Today, many people use maca supplements to supercharge sexual function, enhance energy, and improve brain function.
And while research does generally support these claims (though, to a lesser degree), it’s still vital to purchase a high-quality maca supplement in order to receive these benefits and to ensure optimal safety.
That’s why we’ve created this article to showcase several of the top maca root supplements that are most likely to be effective. Continue reading below to find out the which brands make the best maca supplements.
Table of Contents
- The Best Maca Supplement Brands
- What is Maca?
- 6 Potential Health Benefits of Maca:
- Types of Maca:
- What Form of Maca is Best?
- How are Maca Supplements Made?
- Maca vs. Other Herbs:
The Best Maca Supplement Brands
While there are many maca root supplement brands, only a handful are worth buying. Below are five of the best maca supplement brands, which were all selected based on ingredient sourcing, ingredient dosage, testing protocols, brand trustworthiness, and other key factors.
1. The Maca Team
Our overall top choice for maca supplements comes from The Maca Team. They offer an unmatched selection of maca supplements, including black, yellow, red, and tri-color maca. Furthermore, they offer raw or gelatinized forms depending on your needs and preferences.
Additionally, while many of their products come in powdered form, they also have liquid maca root extracts, whole maca chips, capsules, and even maca coffee.
The Maca Team has produced maca supplements for over 20 years. They are a family-run company and have a farming co-op in Peru which grows maca in the traditional way, ultimately leading to a higher-quality product. All of their maca supplements are organic, non-GMO, fair-trade, and vegan. Furthermore, The Maca Team only makes small batches which ensures you can get a fresher supplement.
Lastly, The Maca Team supplements are third-party tested for pesticides, heavy metals, and overall safety.
With all these factors considered, The Maca Team is our overall number one maca brand.
- Wide range of different products offered
- Trustworthy, family-owned company with a solid history
- Third-party tested
- Effective doses
- Small batch production ensures freshness and quality
- Products serve many different needs and goals
- Amount of options may overwhelm some individuals
- If using maca capsules, the serving size can get pretty high
Navitas Organics is another high-quality brand of maca supplements. They offer organic maca powder in both raw and gelatinized forms to ensure you get whatever form is preferred. Both products contain yellow, red, and black forms of maca, so they’re both tri-color maca supplements.
All of the maca they use is grown traditionally and sustainably high up in the Peruvian Andes, which is the native region of this plant. Navitas Organics maca supplements are USDA Organic, vegan, third-party tested, and made in cGMP, HAACP-certified facilities.
Additionally, Navitas Organics is a Certified B Corporation, which means they meet high standards of verified performance, accountability, transparency, and other important factors.
Lastly, they have products starting as low as $8.99, and they offer a number of subscription and bulk savings options.
Overall, Navitas Organics is the best budget option for maca supplements as they have many cost-effective options.
- USDA Organic
- Sustainably grown in the Andes
- Third-party tested
- Certified B Corporation
- Products contain the three main types of maca
- Have both gelatinized and non-gelatinized maca available
- They don’t offer specific red, yellow, or black maca supplements
- Maca capsules not available
Gaia Herbs is a herbal brand that offers maca pills and maca root powder, both of which are formulated with organic Peruvian maca. Additionally, both products use gelatinized maca for easier digestion and absorption.
Gaia Herbs is also one of the most trusted supplement brands out there. They’ve been around since 1987 and are a Certified B Corporation. They have numerous partnerships and affiliations in the herbal products industry, such as with the American Botanical Council and American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, to assure product safety and legitimacy for both consumers and regulatory bodies.
Both of the Gaia Herbs Maca supplements are third-party tested for pesticides, microbes, and heavy metals, as well as overall safety, purity, and potency. Their products are vegan, USDA Organic, and free from top allergens.
Overall, Gaia Herbs is the best organic maca supplement.
- USDA Organic
- Sourced from Peru
- Third-party tested
- Well-trusted, established company
- Gelatinized for easier digestion
- Includes maca powder and pills options
- Doesn’t offer raw maca
- Doesn’t have options for red, black, or yellow maca specifically
4. Herb Pharm
Herb Pharm is another very well-trusted herbal company with effective maca supplements. They are one of the few companies that offers a liquid maca tincture supplement, which is convenient and also easily mixed with water or other beverages. In addition to this product, they also sell maca powder capsules.
Either choice is solid as both products contain Certified Organic maca root sourced from their natural habitat in the Peruvian highlands, which is gelatinized for enhanced digestibility.
Additionally, Herb Pharm products go through very meticulous and detailed sourcing, harvesting, extraction, and testing, which makes this company one of the most well-respected ones in the industry. Herb Pharm Maca supplements are third-party tested, made in cGMP facilities, USDA Organic, and free from major allergens.
Altogether, Herb Pharm is the best maca tincture brand.
- USDA Organic
- Sourced from Peru
- Offers a tincture form
- Third-party tested
- Well-trusted and respected company
- Unable to buy red, black, or yellow maca forms individually
- No options for people who want raw maca
5. Micro Ingredients
Micro Ingredients has an organic maca root powder sourced from Peru. It’s gelatinized to enhance absorption and bioavailability.
Additionally, Micro Ingredients Organic Maca Root Powder is one of the lowest-priced options out there as you get 181 servings (5g each) for just $26.95, potentially even lower depending on where you buy it from.
Their product also uses Earth-friendly recyclable packaging which enhances freshness and preserves the quality, while also being environmentally friendly.
Micro Ingredients Organic Maca Root Powder is also non-GMO, cGMP, third-party tested, and free from any artificial ingredients, additives, preservatives, and major allergens.
- Sourced from Peru
- Very cost-friendly
- Third-party tested
- Gelatinized for better absorption
- Not available in capsules
- Not available in raw form
What is Maca?
Maca (Lepidium meyenii) is a plant native to the Andes mountains in Peru and a few other South American countries.
It grows in rather harsh conditions characterized by high winds, extreme weather, intense sunlight, and rocky soil.
Maca has been used for at least 2,000 years, mainly as a food substance for indigenous peoples in Peru and other Andean regions. It was often used to enhance energy, stamina, and endurance, including for the native warriors who used it before battles.
Among the different parts of the plant, maca roots are the most utilized due to their high concentration of nutrients. This includes not only essential nutrients such as fiber, amino acids, iron, and vitamin C, but also a wide variety of bioactive compounds, including:
6 Potential Health Benefits of Maca:
There are several potential health benefits of maca. Research has shown that maca root may offer the following effects:
1. May Enhance Sexual Function
There is significant research, including clinical trials, showing that maca may enhance sexual function and related aspects such as fertility, libido/sexual desire, as well as menopausal symptoms.
This is important as maca seems to improve sexual function parameters in both men and women. These effects are thought to stem from the various bioactive components in maca, such as phytosterols and alkaloids, as well as the variety of minerals, such as iron, magnesium, and calcium, given that mineral deficiencies can impair hormonal health and sexual function.
2. May Improve Brain Function
Maca root may also enhance brain function and cognitive performance. Several research studies have found that maca can enhance cognitive function in individuals with brain damage, and improve learning and memory.
Specific phytochemicals in maca may reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain, enhance nerve cell function, and modulate neurotransmitter release (such as acetylcholine).
3. May Increase Energy Levels
One of the most popularized benefits of maca root is enhanced energy and vitality. This is largely backed up by research which shows that maca can reduce fatigue and enhance energy and physical performance.
This is attributed to maca’s ability to enhance oxygen utilization, as well as from its adaptogenic properties which helps the body handle stress more easily.
4. May Support Skin Health
Maca may also improve skin health and related parameters. While there aren’t many studies, initial research so far shows that maca may protect against inflammation and skin damage, such as from UV radiation and general wounds.
These benefits may occur due to the presence of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds in maca.
5. May Lower Blood Pressure
Research shows that maca may also lower blood pressure. Various components in maca may inhibit angiotensin-converting enzyme, which may result in decreased blood pressure.
Furthermore, maca’s general anti-inflammatory effects may support healthier blood pressure and cardiovascular function.
6. May Decrease Anxiety & Depression
Some research also shows that maca may reduce anxiety and depression. More clinical trials are likely needed, but there is evidence that maca may be able to enhance dopamine and noradrenaline, and reduce oxidative stress in the brain. Together, this combination may enhance mental health.
Types of Maca:
There are many different types of maca root to choose from. This is because maca can be made from one of the three forms (yellow, red, black). And within each form, it can be in raw whole form or gelatinized form. So, all in all there are several types of maca you could buy.
Understanding Yellow, Red, & Black Maca:
Yellow, red, and black maca are all naturally-occuring forms of true maca. One isn’t necessarily better than the other, although the forms offer slightly different biochemical properties, which may lead to slightly different health benefits.
Yellow Maca – The most well-researched and widely-used form. It is thought to increase energy, improve brain function, and balance hormones.
Red Maca – The second most common form. Research shows that it may be the most effective type for women in particular due to its effects on hormone balance, menopausal symptoms, and bone health.
Black Maca – The least common, but it is still effective, especially for men’s health as this form seems better for sperm health and fertility, with other effects for muscle gain, endurance, and stamina.
Raw vs. Gelatinized Maca:
Another important factor to consider when choosing a maca supplement is the processing technique. Maca supplements can use either raw or gelatinized maca powder.
Raw maca products come from maca in its whole, unprocessed form. This preserves certain nutrients such as vitamin C, glucosinolates, and enzymes. However, it may be more difficult to digest for people with sensitive stomachs. Additionally, the raw form is not always as concentrated in bioactive compounds.
Gelatinized maca refers to products that use heat-treated, pressurized maca, which removes the starch content. There is no gelatin in maca, despite the name, as it simply refers to the starch-removal process. This results in an easier-to-digest, more bioavailable supplement.
Additionally, gelatinized maca is more concentrated in certain nutrients and bioactives per serving. However, this processing technique lowers the amount of available vitamin C, various enzymes, and some other nutrients.
Read more here in our in-depth article comparing raw vs. gelatinized maca.
What Form of Maca is Best?
There isn’t one clear-cut best form of maca as it depends on individual needs, preferences, and goals.
In regard to the different colored maca supplements, red appears to best if you’re specifically looking for female hormonal health improvements; black is best for male hormonal health and performance; yellow is good for all-around health.
With this considered, tri-color maca supplements (sometimes also stated in the label simply as “maca”) are best for individuals who are looking for a wide range of general health improvements.
Next, in terms of raw versus gelatinized forms, gelatinized forms are best for people who have a sensitive stomach and/or want the highest concentrated maca form, whereas the raw form is best for individuals who want a product with optimal nutrient preservation and a more budget-friendly price.
The dosage of maca root is also important in order to receive benefits. While there isn’t a true definitive dose recommendation, studies have shown benefits from about 1.5g up to 10g per day.
It’s important to start on the lower end and work your way up until you reach your desired effects.
How are Maca Supplements Made?
In order to make maca supplements, harvested maca roots are typically dried, cleaned, and then ground into a fine powder.
Gelatinized maca requires a couple additional steps. In this process, the roots are heated and put through a pressurized system before eventually being dried and ground into a powder.
From there, the maca goes through appropriate testing and analysis procedures to ensure safety, quality, and potency.
Are Maca Supplements Safe to Take?
Maca is generally considered safe to take for most people when used in appropriate amounts. However, research is still relatively limited, so there aren’t definitive conclusions yet, especially for long-term use.
Raw maca may cause upset stomach or other digestive issues particularly in people with sensitive digestive systems.
Always consult your doctor before taking any supplement, especially if you have chronic health conditions and/or are taking prescription medications.
Is Maca FDA Approved?
No. Maca root supplements aren’t FDA-approved, as is the case with all supplements. But a good way to check for safety and quality is to see if the supplements are made in cGMP, FDA-approved facilities.
What Maca Root is Best?
There are three types of maca root: yellow, black, and red. They all offer most of the same general effects, although there are some distinct effects too.
Red may have more specific benefits for female hormonal health and menopausal symptoms; black maca appears better for male fertility, sexual function, and stamina; yellow is a good all-around supplement for general benefits.
Many people choose to get tri-color maca to receive a wide variety of potential health benefits.
Are Maca Pills as Good as Maca Powder?
Maca pills should offer the same benefits as maca powder as long as the form of maca is the same. However, be aware that maca capsules and pills are generally not dosed as high as compared to powder. So, if you’re looking for the same effects as a powder, make sure that the dose is equal or close to it, which may require taking multiple maca capsules each day.
Maca vs. Other Herbs:
Maca root is commonly compared to other similar herbs. We’ve compiled several articles going over the most commonly made comparisons so you can determine which herb is best for you.
Maca supplements offer a wide variety of potential benefits, such as for sexual function, brain health, energy levels, skin health, and mental wellness.
However, it’s important to choose only the highest-quality supplements in order to increase the likelihood of benefits and ensure optimal safety. All five supplements on this list meet these criteria, such as using high-quality, traditionally-grown maca roots, proper testing and analysis, and optimal doses.
Maca is also very unique as there are a wide variety of beneficial forms. One can choose from yellow, red, black, or tri-colored maca, as well as either raw or gelatinized forms. And in this article we have shown how any of these options can potentially be “best” depending on one’s individual preferences and goals.
Overall, with its wide array of benefits and supplement versatility, maca root has the potential to help a wide variety of individuals.