Last Updated on June 26, 2022 by Cristina
Maca root is a famous Peruvian plant that’s often recommended as a food supplement. So, is it true that maca root helps gain weight and what other benefits does maca root have? Does maca root help with hormonal disbalance, muscle build-up, gastrointestinal issues, or all the other issues it’s often marketed as effective against. And, probably the most cited benefit of maca root – libido and fertility, does it really help with those? We’ll cover each of those points below.
Maca Root Helps Gain Weight – True Or False?
Maca root is often recommended to people who are trying to gain weight in a healthy manner. And it is true, maca root helps gain weight and it does so in a healthy manner when taken in the appropriate dose.
As with any other supplement, however, just taking maca root wouldn’t be enough, regardless of what’s the issue you’re trying to tackle. A rich, nutritional, and healthy diet is still a must as is regular exercise for gaining muscle mass. If you use maca root supplements such as maca powder alongside a good diet, however, you can expect to see positive effects.
All that being said, maca root is not a panacea when it comes to gaining weight. In fact, study evidence is sparse when it comes to maca’s benefits to weight gain. However, what’s undisputed is that maca root does have numerous health benefits regarding our muscle build-up, bone health, digestive tracts, metabolism, and hormonal levels. And all of those, combined with a good diet, can help get your desired and balanced weight gain.
So, it’s technically true that maca root helps gain weight. However, you can’t count on that to alone fix your problems or even to be the major part of the process – it is just a good all-around supplement.
What Minerals, Vitamins, And Other Nutrients Does Maca Root Include?
Maca root helps gain weight and offers its other health benefits through the wide range mix of amino acids, fatty acids, minerals, vitamins, and other ingredients it has. Some of the major ones include:
- Calcium (450 g per 100 g of maca root)
- Magnesium (104 mg per 100 g)
- Potassium (1500 mg per 100 g)
- Phosphorus (220 mg per 100 g)
- Iron (25 mg per 100 g)
- Sodium (25 mg per 100 g)
- Selenium (20 mcg per 100 g)
- Boron (5 mg per 100 g)
- Manganese (8 mg per 100 g)
- Copper (5 mg per 100 g)
- Vitamin B1 Thamin (1 mg per 100 g)
- Vitamin C Ascorbic Acid (3 mg per 100 g)
- Vitamin B2 Riboflavin (.76 mg per 100 g)
- Niacin (35 mg per 100 g)
- Almost all essential amino acids including Aspartic, Serine, Glutamic, Histidine, Arginine, Tyrosine, and others
- 20 free fatty acids
- 59% carbohydrates
- 10.2% protein
- 8.5% fiber
As you can see even just from this limited list, maca root is stuffed to the brim with beneficial nutrients.
What Else Is Maca Root Helpful For? – Maca Root Helps Gain Weight
The various health benefits of maca root are well established – most more so than whether or not maca root helps gain weight. Some of the main reasons why maca root supplements are recommended include:
- Fertility problems in both men and women
- Libido deficiencies in both men and women
- Fragile bones
- Poor memory
- Muscle build-up
- Fatigue and lack of energy
- Ease menopausal symptoms as well as the symptoms of hormonal disbalance in postmenopausal women
- Alleviates digestive tract issues
Again, the level of evidence each of these points is supported by varies. Either way, as with any other food supplement, it’s always important to consult with your physician before you self-prescribe it to yourself.
Are There Any Drawbacks, Side Effects, Or Risks To Taking Maca Root?
There isn’t any solid evidence of maca root having negative health effects. In any case, we know what’s in it and there isn’t anything dangerous or toxic there. That being said, there are a few things to consider:
- Most commercial maca root powder supplements don’t list their ingredients properly and/or aren’t approved officially, so we often can’t be 100% sure of what we’re getting – only get maca from a provider you can trust!
- Taking more than 3 to 5 grams of maca a day can lead to fatigue. Even if you stay within this limit, if you’re taking other supplements that have similar content, you can also experience fatigue.
- Maca root isn’t recommended for people with thyroid issues as it contains goitrogens and those can disrupt the production of thyroid hormones if you have a thyroid condition.
- Due to insufficient research, potent supplements like maca are often not recommended for your children and pregnant women.
Conclusion On Maca Root Helps Gain Weight
Aside from that, however, if you’ve consulted with a reputable physician you trust and they’ve recommended maca root, this is a great supplement with various uses.
How much maca should I take to gain weight?
There is no official dosage that’s cited for everyone to follow but most studies and estimates suggest 3 to 5 grams of maca powder per day, added to your nutritional shakes or meals. This quantity seems more than enough to promote a healthier cell and muscle health, as well as the build-up of weight alongside a healthy diet and an exercise regime.
What does maca root do for your body?
Maca root and the supplements made out of it are incredibly rich in iodine and iron. This is excellent for promoting good cell health and keeping your metabolism on track. What’s more, maca root also contains significant quantities of calcium which is excellent for your bone health, potassium which is great for helping you build up muscle mass and improving your digestive tract; as well as many vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
What does maca root do to hormones?
The reason maca root is often recommended for postmenopausal women is that it’s been proven effective at reducing the discomfort associated with hormonal level changes. More than just reducing symptoms, studies have shown that maca root actually helps balance out hormonal issues in the body.
Does maca make you sleepy?
There is evidence that sleepiness and fatigue can be side effects of maca root use, however, they seem to be symptoms of overuse rather than just side effects of taking low doses. This means that when people keep to a 3-5 gram daily intake routine, maca root doesn’t tend to make them sleepy.
An exception can occur when the person is taking other supplements alongside the maca root such as extra potassium. Such intake shouldn’t be necessary, however, as maca root already includes an abundance of potassium. Just to be safe and to avoid any potential side effects, always consult with your physician before taking maca root and/or mixing it with other supplements.