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maca powder and maca root

Maca Benefits – What Happens When You Take Maca Powder?

Maca is an under-the-radar superfood that has many health benefits. I stumbled upon maca powder while looking for smoothie ingredients and I’m so glad I did. Its earthy flavor balances out sweet additions to smoothies. Maca benefits and its restorative properties are undeniable. Here’s what happened after I started adding maca to my diet…and also my two favorite maca smoothie recipes.

Maca (Lepidium meyenii) is a Peruvian root that’s native to the high Andes Mountains. It’s been used for at least 3,000 years for its medicinal and restorative benefits. It continues to be a common addition to Peruvian diets and is now gaining popularity in the United States.

Before it becomes the maca powder found in stores, it is a plant that is a member of the cruciferous family – the same as broccoli.

Maca is jam packed with nutritional properties, including over a dozen amino acids, Vitamins B, C & E, and minerals like calcium, zinc, iron and potassium.

Clinical studies on maca are limited, but there are several ailments it is believed to relieve, and many other benefits it provides such as:

7 Benefits of Maca

  1. It’s a mood enhancer and helps with depression
  2. Helps with chronic fatigue syndrome
  3. Increases fertility*
  4. Balances hormones
  5. Fights cancers such as stomach cancer and leukemia
  6. Treats menopause
  7. Boosts energy, stamina and athletic performance!

*WebMd.com reports it maca is even used in agriculture to increase fertility in livestock. Why would ranchers use it if it didn’t work?

My experience with Maca

I’ve been using maca powder for about 2 weeks now. I add 1 tablespoon to smoothies and take a total of 1-2 tablespoons per day.

It has an earthy flavor that balances well in naturally sweet smoothies with ingredients like banana or cherry.  Maca brings a distinctive taste and its flavor can take over your recipe if you use too much, but it’s nutritional benefits justify at least a tablespoon a day.

At the gym, I’ve experienced an energy boost. For instance, this morning I did a bicep routine that I do frequently. After a couple weeks of maca, I felt stronger, maxed out at a higher weight, and recovered faster between sets.

Also, I’ve been finishing my workouts this week about 10% faster than usual. I don’t think it’s a placebo.

Besides, I’m almost out of the maca powder I bought…let’s see what happens after I run out.

So far, I’m definitely on the maca bandwagon. I like the flavor, I like that it’s natural, and I’m genuinely feeling boosted energy from maca.

2 Tasty Maca Powder Smoothie Recipes

Maca Smoothie Recipe 1: Green Apple, Power Greens & Maca Post Workout

After my workout but before I have time for a big meal, I like to have a nutrient rich smoothie with apple, some greens, and of course some Greek yogurt for natural protein. Adding Maca brings an energy pick-me-up and a ton of antioxidant properties:

  • 8 oz Greek yogurt
  • 8 oz Almond milk
  • 1 Apple, sliced with peels on (I like Granny Smith)
  • 1 oz Power Green mix (kale, spinach, chard…about a handful)
  • Turmeric (1 small knob, peeled)
  • Pinch of fresh ground black pepper (to activate Turmeric)
  • 1 Tablespoon Maca Powder
  • About 4 ice cubes

Instructions: Blend – Drink – Enjoy!!

Maca Smoothie Recipe 2: BAM! Snack (Blueberry Acai Maca)

There is always a gap between lunch and dinner where I start to get crazy cookie eating thoughts. A Greek yogurt smoothie with fresh blueberries is a go-to snack that makes me happy and comfortably staves off cravings until dinner. For this recipe, I’ve added Maca powder for its restorative qualities and to give the smoothie more depth…

  • 8 oz Greek yogurt
  • 8 oz Almond milk
  • 4 oz Blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 Acai paste pouch (thawed)
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla paste
  • 1 Tablespoon of Maca Powder
  • About 4 ice cubes

Instructions: Blend – Drink – Enjoy!!

I’m a fan of maca and maca benefits…if you can find some in your grocery or health food store, put it in your cart. Otherwise, find it online and give it a try!

References: Maca Powder and Maca Benefits