How Men Can Benefit From Maca
Maca is a nutritional powerhouse that has been in use for thousands of years as a Peruvian traditional medicine and dietary staple. The food is unique in that it affects women and men differently.
In this article, we detail how and why men should incorporate Maca into their daily lives.
Maca for men is a natural way to increase the production of testosterone, improve stamina and energy, and build muscle. It may also be effective for relieving depression and improving mental clarity.
The Major Benefits of Maca for Men
Maca is known for its health benefits, but does it live up to the hype? Below, we list down some of the benefits of Maca for men – all of which have been backed by science.
- Maca has been linked to improved libido.
Among the top reasons men choose to take Maca is to restore or improve their libido. Whether Maca is an effective aphrodisiac is debatable; however, Maca does work on several levels to support a healthy sex drive. First, its high-nutrient content and several vitamins including manganese, iron, and potassium revitalizes the whole body. Second, Maca works to support healthy testosterone levels, thus increasing vitality, energy, and stamina. Finally, Maca contains nutrients known as macamides and macaenes which are linked with supporting a healthy libido.
Research suggests that Maca has the ability to boost your libido.
In one study, researchers gave men aged 21 to 56 3 grams of Maca or placebo per day. After 8 weeks, the men taking Maca saw an improvement in their sexual desire compared to those taking placebo.
In another study, researchers gave 50 men with mild erectile dysfunction 2.4 grams of Maca extract or a placebo. After 12 weeks, the men taking Maca experienced a significant improvement in their sexual performance.
- Maca increases male fertility.
In addition to improving libido and sexual performance, Maca also increases male fertility.
In one study, researchers provided 20 male volunteers aged 24 to 40 with Maca or a placebo. After taking 1.4 grams of Maca every day for 12 weeks, men taking Maca experienced improved sperm concentration and motility. Another systematic review of small randomized clinical trials showed similar results that Maca did in fact improve semen quality.
- Maca reduces erectile dysfunction.
Maca is like the Viagra of super foods in that it can help reduce erectile dysfunction. In one study, researchers gave 50 men with mild erectile dysfunction 2.4 grams of Maca extract or a placebo. After 12 weeks, the men who took the Maca extract experienced a major improvement on their sexual performance.
- Maca may help boost energy and sports performance.
Maca is a popular supplement among athletes and bodybuilders. It has been claimed to help increase strength, boost energy, improve exercise performance, and improve muscle building. Also, some studies indicate that it enhances endurance performance.
Moreover, one study in eight male cyclists found that they improved the time it took them to complete a nearly 40km bike ride after 14 days of Maca supplementation.
- Maca may help protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun.
UV rays from the sun may burn and damage exposed, unprotected skin. Over time, UV radiation can cause wrinkles and fine lines, and can increase your risk of skin cancer. If you wish to protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun, Maca can help!
There is some evidence suggesting that applying Maca extract to your skin may help protect it from UV radiation. This protective effect is attributed to the glucosinolates and polyphenol antioxidants found in Maca.
However, keep in mind that Maca cannot replace a conventional sunscreen.
- Maca may help improve your mood.
Looking for a natural way to improve your mood? Maca can help!
Several studies have shown that Maca can help enhance your mood. It has been linked with reduced anxiety and symptoms of depression. Maca contains plant compounds known as flavonoids, which have been suggested to be partially responsible for these psychological benefits.
- Maca may help reduce prostate size.
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), also known as prostate enlargement, is a non-cancerous increase in size of the prostate gland. Symptoms may include loss of bladder control, frequent urination, weak stream, trouble starting to urinate, or an inability to urinate. Benign prostatic hyperplasia is common among aging men.
Prostate enlargement can cause various health problems. It can cause uncomfortable urinary symptoms, such as blocking the flow of urine out of the bladder. It can also cause urinary tract, kidney, or bladder problems. There are several treatments for prostate enlargement, including medications, minimally invasive therapies, and surgery. However, if you are looking for a natural alternative, you can consider Maca.
Interestingly, a few rodent studies suggest that red Maca reduces prostate size. It has been proposed that the effect of red Maca on the prostate is due to its high amount of glucosinolates – this substance is also linked with a reduced risk of prostate cancer.
How to take Maca
Maca can be found in most local pharmacies and health stores. The most common form you’ll find is Maca powder, and its nutty and earthy flavor blends well with steamed milk and smoothies. Adding a scoop of Maca powder into your morning smoothie seems to be the most popular way to use it.
Maca comes in other forms as well, though they aren’t as common. You may also find Maca liquid extracts and capsules. Also, most supplements on the market are made from yellow Maca, and those made from black Maca or red Maca may offer slightly different health benefits.
Safety and Side Effects
Generally, Maca is considered to be safe for consumption. However, Peruvian natives believe that consuming fresh Maca root may have adverse health effects, thus they recommend boiling it first.
Additionally, if you have thyroid problems, you may want to be careful with Maca. Why? This is because Maca contains goitrogens – substances that may interfere with the normal function of your thyroid gland. These compounds are more likely to affect you if your thyroid function is already impaired.
Also, if you take blood-thinning medications (i.e., warfarin or aspirin) talk to your doctor before taking Maca.
Should men include it in their diet regularly? If so, how much?
If you want to use it as a supplement, avoid taking Maca in large amounts. The studied doses of Maca powder are 1,500 to 3,000mg per day. It mixes well with oatmeal, steamed milk, energy bars, baked goods, and smoothies.
Maca seems to have a low potential for toxicity, but there aren’t enough studies to support using this supplement regularly for its attributed benefits. More research is necessary before health-related recommendations can be provided.
Potential Risks and Considerations
At this point, it is clear that the biggest concern with Maca is that the available research is limited. Though it has been used for centuries, research is still catching up. Animal studies and small clinical trials are a good start, but their findings do not allow us to say for sure that the health benefits observed, and the lack of side effects, actually hold true in humans or bigger populations.
Maca side effects tend to be anecdotal, suggesting that the medicinal supplement is generally well-tolerated. These self-reported side effects include a jittery feeling or heightened alertness that disturbed sleep; however, the science isn’t there to back up these claims. However, remember that even if it’s generally considered safe, you should still consult your doctor or healthcare provider before taking any supplement like Maca.
Also, there are still some groups of people for which Maca is not recommended. Maca, like Brussels sprouts and cabbage, contains goitrogens – substances that could interfere with the normal functioning of your thyroid gland. For this reason, it may severely affect people with already impaired thyroid function (i.e. people with hypothyroidism). It’s also not recommended for people with hormone-sensitive conditions like uterine fibroids, breast cancer, or endometriosis, since Maca may act like estrogen in the body and make these conditions worse.
The Bottom Line
Maca is a nutritional powerhouse that has been in use for thousands of years as a Peruvian traditional medicine and dietary staple. Today, it is becoming increasingly popular among men as a health supplement.
Supplementing with Maca may provide several health benefits for men, such as increased libido, improved male fertility, enhanced energy and sports performance, reduced prostate size, and better mood. However, the available research is still limited and further study is necessary.
Maca is generally considered safe for consumption. It mixes well with oatmeal, steamed milk, energy bars, baked goods, and smoothies. However, Maca is not recommended for men with impaired thyroid function and hormone-sensitive conditions as Maca may aggravate these conditions.