Among the dozens of popular herbal supplements in the world, maca root is easily one of the most promising for fertility, hormones and brainpower.
Back in the days of the Incan empire, hundreds of years ago, maca root was so renowned for its libido and fertility-enhancing properties that it was used as a currency. Copious amounts of studies have confirmed maca root’s benefits for brainpower and memory. It’s even said that ancient Incan warriors ate vast quantities of maca before a battle, to enhance their stamina and strength.
But all of this is meaningless without answering an obvious question – how do you take maca?
Therefore, here are the top 10 maca root brands available today. Note that maca root is a powerful herbal supplement, and you should be careful to never overdose. Cease supplementation if you notice any side effects like hot flashes, mood swings and sleep problems.
For a shortcut, Superior Labs is the best brand for women, while aSquared Nutrition is ideal for men.
Let’s get started:
One – Superior Labs
Our first product is perhaps the best straightforward maca root supplement you could buy.
Firstly, Superior Labs ticks all of the boxes for purity and effectiveness. The dosage is 750mg of powder per capsule, with the maca being gelatinized to ensure optimal absorption and prevent stomach upsets.
The only additives in Superior Labs are the vegetable capsule and organic rice extract, both of which are harmless. Superior Labs takes great care with their maca root, and all of their supplements, with each fresh batch being inspected for heavy metals, pesticides and contaminants; heavy metals are a huge problem with herbal supplements, so it’s great to have this assurance.
One fact which all maca root newbies need to know, however, is that there’s three sub-types of the root, all with different medicinal effects: red, black, and yellow.
Yellow maca is the most popular type of maca root for hormonal problems, comprising 60% of Peru’s annual maca root harvest. Roots which are white to yellow in colour are all classified as yellow maca. While black and red maca have their advantages, yellow maca root is the most rounded form, being demonstrated to improve energy building, fertility, hormone balance, and mental focus. Many of the promising hormonal scientific studies have examined yellow maca, and the root has a long history with Peruvian tribes.
That’s why yellow maca should be your default if you’re excited about the benefits for hormones and acne, and that’s what Superior Labs contains. The maca root originates in Peru, as all great maca should. Finally, each bottle contains a 120 day supply, giving you a proper testing period.
Superior Labs is easily the master of the maca market.
Amazon link: Superior Labs Organic Peruvian Maca.
Two – aSquared Nutrition
Despite being maca root in name, aSquared Nutrition is a very different product to Superior Labs, although just as expertly formulated. This brand consists solely of black maca powder, gelatinized for optimal absorption and in a 500mg dosage per capsule.
Like yellow and red maca, black maca is native to the mountains of Peru, but its powers are particularly beneficial for men, giving it the nickname “men’s maca”. Black maca comprises 15% of Peru’s annual maca harvest; maca roots which vary from light grey to black in colour are all classified as black maca.
Black maca root specialises in the following: memory, concentration and focus skills, fertility and libido in men, stamina and energy, and possibly even bone density. A Peruvian study from 2009 actually compared black maca to yellow and red directly, and concluded that black maca was superior for sperm count and libido in men.
Despite being marketed for men, the libido enhancing powers work well on women too. According to studies, black maca is also more neuroprotective than red or yellow. A study on rats even found that while all three maca root sub-types were effective anti-depressants, black maca was slightly superior.
As for the quality, the only additives are vegetable cellulose and rice flour, making aSquared Nutrition a vegan product as well as a healthy one. The bottle contains 180 capsules, while the root is sourced from Peru and free from the heavy metal horrors of China.
If you’re here for maca root’s rumoured benefits for male vitality and brain health, aSquared Nutrition is the brand for you.
Amazon link: Pure Black Maca Root.
Three – Viva Naturals
With Viva Naturals we have another top quality pure yellow maca root supplement. The dosage here is 500mg per capsule, while the maca itself is sourced from Peru and is even certified organic by the USDA.
Like every other product here, Viva Naturals is a gelatinized maca powder. Gelatinized doesn’t refer to animal gelatin, or contain it; after being harvested in May, June or July, raw maca roots are sundried, then boiled and pressurised to remove the starch content.
Why is this an advantage? In its raw state, the maca root (in all colours) is rich in starches which are very hard to digest. Anyone with a slightly less than perfect digestive system can experience bloating, nausea and stomach upset after eating these starches. The word raw is usually associated with being natural, but traditional Peruvian tribes always heated the maca root before consuming it for sexual health, or before a battle. The boiling process alters the nutritional profile slightly in other ways, but the hormonal benefits remain intact.
Viva Naturals also succeeds by being pure, containing only hypromellose (vegetarian capsule) and ascorbyl palmitate as additives. The capsule count is huge at 250, and the product has hundreds of positive reviews on amazon.
All in all, Viva Naturals is a very hard maca root brand to beat.
Amazon link: Viva Naturals Organic Maca Root.
Four – The Maca Team
Our fourth top quality maca brand is our one and only pure red maca root.
The Maca Team are true maca experts, with a website which is overflowing with interesting information, and their product is formulated as such. The ingredients are minimal: just the vegetable capsule. The dosage is high: 750 per capsule. The capsule count is 200 per bottle. But what about red maca itself?
Compared to black maca, red maca deserves to be called female maca. It’s particularly promising for female hormonal acne, since red maca is known to lower DHT, and conditions associated with wildly fluctuating DHT like an enlarged prostate in men.
Red maca is not ideal for men, since they need DHT for their health and vitality, but excellent for women, whose skin is vulnerable to even the slightest elevation in DHT. Like yellow and black maca, red maca is promising for mental focus and fertility, but is particularly useful for menopause problems, libido in women, and possibly thyroid health.
Overall, red maca is the least promising out of the three varieties, but ripe for experimentation (in women). Last but not least, The Maca Team is certified organic by the USDA, gelatinized, and sourced from Peru.
The Maca Team is the best red maca root brand you could buy.
Amazon link: The Maca Team Red Maca Root Capsules.
Five – Terrasoul Superfoods
With Terrasoul Superfoods we have a bulk bag of ground maca powder, for usage in whatever recipe you want. The powder itself is certified organic by the USDA, and gelatinized for optimal absorption and to prevent digestive problems. Terrasoul Superfoods is pure yellow maca powder.
To take it, mix in with coffee or tea, add it to yoghurt, or stir into water and swallow. Half a teaspoon will suffice. The taste is not particularly pleasant, but has a unique aroma which some like.
Terrasoul Superfoods is sourced from Peru, which is excellent news, seeing as the plant evolved there, high in the Andes mountain range. The high altitude is why maca root is so healthy in the first place; the bitterly cold weather and nutritionally weak soils force the root to produce defences to survive, in the form of antioxidants and phytonutrients which end up affecting hormones in humans.
Peruvian tribes have used maca root for thousands of years, boiling and taking the root ceremoniously before ancient battles. Therefore they have all the expertise on how to make maca root as nutritious as possible.
Elsewhere, Terrasoul Superfoods is also a well-trusted brand, with hundreds of reviews. The bag contains 1 pound of maca root, which will last for months.
Terrasoul Superfoods cannot be beaten for a bulk bag of yellow maca root powder.
Amazon link: Terrasoul Superfoods Organic Gelatinized Maca Powder.
Six – Maca Marvel
Maca Marvel is another expertly formulated maca root, and one with a unique gimmick: an exact split between all three types of maca. You receive an equal dosage of red, yellow, and black root per capsule, with the overall per capsule dosage being 750mg. You have the opportunity to try each form at once, potentially experiencing a miracle.
Maca Marvel succeeds in every other way too, containing just the vegan capsule as its additives. The maca is sourced from Peru while the capsule count is 90 per bottle, giving you months of supply. The powder is also gelatinized to remove the indigestible starch, while the maca is grown high in the Andes mountains where the plants become the most nutritious.
Maca Marvel is a very promising maca root supplement.
Amazon link: Maca Marvel Tri-Color Organic Maca Powder.
Seven – Navita’s Organics
The trusted Navita’s Organics brand is another bulk bag of powdered maca root.
Like Terrasoul Superfoods, this maca root is gelatinized, packaged in a 1 pound bag, and certified organic by the USDA. Navita’s Organics has hundreds of happy reviews on amazon, and their other products, like their camu camu powder, are top quality. This is a yellow maca root, for the most rounded set of benefits.
Once more, the origin of this maca root is Peru. The key problem with Chinese maca is their booming herbal supplement market: they simply pump out goji berries, hemp seeds, maca root and more nonstop, with little thought for quality.
The Chinese manufacturers have the correct seeds, which they have imported from Peru, but the wrong technique. It’s harsh weather and nutrient deprived soils which stimulate the roots to become so large, so mass-market maca grown in any field won’t cut it, with the roots becoming small and less nutritious.
Luckily, the mountains of the Yunnan province of China reach 12000 feet in size, and higher quality Chinese maca grown there does produce high quality roots. It’s possible to buy an effective maca root from China, but the problems don’t end there. Anyway, Navita’s Organics is grown in Peru, the maca root heartland, bypassing this nonsense.
If a bulk bag of maca root powder is what you want, Nativa’s Organics is the brand for you.
Amazon link: Navitas Organics Maca Gelatinized Powder.
Eight – Viva Naturals Powder
Viva Naturals offers both a powder and a bottle of capsules, and both are just as excellent as each other. This is a pure yellow maca root powder, which is certified organic by the USDA. It’s fully gelatinized, and comes in a big 1 pound container, so that you won’t run out of supply the moment the effects are getting interesting. Viva Naturals even has over 1000 positive reviews on amazon.
Viva Naturals is another authentic Peruvian maca root, which brings us on to the second failing of Chinese varieties. China is in the midst of a massive economic boom right now, but the unfortunate side effect is lax environmental laws, contaminated fields, and skies which are flooded with pollution.
China’s government admits that 19.4% of arable land is contaminated with heavy metals, while the region which is high enough to produce hardy and nutritious roots, the Yunnan region, is exempt from many national pollution limits. 82.8% of the country’s non-organic produce exceeds China’s own heavy metal limits. Chinese maca root is highly likely to contain some acne-causing surprises, and that’s another reason why Peruvian, and Viva Naturals, maca root is optimal.
Viva Naturals fulfills all the requirements for a pure and effective maca root powder.
Amazon link: Viva Naturals Organic Maca Powder.
Nine – Isula Nature
Isula Nature is another blended maca root brand, but the formulation isn’t an even split like with Maca Marvel. According to the company, the maca contains red, black and yellow, but mostly yellow, making this a different formulation to experiment with.
Isula Nature meets every other requirement too. The only two additives are shellac and microcrystalline cellulose, while the capsule count is 100. Isula Nature actually contains the highest per capsule dosage here, at 800mg.
Isula Nature is another Peruvian maca brand, which is excellent news, since unlike heavy metal contamination, the final potential failing of Chinese maca root is not an accidental one – synthetic products.
According to the investigations of these maca enthusiasts, many “maca root” brands imported from China are really chemicals manufactured in a laboratory, in an attempt to resemble maca root in taste and appearance but circumvent the hassle of actually growing it.
This won’t apply to all Chinese manufacturers, but just like with computers, headphones and other electronics, dodgy dealers desperate to cash in on demand could be everywhere in China and India. With Isula Nature, your mind can be at ease. Maca root is such a national treasure and important export in Peru that the market is closely regulated.
Isula Nature is another promising maca root, for experimental health enthusiasts.
Amazon link: Isula Nature 100% Peruvian Maca Root Powder.
Ten – Madre Nature
Our final maca root supplement is an alternative black maca root, equalling aSquared Nutrition and giving you a back up in case that brand vanishes.
The only ingredients are organic black maca root powder and the hypromellose capsule. The dosage is 500mg per capsule, equalling aSquared Nutrition, while the capsule count is 100.
What’s the optimal time-span for maca root? You should definitely test it for a few weeks, since the hormonal effects are quite subtle and may take time to notice. The precise nutrients which work the magic are unconfirmed, and mysterious. Mental enhancement could arrive more quickly, with the compounds filtering through to the brain fast, but you should always be patient.
Elsewhere, Madre Nature is sourced from Peru. It’s fully gelatinized, and has over 200 positive reviews on amazon.
If black maca root is what you need, Madre Nature is perfect.
Amazon link: Madre Nature Organic Gelatinized Black Maca Root.
Our job is done – you now have all the tools you need to optimise your hormones fully using maca root. You have multiple options too. If you’re a women who has read about maca’s benefits for fertility, libido, and the mind, your default choice is a yellow maca root like Superior Labs and Viva Naturals. However, if you’re a man, black maca and thus aSquared Nutrition and Madre Nature are superior.
Our last question is – what about raw maca root? Some claim that it’s more nutritious, but any difference is negligible. If you have a perfect digestive system which never reacts to anything, and if you’ve been following an acne-friendly diet for a long time, you can experiment with the raw version, but it’s much simpler just to take gelatinized maca root.
Thanks for reading!