Though the Peruvian herb does have health benefits for women, Maca benefits for men are more commonly known due to the marketing efforts of those who sell it. However, these claims are often just made to sell—and so, what exactly are the benefits of Maca that have been proven by science?
Proven Benefits of Maca Powder
Supplies the Body With Essential Amino Acids
There are nine essential amino acids that your body needs—isoleucine, leucine, histidine, methionine, phenylalanine, tryptophan, threonine, and valine. These amino acids cannot be produced by your body and can only be obtained from the food you eat.
The Maca root contains all of these essential amino acids. Moreover, according to analysis conducted on the root, it contains enough milligrams (per gram protein) of each essential amino acid to satisfy the body’s daily needs.
Prevents Bone Loss
Although it’s known as the female sex hormone, estrogen plays a variety of important roles in your body, such as bone formation and bone density maintenance. Unfortunately, this hormone’s levels decline with age, potentially causing bone mineral loss which increases the risk for bone and vertebral fractures.
In a study, Peruvian Macawas found able to prevent this bone mineral loss among individuals with estrogen deficiency.
Improves Ability to Cope and Adapt to Stress
You experience stress when you spend too much time working, feel uncomfortable in a social situation, or do an intense workout. At the biochemical level, you respond to these activities by producing the hormones adrenaline and cortisol to increase your heart rate and blood sugar levels.
Your body does that to boost your energy levels, physical capabilities, and mental capacity so you can cope better with the stressor. However, when these stressors are experienced constantly for an extended time, it could make it difficult for the body to return to its normal state.
This can lead to chronic inflammation and adrenal fatigue. These conditions could then cause bigger problems such as cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, infertility, erectile dysfunction, and low testosterone levels.
Being an adaptogen, Maca root can help by improving your stress tolerance. This improved tolerance gives your body a chance to return to a normal state, which in turn gives your adrenal glands a rest.
In various studies, Maca root was able to improve the symptoms of adrenal fatigue and chronic stress. Human test subjects experienced improvements in chronic stress-induced depression, hypertension, and sexual dysfunction.
Enhances Recovery From Fatigue
In a study, test subjects that supplemented with Maca root showed improvements in their health markers for fatigue. Moreover, they exhibited better resistance against fatigue—and these observations became more pronounced with increased doses of Maca extract.
Improves Sperm Count and Quality
As we’ve mentioned, stress can cause your testosterone levels to drop. This can eventually lead to a variety of sexual dysfunctions like poor sperm count and quality.
Maca powder supplementation was found to improve such issues of poor male fertility. In a study, males aged 24 to 44 years showed significant improvement in sperm count and motility, and seminal volume after just four months of supplementation.
These improvements were observed together with the absence of any change in serum hormone levels. It would be easy to assume that this makes Maca root a poor aid for fertility, but this is not the case.
By not altering the levels of your androgen hormones, you’re assured that your body won’t think that it has enough testosterone (which isn’t a good thing since it results in a decrease in testosterone production).
It’s this response that causes testosterone supplementation to eventually lower testosterone and negatively affect sexual function.
Boosts Sex Drive
Aside from enhancing those aspects of sexual health, Maca powder can improve your libido and sexual performance without affecting your serum hormone levels.
In a 12-week study, an improvement in sexual desire was observed among men aged 21 to 56 years. This improvement is present in the absence of any changes on their depression and anxiety scores, and their self-perception on sexual desire.
Eases Prostatic Hyperplasia
Prostatic hyperplasia is a condition wherein the prostate gland abnormally increases in size. It can cause lower urinary tract symptoms, bladder outlet obstruction, and even urinary tract infection.
Maca supplementation was able to decrease the prostate size of test subjects. This improvement was seen in both aqueous and hydroalcoholic extracts of Red Maca.
Protects and Revitalizes the Central Nervous System
Your nerves are damaged by oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, overstimulation, inflammation, brain protein build-up, and iron accumulation. The damage inflicted by these can lead to neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, and stroke.
It’s this damage that neuroprotective agents are seeking to prevent. Although these are still in development, science has seen neuroprotective action from herbs used in traditional medicine—one of such herbs is Maca root.
So far, it has been observed to exhibit neuroprotection on the nerves of organisms with a simple central nervous system. It has even shown to alleviate memory impairment in mammals, which suggests that it could revitalize damaged neurons in the central nervous system.
Be Cautious in Taking It
The one thing you must remember when taking Macaroot powder is that it can easily grow molds. It’s for this reason that you must purchase it from manufacturers who take proper care to prevent microbial growth and contamination.
If you feel brain fog or discomfort after taking it, it could be an indication of a moldy batch of the product. To prevent this, you can take gelatinized Maca which is simply raw Maca that has been roasted.
Aside from this, never take the herb when you are under antidepressants. Taking Maca supplements with SSRI’s can result in (or worsen) erectile dysfunction.
Safe for Your Hormonal Balance
With the adaptogenic effects of Maca, you should definitely try it out for its potential in helping you cope with the stresses of everyday life.
With what research has found out (and given how promising the results have been so far), it should be no surprise that you’d often hear about Maca benefits for men.