How Do I Determine the Appropriate Maca Dosage?

Synthia L. Rose
Synthia L. Rose
Available in powdered and capsule form, the recommended daily maca dosage is 500 mg to 600 mg.
Available in powdered and capsule form, the recommended daily maca dosage is 500 mg to 600 mg.

The regular maca dosage recommended by nutritionists for most people is 500 mg to 600 mg a day; however, the appropriate dosage for any individual is determined by hormone levels, diet, and health benefits wanted. Ten times that amount is taken by some people, particularly in the South American country of Peru, where maca is a common food staple. Most users experiment with high and low doses while tracking their body’s responses until they calibrate the right amount by trial and error. An error in dosage is generally easy to spot, because weak amounts yield no significant changes in energy or sexual health, while too much can reverse the positive impact of maca and bring extreme lethargy and sexual dysfunction. Some people find keeping a written record of their body’s daily response while increasing or decreasing in 300-mg increments a day is an ideal way to hit to right dosage level.

Also known as pepperweed and Peruvian ginseng, the maca plant is native to Peru and the Andes Mountains.
Also known as pepperweed and Peruvian ginseng, the maca plant is native to Peru and the Andes Mountains.

The maca plant, also called pepperweed and Peruvian ginseng, originated in the Andes Mountains of Peru. The roots of this plant contain protein, carbohydrates, and fatty acids. More significantly, maca contains macamides and macaenes, two rare chemicals which can promote sexual vivacity, according to research where these chemicals have been isolated and studied. Maca is consequently considered an aphrodisiac.

An overly large dose of maca may cause extreme lethargy and sexual dysfunction.
An overly large dose of maca may cause extreme lethargy and sexual dysfunction.

Not only is maca credited for improved sexuality, but it is also lauded for renewed physical vigor in all areas of life. In ancient days, warriors of the Inca tribe took maca before battles for endurance and surges in strength. In modern times, people all over the world eat fresh or dried maca root as well as maca extract in capsule form to reap the same energy boosts.

Maca is native to the Andes of South America.
Maca is native to the Andes of South America.

Foods generally can be taken in copious amounts without harmful side effects, and since maca is considered a food, many claim that there is no possibility of overdose. Some experts disagree, however, saying that once maca accumulates in the body, it can be thwarting, although not toxic. Many nutritionists advise that if a certain maca dosage has been working well but then suddenly stops working, it could be time for a brief hiatus. It is customary for users to stop using maca for a month or at least a week every month so that the daily maca dosage becomes effective again.

Consumers who purchase loose maca powder will need a measuring tool to dole out trial portions each day. For convenience, most buyers opt for powder in capsules that come in 100 mg, 300 mg, and 500 mg maca dosages. These can be taken with meals two or three times a day.

Some people complain that small doses do not work for them. Maca delivers its benefits by balancing hormones in the body; the greater the hormonal imbalance, the more maca needed. Hormones respond to a person’s nutrition level, as well, so people with more balanced nutrition and less energy demand may require less maca.

What Are the Benefits of Maca?


Many people have reported health improvements after maca consumption. The plant is an herbal adaptogen that aids the endocrine system. The endocrine system controls stress hormones via the adrenal glands. When too much stress repeatedly triggers the adrenal glands to produce hormones, an imbalance can occur. The adrenal glands release estrogen, androgens and cortisol. Too much of any of these hormones can aggravate a plethora of conditions.

Perimenopause and Menopause


Women in their late 30s and 40s often experience perimenopause; women in their 50s and 60s experience menopause. The age range is diverse, but the indicators of these conditions are often indistinguishable. Women in either of these seasons of life often experience:

  • Dry skin 
  • Acne
  • Moodiness
  • Night sweats
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia 
  • Inconsistent periods
  • Weight gain

Irregular menses make it challenging to track and effectively manage symptoms. Maca can help balance hormones making for more even menstrual cycles reducing associated discomfort. The herb may support estrogen production. During menopause, when there is a natural drop in estrogen, a boost in this hormone can make a difference in a woman's quality of life. However, increasing estrogen may worsen estrogen-dominant conditions like polycystic ovarian syndrome, uterine fibroids or ovarian cysts.

Libido


Androgens and estrogen levels largely control a person's sex drive. When they are out of whack, libido is one of the first things to suffer. Restoring balance to sex hormones can increase sexual desire in men and women. In menopausal women, the boost in estrogen can reduce vaginal dryness and make intercourse more desirable.

Fertility


Both men and women may find success with fertility after adding this product to their diets. Studies in lab rats have shown better sperm production and performance. Anecdotally, men have described similar results. However, there is insufficient research in humans to confirm these success stories.

Anxiety


Adaptogens may reduce anxiety by controlling cortisol levels. But, new advantages like clearer skin, better sleep and increased libido may also help with nerves. When patients experience less discomfort, some feel more calm and confident. Users have also reported higher energy levels, which can offset anxiety and depression symptoms.


Why Is Maca Beneficial for Health?


This vegetable is similar to other cruciferous plants like cauliflower and broccoli. It contains essential vitamins and minerals like calcium, iron and amino acids. Many who cannot tolerate dairy rely on cruciferous plants for calcium.

How To Use Maca Powder?


Since it grows naturally in Peru, the plant can be challenging to find in other parts of the world. Luckily, health stores sell this superfood in powder or capsule forms. Maca powder has a very mild taste, but it pairs well with flavors like vanilla, chocolate and fruit. The powder is easy to add to your favorite smoothie or health bar recipe. Consume anywhere from 1/2 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon daily. It may take several weeks to achieve noticeable results.

Can You Have Too Much Maca Powder?


Since maca is not a medication, most experts feel it is impossible to overdose. However, every person's body will react differently to herbs. Most find their appropriate dosage through trial and error, and dieticians agree with that approach. Start with a small dose and increase it a little each day. Once you reach an amount that makes you feel good, continue taking that dosage daily.

While overdose is unlikely, some vitamins can build up in your system over time. The positive effects can diminish if you take too much for too long. Most recommend taking a week off once a month from the supplement. Then, add the powder back into your diet. If you notice a decrease in benefits, cut back on your daily amount until you see an improvement.

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Discussion Comments

anon935332

Im 5'2 and weigh 100 pounds. How much should I take a day?

bear78

@turkay1-- It takes at least a week to get results from maca. Give it some more time. What type are you taking? I think maca powder works better than the capsules.

ZipLine

@turkay1-- Maca dosage depends on a lot of factors like what you're taking it for, what type of supplement you are taking, your body weight, etc.

If you workout a lot and plan on using maca herb for this purpose, anywhere between one and three grams per day is normal. I have friends who are into bodybuilding and I know that when they take maca, they take one gram or more.

But keep in mind that the type of supplement you take and your tolerance is important. Some supplements get absorbed faster than others and some people tolerate supplements better than others. It's a good idea to increase the dose slowly and see how you respond.

candyquilt

I'm taking a maca supplement for improved strength and libido. Right now, I'm taking one gram per day and I have been taking the supplement for a week. Unfortunately, I'm not feeling the effects. I think I will go up to two grams per day and see how that works out. I don't want to take more than that though because I don't want side effects. I tend to have a low tolerance for medications and supplements, so I'd rather take too little than too much.

By the way, is maca something that builds up in the body? Do I need to wait longer to see if the one gram per day is working?

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    • Available in powdered and capsule form, the recommended daily maca dosage is 500 mg to 600 mg.
      By: Marek
      Available in powdered and capsule form, the recommended daily maca dosage is 500 mg to 600 mg.
    • Also known as pepperweed and Peruvian ginseng, the maca plant is native to Peru and the Andes Mountains.
      By: Oscar Pinto Sánchez
      Also known as pepperweed and Peruvian ginseng, the maca plant is native to Peru and the Andes Mountains.
    • An overly large dose of maca may cause extreme lethargy and sexual dysfunction.
      By: Coka
      An overly large dose of maca may cause extreme lethargy and sexual dysfunction.
    • Maca is native to the Andes of South America.
      By: Photofollies
      Maca is native to the Andes of South America.