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Best Maca Powders

Updated November 2018
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

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    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best maca powders

    Last Updated November 2018

    If you try to take good care of your body, maca powder is one of the latest health food trends. Blend it into smoothies, sprinkle it on granola, or bake it into breakfast bars – however you take your maca, you're in for a healthful treat.

    You might have heard people talking about maca powder, but what is this superfood sensation? Is it really all it's cracked up to be? You can find a lot of information about maca online, but much of it is biased one way or another, so it can be tough to sort fact from fiction.

    That's why we at BestReviews have put together this guide to help make your purchasing decision easier. Read on to find out what you need to know to choose the right maca powder for you.

    You can find maca powder that's either a single color or a blend of two or three different colors. If the package doesn't state which color the maca is, it's likely to be yellow, as this is the most common color.

    Benefits of maca powder

    Maca is a root vegetable, related to broccoli and cauliflower, that grows in the Peruvian Andes at an altitude of 11,000 feet and above. The maca powder you buy in stores or online is made from dried and ground maca root. Some experts claim the best maca grows at 14,000 feet plus.

    You might be wondering what the benefits of consuming maca powder are. There's no denying it has a strong nutritional profile, but some claims of its impressive properties may be exaggerated. Here are the main benefits of maca powder.

    • Maca powder contains 20 amino acids, including all eight essential amino acids.

    • You'll find a range of minerals in maca powder, including iron, copper, magnesium, calcium, and zinc.

    • Several vitamins appear in significant amounts in maca, including vitamins B1, B2, C, and E.

    • Maca can aid in stabilizing blood glucose levels, which leads to an increase of energy for some users.

    • Since maca powder contains plenty of beneficial fatty acids, such as omega-3 acids, it may help improve cognitive function.

    • Some small studies suggest maca can increase libido, though these results should be taken with a grain of salt.

    Deliciously digestible

    Because this maca powder from Soul Organics has undergone the process of gelatinization (which, luckily for vegetarians and vegans, doesn't involve actual gelatin), it's easy to digest and shouldn't cause an upset stomach. What's more, it's certified organic by the USDA.

    Types of maca powder

    Raw maca powder

    Raw maca powder is made from uncooked maca root that has been dried or dehydrated and ground to a powder. Because it is completely raw, the powder retains all of its nutrients. This includes sugars and starches, so it's higher in enzymes, glucosinolates, and vitamin C than gelatinized maca. However, some people – especially those with sensitive digestive systems – find they suffer from stomach pain and gas after ingesting raw maca.

    Gelatinized maca powder

    Gelatinized maca powder is boiled and pressurized to remove the starches. Despite the name, gelatinized maca powder doesn't contain gelatin, so it's still suitable for vegetarians, vegans, or people who avoid certain animal products for religious reasons.

    The benefit of gelatinization is that is makes maca easier to digest and less likely to cause stomach issues. Gelatinized maca powder is lower in enzymes, vitamin C, and glucosinolates (which have been linked with anti-cancer properties), but it's actually more concentrated than raw maca powder, and some nutrients in it are amplified, or more “bioavailable.”

    EXPERT TIP

    A standard serving of maca powder is between 1.5 and 3 teaspoons. We don’t recommend taking any more than that daily without consulting a doctor.


    Staff  | BestReviews
    EXPERT TIP

    Nothing is added to gelatinized maca powder. The gelatinization of maca is a heating process that removes starch from it.


    Staff  | BestReviews
    EXPERT TIP

    Most maca powder is GMO free, but it's worth checking the label if you prefer to avoid eating anything that has been genetically modified.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Factors to consider

    Color

    Maca powder comes the three colors: yellow, red, and black. Actually, the color of the powder is much the same in all three varieties; it's the color of the root it comes from that varies. Some maca experts claim that the different colors have different properties, but no extensive research has been done on this, so it's best to view any such claims with a healthy dose of skepticism. That said, these are the alleged differences between the three colors.

    • Yellow maca powder: This is the most common type, making up about 60% of all maca harvested. It's supposedly best for boosting energy and improving concentration.

    • Red maca powder: Around 25% of all maca harvested is red. Red maca powder is said to help balance hormones and boost fertility.

    • Black maca powder: The remaining 15% of maca crops become black maca powder. This is thought to be great for building muscle and boosting endurance and focus.
       

    Organic certification

    Some maca powder is certified organic, meaning it has been growing without the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers. There's still a debate over the health benefits of organic food, but it's possible that some of the chemicals used to grow non-organic crops are harmful to human health. If you generally prefer to eat organic, opt for organic maca powder.

    Package size

    Before purchasing your maca powder, look at the size of the package. You can buy small amounts of maca powder in six- to eight-ounce bags. You can also buy five-pound sacks of maca. Although small bags of maca cost less upfront, they generally work out to be significantly more expensive per pound. So, ultimately, buying a large bag would be cheaper in the long run. That said, you shouldn't buy a huge package that you wouldn’t be able to finish before the expiration date.

    Mellow yellow

    If you're looking for an affordable raw maca powder, Healthworks Maca Powder is an excellent choice. This raw yellow maca powder has all the health benefits of more expensive blends, but it isn't too tough on your wallet.

    Maca powder prices

    As discussed above, maca powder comes in packages of various sizes and prices. Rather than looking at the cost of the whole bag, we recommend that you look at the price per ounce to see whether you're getting a good value. Maca can cost anywhere from $0.50 per ounce to $2.50 per ounce depending on the size of the package, the color, and the overall quality of the powder.

    Tips

    • Consider your budget. Although you probably shouldn't opt for the very cheapest maca out there, highly expensive options generally don't wield any significant benefits over mid-range choices.

    • Think about how you'll be consuming your maca. Bear in mind that, if you intend to bake or cook with it, you'll lose some of the benefits of raw maca powder.

    • Check that your maca powder is made from the roots only. Some cheaper formulas add the powdered leaves of the maca plant. However, the health benefits only come from the roots.

    • Remember that maca has traditionally been eaten cooked. Don't feel like you're missing out if you choose gelatinized maca over raw. The people of the Peruvian Andes, who have been eating maca for centuries, traditionally consume it boiled.
    Maca grown in the Peru or Bolivia is native to that region. Maca grown in China is not native to that region, and some experts question the quality of Chinese maca for this reason.

    FAQ

    Q. Is maca powder safe to consume when you're pregnant?

    A. Although it's likely to be safe to consume small amounts of maca when you're pregnant, we advise talking to a doctor or midwife first, as we would with any food supplements or alternative remedies.

    Q. Is maca powder safe for kids?

    A. Clinical trials have shown no adverse effects from eating maca root. Therefore, it's generally considered safe for children to consume. However, you should give a child a much smaller dose than you would an adult. An eighth to a quarter of a teaspoon should suffice. We advise against giving it to babies and toddlers.

    Q. How do you consume maca powder?

    A. You can take maca powder a number of ways. Lots of people add it to their smoothies. Some sprinkle it over granola or another breakfast cereal. You can also add maca powder to all kinds of raw and cooked recipes for a nutritional boost.

    While it's up to you when you consume your maca, many people do so the morning, as it is thought to provide an energy boost for the day ahead.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Lauren
      Lauren
      Writer
    • Linsay
      Linsay
      Editor
    • Melinda
      Melinda
      Web Producer
    • Melissa
      Melissa
      Senior Editor
    • Rich
      Rich
      Writer

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