Maca root powder has gained popularity among natural bodybuilders, as it may be beneficial for muscle growth because it:
- is rich in protein
- may boost energy levels
- may promote muscle recovery
- may reduce stress
What is maca powder?
Maca is the root of the maca plant. It is grown in the mountains of Peru. In most cases, maca is grown at an altitude above 13,000 feet (4,000 m) from the sea level. It may be the highest-altitude crop in the world.
Moreover, the maca plant is used in the region, for medical purposes for thousands of years. It is believed that maca has helped the locals to withstand the harsh conditions.
Research has shown that maca may affect sexual behavior, fertility, mood, high blood pressure, memory, osteoporosis, and metabolism. Maybe some health benefits are due to maca unique compounds, called macamides. No other plant contains them. Further research is needed, though.
Most noteworthy, maca is known for its ability to correct hormonal imbalances in men and women. Maca root powder may help women entering perimenopausal.
Is maca root powder good for bodybuilding?
First, maca root powder is beneficial for athletes who want increased muscle growth because it’s 20% protein. A tablespoon of maca contains approximately 3.5 grams of protein.
Maca powder contains 19 amino acids. It’s a complete plant-based protein, as it contains all 9 essential amino acids. The most abundant amino acids of maca powder are arginine, serine, histidine, aspartic acid, glutamic acid, glycine, valine, phenylalanine, tyrosine, and threonine.
Another good dietary supplement for building muscle mass is moringa powder. Moringa powder is 30% protein. It’s also a plant-based complete protein!
Moreover, maca powder is rich in dietary fiber (20%), and sugars (40%).
Most noteworthy, maca is beneficial for bodybuilding because it’s considered a non-hormonal energizing supplement. It can assist physically active people, and athletes who follow strenuous workouts. It may help athletes workout harder more often.
Maca root powder may increase the energy and vitality of a person. It acts as an energy stimulus. Maca root powder increases both endurance and muscular stamina.
Some maca manufactures claim that maca root powder reduces muscle recovery time. In a study, researchers gave bike athletes maca powder. It improved their performance.
Also, maca stimulates the metabolism, which is key for a lean body.
Last, but not least, maca powder may reduce stress.
According to another study, maca supplementation promotes overall health.
How to consume maca for muscle growth?
You can add a teaspoon of maca powder to your favorite post-workout smoothie. Antioxidants and protein in maca root powder may promote muscle recovery.
Furthermore, you could add a tsp of amla powder to your post-workout smoothie. Amla is another food supplement which may support muscle recovery due to its high antioxidant content.
However, it’s better to avoid consuming high amounts of maca powder right before exercise. As it’s high in fiber, maca root powder may cause disturbance to people with a sensitive stomach. Athletes shouldn’t consume fiber before exercise.
Does maca have side effects?
Maca doesn’t have any significant side effects.
Certainly, you should consult your healthcare provider before taking maca root powder or any other dietary supplement.
People who take drugs should be very cautious. For instance, there are reports that maca extracts might act like estrogen. Patients with hormonal conditions should consult their physician before taking maca root supplements.
Maca root doesn’t contain plant estrogens, though. It’s only rich in phytosterols. These beneficial phytonutrients have been linked to decreased LDL cholesterol, cancer risk, and weight loss.
How much maca root powder per day for muscle growth?
Consumption of maca is considered pretty safe. You could start taking just a teaspoon of maca root powder a day. Gradually increase the consumed dosage, if you don’t experience any side effects. As a rule of thumb, athletes could benefit from taking 1-2 teaspoons of maca root powder a day.
You can find a wide variety of maca root supplement on iHerb. The recommended intake for athletes is a capsule a day. Most dietary supplements contain 500 mg of maca root powder per capsule.