Those of you familiar with my sports nutrition supplements will know that I don’t add anything that I don’t believe in or wouldn’t take myself. Only the best ingredients make the grade. So when I was developing my testosterone booster, Testoraise, I knew that it had to include an ingredient called maca.
Maca is incredible food, that can boost energy levels, stamina and even libido. But not many people know about it. So here’s why I included it in Testoraise, and how it can benefit your workouts, physically and emotionally.
What is maca?
Maca originates from high up in the Andes in its native homeland of Peru. For more than 2,000 years, maca has been used medicinally to help improve energy and stamina. To look at, maca appears relatively unremarkable, resembling a sort of gnarly parsnip-potato cross.
Most of the maca plant is eaten, but the majority of the benefits come from the root. Maca root is routinely turned into a powder, and is either then added to smoothies or sprinkled onto breakfast cereals, or is added to supplements such as Testoraise. On its own, maca has a slightly butterscotch-like, nutty taste.
Also known as Peruvian ginseng, maca is a nutritional powerhouse. It’s a good source of fibre, vitamin C and copper as well as providing protein and carbohydrate.
The health benefits of maca
Legend has it, that maca is so revered for its strength-giving qualities, that it was used by the Incas to give them an energy boost before they went into battle.
These days, we’re less likely to need to go into battle, but that doesn’t mean that maca is any less beneficial. It seems our ancient forebears were on to something when they discovered maca, as it’s now been the subject of much scientific study, with impressive results.
Maca and sports performance
Maca is an adaptogen, which means that it helps the body to adapt to physical and emotional stresses and strains. In the gym, this means that we have an enhanced response to resistance under stress. In other words, we can work out harder and for longer.
This explains why maca is so often used as a supplement by strength and endurance athletes, who swear by it for improving their muscle gains, strength, energy and performance.
Studies have demonstrated that maca improves endurance. For example, one showed that male cyclists taking maca supplements were able to improve their performance in a 40km bike ride time trial. And we all know how vital shaving even a few seconds off our PB can be.
Maca and another kind of performance altogether…
The benefits of maca extend beyond the gym and into the bedroom. Studies have consistently found that maca has an uncanny ability to improve our libido and fertility.
One review of four randomised clinical trials involving maca supplementation found that maca improved men’s sexual desire and sexual function. Another found that maca improved the sexual wellbeing of men with mild erectile dysfunction. Fertility-wise, maca has shown promising results in improving semen quality.
Maca and mood
You don’t need me to tell you how good it feels after you’ve exercised. That rush of feel-good endorphins helps to improve our mood no end.
But what if your low mood is getting in the way of you making it to the gym? Maca can help there, too. Maca contains plant-based compounds called flavonoids that help to reduce the symptoms of mild anxiety and depression, making it more likely that we’ll get up and do the things we enjoy.
Untapping the benefits of maca with Testoraise
Given that maca is proven to improve our sports performance, sex drive and mood, I hope you can now see why it was so important for me to include it in my testosterone booster.