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Known also as Andin Ginseng and Peruvian Ginseng, Maca is a plant from the crucifer family Maca Root 1 Canadian Academy of Sports Nutrition caasnand native to the Andes Mountains of Peru. It has been used by native people for centuries to increase stamina, sexual desire, and vitality. Though being used as an aphrodisiac, maca is an adaptogen as well (see “Adaptogens”).

There are many controversial reports as to whether maca could increase testosterone level. The effect of maca on sexual desire is due to either its adaptogenic activity or its ability to increase testosterone level or both.

The root of this plant (maca root) contains fatty acids, amino acids, glucosinolates, polysaccharides, magnesium, selenium, uridine, malic acid, and amides (macamides).

Athletic Benefits of Maca Root:

  1. It may increase testosterone level.
  2. It may improve athletic performance.
  3. It delays exercise – induced exhaustion and fatigue. Maca Root 2 Canadian Academy of Sports Nutrition caasn
  4. It may help athletes cope with stress easily.
  5. It may accelerate recovery from intense exercise and sports injuries.

Non – Athletic Benefits of Maca Root:

The following conditions may benefit from maca root:

  1. Low sex drive.
  2. Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
  3. Low stamina.
  4. Fibromyalgia.
  5. Depression.
  6. Infertility.
  7. Compromised immune system.
  8. Female hormonal imbalance.
  9. Menopause.


Maca root is available commercially in tablet, capsule, or liquid form either alone or in combination. The usual dosage is 500 – 2000 mg a day.

People with the following conditions should avoid taking maca root:Maca Root 3 Canadian Academy of Sports Nutrition caasn

  1. Low function thyroid.
  2. Gout.
  3. Cancers of the breast, uterine, and ovary.
  4. Endometriosis.