Maca has been used as a natural performance booster since the days of the Inca warriors. Caffeine-free, plant-based and packed full of vital nutrients, this superfood has been shown to enhance endurance, stamina and energy, making it the perfect supplement to take before and after you hit the gym. Here’s why Maca is the ideal superfood for your pre and post workout routine.
What is Maca?
Maca hails from the high Andes mountains of Peru, making it one of the few foods that thrives in extreme environments. With a knobbly turnip-like appearance, this superfood might not look like much, but it actually contains a huge host of incredible amino acids, phytonutrients, vitamins and medicinal properties. Here are just a few:
- Protein – Maca is full of bio-available plant protein that is easy for the body to digest.
- Essential amino acids – Maca contains nearly all the essential amino acids, including serine, glycine and leucine.
- Carbohydrates – contains 59 percent carbs, Maca boosts sustained energy.
- Free fatty acids – Maca contains 20 essential fatty acids, with the most abundant being linolenic acid and palmitic acid.
- Vitamins – Maca boasts all kinds of vitamins, including Vitamin C, Thiamin, and Niacin.
- Calcium – with 450mg of calcium per 100g, Maca is a better source of the mineral than milk.
4 Reasons You Should Add Maca to Your Pre and Post Workout Routine
Maca’s impressive nutritional profile means it comes with a whole range of incredible health benefits. However, it is Maca’s fitness-boosting potential that’s really caught the eye of the health world. Here are four reasons you need to add Maca to your pre and post workout routine.
1. Maca Boasts Incredible Adaptogenic Properties
Just like the superfoods ginseng and Ashwagandha, Maca boasts adaptogenic properties. As an adaptogen, Maca is able to help restore, balance and protect the body from all kinds of stress, whether physiological, psychological or environmental – even the stress your body experiences during an intense workout.
It does this by stimulating the production of balanced levels of appropriate hormones. So, for men in particular, Maca can boost levels of testosterone – a hormone linked to increased muscle mass, pain relief and a faster metabolism. These adaptogenic properties make Maca an entirely unique muscle building supplement. And the best bit? It’s 100 per cent natural.
2. Improves Endurance and Stamina
Maca might offer a caffeine-free instant energy boost, but it can also improve energy levels over the long term too. In a 2009 study, researchers investigated Maca’s ability to increase stamina and endurance in athletes. The small study in eight male cyclists found that Maca improved the time it took them to complete a 25 mile bike ride after two weeks of supplementation with Maca extract.
3. Helps Prevent Muscle Soreness
Tired of feeling achy and sore for days after an intense workout? Then Maca might be able to help. Thanks to its antioxidant effects, Maca may be able to help prevent delayed-onset muscle soreness after a heavy workout. Studies suggest that antioxidants can help boost muscle recovery by increasing the number of immune cells responsible for muscle repair. And as Maca is full of antioxidants, it could be a useful supplement to support recovery.
4. Protects Your Adrenal Glands
Your adrenal glands have an important role to play in optimizing energy. When the body is constant under pressure, it can react by producing high amounts of cortisol – a stress hormone that can be useful for an energy boost just before a workout, but that can lead to adrenal fatigue when elevated for long periods. That’s where Maca comes in. Thanks to its adaptogenic properties, Maca can help to lower cortisol naturally. This means it optimizes adrenal function to ensure sustained energy levels and fast recovery.
You don’t have to be a professional athlete to enjoy the benefits of Maca. Whether you’re heading to the gym, the yoga studio, or preparing for your own home workout, Maca can help boost your energy and enhance recovery. Plus, it’s super easy to add this superfood to your routine. Available as a powder, Maca can easily be added to drinks, making it a great addition to your pre or post workout juice or smoothie.
For more ideas on how to make the most of this superfood, read about how to make Maca part of your everyday life.