Sourced from the root of a turnip-like plant called lepidium meyenii, maca root is a very popular vegetable supplement. Traditionally grown in Peru at high altitudes, maca root is known for its natural nutritional profile as well as some unique benefits. Although more research is needed to understand maca root’s effectiveness, many tout it as an energy booster and adaptogen.  

Maca roots are grown in a variety of colors, including red, pink, black and yellow. Part of maca’s popularity stems from its natural nutritional profile, including Vitamin C, iron, and potassium. It’s typically available in either a capsule or powdered form. Some folks dislike its earthy taste, and avoid it in powdered form, while others sprinkle it into smoothies or desserts. We took a look under the hood at some of the best maca root available and gave our picks.

best maca root 2

Best Capsule:

NaturaLife Labs Maca

Pros:

  • Each two capsule serving of Nutra Champs Maca contains 1,000mg of organic maca root sourced from red, yellow, and black maca. 
  • Maca is organically grown in Peru. 
  • In addition to maca, each serving contains 5mg of black pepper extract, designed to help increase absorption.
  • Vegan friendly and made with non-GMO ingredients. 

Cons:

  • Two capsules per serving may be a bit annoying for some.
  • From a cost per serving perspective, these capsules are a bit more expensive than most powdered versions of maca. 
Nutra Champs Maca
Nutra Champs Maca
Nutra Champs Maca

Nutra Champs offers a strong dose of organic maca root sourced from red, yellow, and black maca. Each two capsule serving contains 1,000mg of maca root with an additional boost of 5mg of black pepper extract, intended to help make the maca root more bioavailable.

Best Powder:

Terrasoul Superfoods Organic Gelatinized Maca Powder

Pros:

  • Terrasoul Superfoods Organic Gelatinized Maca Powder is made from yellow, red, and black maca roots. 
  • While this version is gelatinized to ease digestion, a raw version is also available from the same seller. 
  • Terrasoul Superfoods uses third party testing to ensure purity in their maca root powder. 
  • Delivered in a resealable pouch. 
  • Each ½ tsp serving of this maca powder contains 2g of maca root. 

Cons:

  • There’s no scoop included with this pouch, so folks will have to measure for themselves. 
  • Those who are not familiar with the taste of maca powder and not eager to try new vegetables may want to stick to capsules. 
Terrasoul Superfoods Organic Gelatinized Maca Powder
Terrasoul Superfoods Organic Gelatinized Maca Powder
Terrasoul Superfoods Organic Gelatinized Maca Powder

Terrasoul Superfoods Organic Gelatinized Maca Powder is made from a blend of yellow, red, and black maca roots. Packaged in a resealable pouch, this may be a great option for folks looking to sprinkle maca into coffee, smoothies, or other food items. 

Competing Powder:

BulkSupplements Maca Root Extract Powder

Pros:

  • Each ½ tsp serving of Bulk Supplements Maca Root Extract Powder contains 1,000mg of maca root extract. 
  • Comes in a resealable foil zip pouch. 
  • Third party tested for purity. 
  • Only ingredient is maca root extract powder.
  • Very reasonably priced on a cost per serving basis.

Cons:

  • Some folks complained that the taste of this powder was pretty strong. 
BulkSupplements Maca Root Extract Powder
BulkSupplements Maca Root Extract Powder
BulkSupplements Maca Root Extract Powder

Folks looking for a very straightforward source of maca powder may want to check out this offering from BulkSupplements. Each ½ tsp serving of this reasonably priced supplement contains 1,000mg of maca root.

Methodology

Maca root is a popular supplement derived from a turnip-like plant typically grown in the mountains of Peru. More research is needed to ascertain how it works, but it has long believed to be an effective supplement in bolstering libido among men and women. Before checking out a particular brand of maca root, check out some of the key features to consider while shopping. 

Raw vs. Gelatinized

Though the term gelatinized may sound like gelatin has been added, that’s not the case; it’s still a vegan product. Gelatinized maca is boiled before it’s ground up, which takes out some of its starchiness. While this does deplete some of the natural nutrients as well, it makes it easier to digest for many folks. 

Raw maca, on the other hand, is simply dried before being ground up into a powder. This process keeps all of its nutrients intact. However, some folks have a harder time digesting raw maca. 

Maca Color

Maca root is grown in a variety of colors, the most common being yellow, black, and red. While there are some who believe each color has its own unique properties, no research exists to back this up. 

Dosage

While there’s no widely agreed upon dosage for maca root, most studies that have been conducted to test its efficacy utilize around 1g to 5g daily. It’s wise to consult a medical professional about what’s best for you. 

Powder vs. Capsule

Many people enjoy the unique flavor of maca, claiming that the nuttiness and earthiness is a great compliment to coffees and desserts. Others disagree with that assessment and stick to capsules. While capsules are a bit more expensive on a per serving basis, they may be more convenient. 

Cost

Divide the total cost of each product by the amount of servings. Note that some brands actually require multiple capsules per serving, so don’t just divide by the amount of pills in the bottle. 

Purity

When shopping for any supplement it’s important to know what’s inside the capsule or the powder. Take a close look at the ingredients list to ensure no additives, preservatives, or other unnecessary fillers have been mixed in. Independent third party testing for maca root is not widely available at this time, but some brands will make their third party test results available upon request. 

FAQ

Can maca root make you gain weight?

Maca root itself is not intended to make anyone gain weight. However, some folks do report an increased appetite upon taking it. If weight management is a goal, it’s wise to consult a dietician or a health professional. 

What does maca root do for you?

Maca root may have a handful of benefits, including increased libido and helping to stave off symptoms of menopause. However, much more research is needed to substantiate these claims.

How long do you have to take maca to see results?

The effectiveness of maca will vary from person to person. However, as with most supplements, it’s important to try to take it as regularly as possible. 

BarBend Tips

  • Consult a medical professional before adding any supplement to a daily health regimen. 
  • If maca root is right for you, try to be consistent with when it’s taken. 

Maca root is an intriguing natural supplement. Although more research is needed to ascertain how it works, it may have some beneficial effects for a lot of folks.