the most popular way to consume maca is in powder form.
Growers of maca will dry the root, pulverize it into a powder, and sell it as is or in capsule form. You can even find maca in tincture (liquid) form, but this is not as common as a powder-based supplement.
If you do choose the powder (non-capsule) form, you will notice that maca has a very distinct taste. Many people note that maca root powder has a nutty and earthy taste, making it ideal for protein shakes or comparable flavors such as oatmeal. You can even include it in your baking for an extra nutritional boost.
Dosage of Maca Supplements
The majority of the studies that we mentioned above used three grams (3,000 milligrams) of maca root. Following those guidelines, we recommend using a daily dosage of three grams of maca root.
Yes, you can certainly use more and you won’t have to worry about side effects. But to save money, stick with three to five grams per day. You can split it up in the morning and afternoon.
If you’re using the powder form, put 1.5 grams (1,500 milligrams) into your morning shake, cereal, or coffee. Take another 1.5 grams in the afternoon or evening, preferably before a workout.
If you’re taking a capsule-based supplement, keep in mind that you might need to double or triple the dosage each day to hit that three-gram goal.
Powder or capsules: Which should you choose? If cost is an issue, consider the powder form, which is less expensive. If you don’t like the taste of maca root, go with the capsules.
Plenty of studies have confirmed that maca root is safe to consume. No side effects have ever been reported. However, there is one catch.
Remember how we said that you cannot consume it raw? It has long been believed in Andean culture that you must first boil maca root before eating it. This might have something to do with your thyroid health.
Studies show that maca root contains goitrogens, which can negatively influence your thyroid health, especially if you already have a history of thyroid complications.
Maca Testosterone: Naturally High Levels
Did you recently get back a less-than-ideal blood test that shows you have low testosterone levels? Aside from improving your diet and exercising more, you might want to find a natural testosterone-boosting supplement.
We recommend resisting the urge of going with testosterone replacement therapy until it’s the only option left. Instead, look for tried-and-true (and scientifically proven) ingredients that can help to boost your testosterone levels. Maca root is that ingredient.
Studies show that supplementing with three to five grams of maca on a daily basis can support your hormone health, thyroid health, and cognitive health while improving exercise performance.