Best Maca Supplement 2023: Top 5 Maca Powders & Pills
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- Uses certified organic maca powder.
- Gelatinized maca.
Naturalife Labs Organic Maca
- Uses certified organic maca powder.
- Gelatinized maca.
- Made in an FDA-registered Good Manufacturing Practice facility.
Vivolife Organic Maca
- 100% organic maca powder.
- High-dose loose powder.
- Vegan, organic, and Fairtrade.
- Batch tested for heavy metals and pesticides.
Maca root, otherwise known as Lepidium meyenii or Peruvian ginseng, is a root vegetable that can be dried and taken as a powdered supplement.
Maca is known as an adaptogenic herb that people around the world take to improve hormone balance, improve mood, increase libido, and boost energy levels. Maca root is also rich in essential vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, calcium, and dietary fiber. However, the specific nutrient contents change depending on whether the maca is raw or heat-treated (gelatinized).
But who should take maca supplements, and which is the best maca supplement to buy? Read on to find out.
Best Maca Root Pills And Powders In (May. 2023)
- Vega Maca – Editor’s Choice
- Naturalife Labs Organic Maca – Best Maca Supplement For Fertility
- Vivolife Organic Maca – Best Maca Powder Brand
- NOW Maca Capsules – Best Maca For Men
- KOS Maca Root Capsules – Best Maca Supplement Pill
Who Should Take Maca Supplements?
Men and women can both take maca root supplements, but maca tends to be more popular among postmenopausal women due to its hormone-balancing properties.
However, consult your health care practitioner before taking maca root powder if you are:
- Planning to take it continuously for more than three months.
- Post-menopausal and plan to take it continuously for more than six weeks.
- Pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Taking antidepressants or blood thinning medication.
- Diagnosed with high blood pressure.
- Diagnosed with breast cancer, as cell-based studies suggest that maca might increase the risk of metastases.
Here are the best maca root supplements for 2023.
5 Best Maca Root Pills And Powders In 2023
Vega Maca provides 750-milligram capsules of certified organic, gluten-free maca, gelatinized to improve digestibility and nutrient density.
- Certified organic.
- Plant a tree with every order.
- Only available in Canada.
- Only 19 customer reviews on the website and none on Amazon.
Vega Maca comes in one size, 120 capsules, and costs $39.89. Each capsule provides 750 milligrams of certified organic gelatinized maca, although it doesn’t say which colors of maca root are used.
Gelatinization means the maca is heat-treated to break down the starch and improve bioavailability, and digestibility.
Vega suggests a serving size of 2,500 milligrams of maca daily, which corresponds to three capsules. Other ingredients include the vegetarian capsule, microcrystalline cellulose, and magnesium stearate, an additive used to stabilize nutritional supplements.
Many customer reviews on the website said that this product noticeably increased their energy levels, with some also saying it increased their sex drive. There were no negative reviews, although there were only 19 customer reviews in total. What’s more, Vega offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Naturalife Labs Organic Maca
Naturalife Labs Organic Maca provides a high-dose blend of certified organic maca with no other ingredients or fillers.
- Certified organic ingredients.
- Made in the USA with organic Peruvian maca.
- No customer reviews on the website.
- Some customers experienced adverse effects.
Naturalife Labs Organic Maca contains a blend of black, red, and yellow certified organic maca. There are no other ingredients, only the vegetarian capsule made from plant cellulose.
Like most other maca supplements, the maca is gelatinized for easier digestion and higher bioavailability.
At 1,900 milligrams of organic maca per serving, it’s one of the most concentrated maca supplements on the market, making it the best maca supplement for libido and fertility.
Naturalife Labs claim that their maca supplement has been third-party lab-tested for purity and potency, including for solvent residues, heavy metals, pesticides, and toxins. However, we couldn’t find an example of the test results on their website. Nevertheless, the product is made in a Food and Drug Administration-registered Good Manufacturing Practice facility also called a cGMP facility.
Naturalife recommends taking two capsules once or twice daily with meals. This provides 1,900 milligrams of organic maca per serving, or two capsules, and each bottle contains 150 capsules or 75 servings. At $17.50 per bottle, that’s only 23 cents per serving.
Many customer reviews on Amazon.com say they have “noticed an increase in energy,” while others experienced adverse effects such as “extreme vaginal dryness and reduced sex drive.”
Vivolife Organic Maca
Vivolife is a well-established vegan company, and their maca powder is certified organic, gelatinized for bioavailability and potency, and batch-tested for purity.
- High dose.
- Certified by the Vegan Society.
- Organic and Fairtrade.
- Batch tested for heavy metals and pesticides.
- Powder rather than capsules.
- No customer reviews.
Vivolife Organic Maca root powder is made from 100% gelatinized yellow maca. Most importantly, Vivolife batch tests its maca to ensure it’s free from heavy metals and pesticides. The results are available to download from their website.
Recently, studies have shown that maca powders tend to exceed the safe values for cadmium and lead established by the World Health Organization. So, the transparent testing process makes Vivolife the best maca for women trying to conceive.
Vivolife maca powder comes in one size of 125 grams for $15.25. Each bag contains 25 recommended servings and costs 61 cents per serving.
They recommend consuming it by adding one to two rounded teaspoons (5-10 grams) to recipes and taking up to 15 grams daily. Each rounded teaspoon contains 5,000 mg of maca. However, we didn’t find any research to support taking a dose as high as what is recommended.
Although the Vivolife company has a lot of positive reviews on Trustpilot, there are no customer reviews of their maca powder specifically.
NOW Maca Capsules
NOW maca capsules provide 500 milligrams of maca per capsule, and their manufacturing process is certified by an established third party.
- Certified by Underwriters Laboratories.
- Made in an FDA-registered cGMP facility.
- Vegan- and Halal-friendly.
- Not organic.
- Not gelatinized.
NOW maca capsules provide 500 milligrams of maca per capsule. However, NOW does not state the color of the maca root they’ve included, and there is no indication that it has been gelatinized, although they do offer another powder maca product that is gelatinized.
Other ingredients are only the cellulose capsule and vegetable-derived stearic acid, also called E 570, a fatty acid used as a solvent and food additive with no known adverse effects.
We like that NOW’s manufacturing process is certified by Underwriters Laboratories, a third-party ensuring good manufacturing standards.
NOW recommends taking one capsule up to three times daily. Two bottle sizes are available; 100 capsules cost $12.99, and 250 capsules cost $26.99.
Customer reviews on Amazon.com say they have “seen a spike in energy,” with others noticing bigger breasts after taking the supplement for three weeks. However, while some customers say this supplement is “great for regulating your period,” other customers said that their menstrual “cycle is completely messed up” since taking NOW maca.
KOS Maca Root Capsules
KOS is a reputable brand offering organic maca capsules with great customer reviews and a 60-day money-back guarantee.
- Organic ingredients.
- Made in an FDA-registered cGMP facility.
- No other ingredients.
- A relatively new product.
- Only 14 customer reviews.
- The website does not say whether the product is gelatinized.
KOS is an award-winning fully vegan brand known for its protein powders. Their Maca Root Capsules provide 500 milligrams of organic maca root per serving in a vegetarian capsule with no other additives or ingredients. However, they do not state which color of maca they used in the capsules, nor do they say whether their maca is gelatinized.
KOS recommends taking two capsules per day, providing 1000 milligrams per serving. There are 60 servings per container, which costs $19.99.
Customer reviews on the website have noted a “positive effect on libido,” a “boost in mood,” and an “improvement in energy.” There are no negative reviews or mentions of adverse effects from taking the supplement.
However, there are only 14 customer reviews on their website, and they do not sell this product on Amazon.com, so it’s hard to verify the real-world effects of this supplement.
How We Ranked The Best Maca Supplements
We chose maca supplements that sourced their maca from Peru. While much of the world’s supply of maca is now grown in China, the quality of Chinese-grown maca is questionable.
We also made sure to select organic products as the heavy abuse of pesticides used in the mass production of maca might also reduce the quality of the final product.
Benefits Of Maca Root Supplements
Despite the hype, there isn’t yet enough scientific evidence to fully support the recommendation of maca for many of its proposed health benefits.
Nevertheless, there are small studies that suggest maca supplements might have a few health benefits in specific cases.
Might Improve Sexual Dysfunction
Maca is known for its libido-enhancing properties and is one of the most researched herbal remedies for erectile dysfunction, but does the evidence back up the claims?
As of yet, the research on healthy men and women seems inconclusive. A 2010 meta-analysis found only four controlled clinical trials assessing the effects of maca on sexual function in men and women. Two showed a positive effect on sexual desire in healthy menopausal women and healthy men, while another suggested a positive effect on erectile dysfunction. The fourth study found no effect on healthy cyclists.
However, if you have low libido as a side effect of taking antidepressants, maca might work. A 2022 systematic review suggests that high-dose maca supplements might improve antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction. They found that, compared to 1.5 grams daily, three grams of maca powder daily significantly improved sexual dysfunction.
Another study from 2015 suggests supplementing maca powder might improve sexual desire in depressed women who took three grams of maca powder daily for 12 weeks.
However, all these studies were small, and supplementing maca isn’t always plain sailing: maca can have various adverse effects as a sexual enhancement remedies, such as anxiety, mood swings, and even hallucinations.
Might Increase Sperm Count In Men
Sperm counts are declining in the Western world, and some studies suggest that supplementing maca might help.
One study in 69 infertile men found that supplementing two grams of maca powder daily for 12 weeks significantly increased sperm count. On the other hand, another clinical trial of 50 men with fertility problems found that taking 2.8 grams of gelatinized yellow maca daily for 16 weeks had no significant effects on sperm count, although it did reduce free testosterone levels.
However, a 2022 meta-analysis of five clinical trials found that, compared to a placebo, maca has unclear effects on semen quality.
The biggest problem is that all clinical trials to date have been too small to draw firm conclusions, so we need higher-quality studies before recommending maca supplements to improve semen quality in men.
Might Improve Symptoms Of Menopause
Menopause is accompanied by a change in hormone levels that often causes a variety of unwanted symptoms.
Studies in rats suggest that supplementing maca can increase levels of luteinizing hormone, which might enhance female fertility. Older studies in humans suggest that 3.5 grams of maca daily might improve psychological symptoms associated with menopause, such as depression and anxiety, independently of estrogen or androgen levels.
Another small study suggests that 3.5 grams of maca daily might also reduce diastolic blood pressure in depressed postmenopausal women.
However, these findings have not been reproduced in later studies, and more research is needed to determine the efficacy and safety of using maca supplements to help treat menopausal symptoms.
Might Support Energy Levels
Although there is no direct evidence that maca supplements increase subjective energy levels, maca is rich in essential nutrients and bioactive polysaccharides that support energy production, such as B vitamins, iron, and zinc.
Moreover, studies in mice suggest that macamides from maca root extract might relieve physical fatigue by reducing exercise-induced muscle damage. Macamides are the main bioactive components in maca with anti-inflammatory effects.
Rich In Essential Nutrients
Maca root is rich in essential vitamins and minerals, but the nutritional value might change depending on whether the maca is raw or has been gelatinized. Gelatinization removes the starch and might improve the bioavailability of some nutrients, but the process involves heat that might also break down other nutrients, such as vitamin C.
Raw maca, on the other hand, is higher in fiber and calcium but lower in iron than the gelatinized form. However, every maca product likely has a different nutrient value, so it’s important to check the label.
Other Health Benefits Of Maca
Some other potential benefits of supplementing maca in animal and cell-based studies might include:
- Enhanced skin protection from ultraviolet-induced oxidative damage.
- Reduced inflammation in benign prostatic hyperplasia.
- Improved absorption of nutrients in the gut.
- Slowed cognitive decline in middle age.
How Many Maca Pills Should I Take A Day?
There is no specific recommended dosage for maca, and the quality and potency of maca supplements vary wildly. Nevertheless, studies usually use maca doses of between 1.5–3 grams daily for at least 12 weeks. Some studies use up to 3.5 grams daily.
With most maca pills containing between 500-1,000 milligrams, that means you might need to take up to six or seven pills daily, spread throughout the day, to optimize absorption.
If pills aren’t your thing, you can also buy a loose maca powder and add it to cooking. For example, Vega suggests using their maca root powder to replace one-third of the flour in any baking recipe.
Maca root powder supplements are proposed to help improve libido, infertility, sperm count, and menopausal symptoms. However, much of this comes from very small studies, and we do not yet have high-quality scientific research to back up most of these claims.
Nevertheless, there’s a lot of anecdotal evidence that maca supplements have had a positive impact on mood, energy levels, and sexual desire, so it’s worth trying if you’re looking for a herbal remedy.
However, buying a good-quality maca supplement from a well-known brand is crucial due to the mass production of maca with heavy pesticide usage in China and many maca samples being contaminated with heavy metals.
That’s why, in this article, we suggested the five best maca supplements for you to try.
Frequently Asked Questions
Gelatinized maca might have greater bioavailability, meaning it’s likely more effective than raw maca root powder. Yellow maca powder has been the most researched, but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the most effective.
You can take maca powder in pill form or powdered form. The best is the one that suits your lifestyle the most. If you need a higher dose, the powdered form might be better.
There’s no strong evidence that maca root supplements alter sex hormones in women, but supplementing maca might improve symptoms of antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction and depression.
Most studies provide between 1.5-3 grams of maca daily for 12 weeks. Some anecdotal reports suggest some people notice positive changes in mood and energy after a few weeks.
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