Maca is a plant or cruciferous vegetable that resembles a turnip and belongs to the radish family.
The root, also known as Peruvian Ginseng, because it is native to the Peruvian Andes where it grows high up in the mountains, maca is hardy yet edible and the highest growing plant in the world.
Its underground fleshy root has been used as a medicinal ingredient and food for centuries, having been used to make pastries, drinks, soups, pies, or eaten roasted or baked.
The root, which is rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals, among other substances, is generally dried and commonly taken as a liquid extract or in powder or capsule form.
While maca powder may not be as pleasant to the taste for everyone, there are those who like it’s ‘earthy’ and ‘nutty’ taste, and thus add it to their oatmeal, smoothies, and sweet treats.
Benefits of Maca Powder
Maca powder is loved by wellness enthusiasts and proponents of health and fitness alike owing to the numerous benefits it provides to the body, including:
Maca root’s chemical composition has been shown to support functions of the endocrine system, thus helping with the regulation of hormones especially with menopausal women, and/or improving fertility and libido in men.
Most athletes and bodybuilders supplement their diet with maca powder to boost stamina, which they need to get the most out of their workout sessions – whether it’s improving strength or gaining muscle mass.
Defense against stress symptoms
Maca is an adaptogenic herb, and may assist the immune system of the body in defending itself from emotional and physical damages related to stress, besides supporting exhausted pituitary and adrenal glands.
Often used by ancient Peruvians, maca root is known for its fertility-enhancing qualities and libido-boosting traits.
It is thus a natural aphrodisiac, if you need a little boost to your love life.
If you’re managing light or moderate anxiety, depression, and/or low energy levels, maca may help reduce these as a result of its flavonoid compounds.
Improvement of brain functions
Native Peruvians used maca to improve their children’s cognitive abilities.
What to look for in a good Maca Powder
Maca comes in three variants: red, black, and cream (yellow) root, all of which are said to have properties that are slightly different.
The rarest maca root is the black variant, while yellow is the most common, and red is the sweetest.
The color you pick also depends on the specific health purpose you need the maca powder for.
Yellow Maca is known for boosting focus (mental) and general health, black is able to protect the brain and is a powerful infection fighter.
Red Maca works for those affected by prostate problems or osteoporosis, as it touches up on prostate health, and increases bone density.
A good maca powder product or supplement should be made by a reputable brand or company, following strict GMP (good manufacturing practices) guidelines, and come in consumable form – powder or capsule.
Additionally, consider how you’ll incorporate it – raw (slightly or not cooked) or gelatinized (pre-cooked) – raw maca isn’t heated to more than 105 degrees thus keeping most nutrients and enzymes.
The gelatinized maca is heated to high temperatures to remove starch (removing all enzymes and nutrients), is ideal especially if you’re prone to stomach irritability.
Are there any side effects of Maca Powder?
According to WebMD, maca is possibly safe for most people when consumed by mouth in larger amounts for up to four months, as medicine. It is also likely safe when taken in amounts found in food.
The root seems tolerated well by most people, but, for pregnant and nursing mons, there’s not enough reliable information about consuming it, so stay safe by avoiding its use.
Anyone with a condition that may be exacerbated by exposure to estrogen shouldn’t use the maca powder or maca root extracts. This is because maca extracts may act like estrogen.
Such conditions include uterine/ovarian/breast cancer, uterine fibroids, and endometriosis.
Best Maca Powder Brands and Supplements
Now that you know what maca root is, its benefits, how to take it and possible side effects, here are the best maca powder brands and supplements you can choose on the market.
This maca powder brand offers the powdered, gelatinized version, but unlike other brands, Terrasoul imports their products directly (instead of using co-packers).
The maca is also lab-tested and packaged in-house to ensure premium quality.
Some companies don’t do proper screening for their product shipments, which opens the door to organisms, pathogens, and dirt creeping into the bag of maca.
Terrasoul is a top wholesale supplier of organic superfoods, and works with farmers directly, which is why their products are made with the highest quality ingredients.
The maca used is also sustainably cultivated in accordance with fair trade practices, making it a high quality product.
It offers maca as a blend of all three root colors: black, yellow, and red.
Their ingredients are sourced from Peru, with a notable difference in quality from maca sourced from China.
This powder is USDA Certified Organic, raw, non-GMO, gluten-free and vegan.
- Blends all three maca root variants
- Great price for high quality product
- Dissolves well (doesn’t get clumpy)
- USDA Certified organic and gluten-free
- May not be as tasty unless mixed with yogurt or coffee
- Bag size may be tricky to transport
Healthworks Peruvian Maca powder contains fiber, protein, vitamin C, calcium, B vitamins, potassium, iron, manganese, copper, and fatty acids.
The brand partners with small farmers straight from the source, ensuring the product meets sustainable standards.
It is raw, thus ensures maximum absorption of nutrients and is all-natural, vegan-friendly, non-GMO, gluten- and dairy-free.
You can add it to your juices or smoothies to soften its taste, or pair with sweeter fruits to ease the strong flavor.
- USDA Certified Organic
- Easy to use
- Versatile addition to a variety of snacks and meals
- Offers beneficial nutrients
- Offers 100 percent satisfaction promise with full refund or replacement if not satisfied
- Resealable package
- Some users prefer that it had more flavor
- Weight listed on packaging may be inaccurate
Viva Naturals offers the yellow maca root variant.
The fully matured and developed maca roots are fully harvested when their foliage is at its brightest yellow.
They are then dried slowly and milled gently at low temperatures to produce a fine, rich-tasting powder.
Gelatinization breaks down the start molecules so as to ease digestion, while enhancing overall bioavailability and nutrient content.
- Promotes radiant and glowing complexion and skin
- Has adaptogenic qualities
- Versatile for use with a variety of recipes
- Certified Organic, gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan-friendly
- Bag may not always seal fully
- Some users report overly potent nutty taste
Navitas Organics offers super nutritious and simple superfoods that give you the energy needed to live each day to the fullest.
This is its promise to bring you the most health-boosting plants worldwide, which are nutrient-dense, organic, and handled with care at each step.
In this way, they support sustainable growing practices while providing you with the nutrients that are most essential for your body to thrive.
The company is B Corps certified and operates according to rigorous standards of environmental and social performance, accountability, and transparency.
The product is sweet and malty, and energizes naturally without the crashes and jitters of caffeine.
You can use it with warm drinks, smoothies, baked goods, and oatmeal.
- Certified Organic, Kosher, gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan-friendly
- Users say it tastes less bitter than competing brands
- Is adaptogenic (relieves damaging effects of stress)
- Easy to transport (small bag)
- Some users complain of gritty texture and aggravation of acid-reflux
These vegan maca root powder capsules contain 1000 milligrams each, and are a blend of the three variants of maca root – black, yellow, and red – all packed in one tiny capsule.
NutraChamps Maca powder capsules pack the power of all three root colors to deliver each color’s unique benefits.
It also features black pepper extract for maximized absorption, ensuring your body reaps all the maca root benefits, with none buried away.
The maca blend is gelatinized for increased bioavailability and digestion, with every product backed by the brand’s lifetime guarantee so if you’re dissatisfied, they’ll refund the entire purchase, hassle-free.
- Easy to swallow pill
- Benefits of all three maca root colors in one
- No bad taste
- No additives or fillers
- Doesn’t say calorie count on label
- Runs out fast depending on quantity taken daily
BulkSupplements company is located in Henderson, Nevada and supplies more than 400 pure nutritional supplement ingredients to thousands of consumers and manufacturers.
It’s products are available from grams to metric tons, via its online store.
The products are manufactured in its FDA-registered cGMP manufacturing and distribution facility, with the wellness of the community in mind.
The company dedicates its time and efforts to maintaining health code and government regulations.
All its supplements, including this pure maca root extract powder, are tested in the in-house lab prior to distribution, to ensure they’re safe for human consumption.
Additional testing is done via reputable and vetted US-based independent labs.
This clean and pure powder is packed in a factory sealed foil zip pouch and has been tested for verification and guaranteed purity.
- No additives or fillers
- Pleasant taste
- Great company/brand support
- Good quality
- Some users complain of burnt smell
This maca powder by Zen Spirit is harvested from Junin Peru, around 2700-4300 meters above sea level, far from any contamination or pollution.
It is a premium grade powder and perfect natural supplement superfood you can use to cook and prepare your favorite recipes from cookies, cakes, smoothies, hot drinks and lattes too.
The powder offers the best source of essential amino acids, minerals, vitamins, and nutrients, and is sugar and cholesterol free.
It is 100 percent premium Peruvian Maca root powder, USDA Organic Certified, and made with customer satisfaction at the top of its priorities.
Zen Spirit offers a 100 percent money back guarantee so if you’re dissatisfied, they’ll grant a refund.
- USDA Organic certified
- 100 percent maca root
- High quality product
- Users say it gives energy and alertness
- Some users complained of stomach pain after use
This maca powder from Soul Organics offers a non-GMO, kosher, gluten-free product that’s made to help you feel better and cut your stress.
It is gelatinized to make it more concentrated, bio-available, and digestible, so you can enjoy maca at its purest and freshest.
The product has a nutty flavor, and you can add it to your diet to enjoy the non-caffeinated burst of energy you can get from juices, smoothies, soups, cereals, or baked goods.
A downloadable recipe book is included with every purchase of this product so you can integrate this quality maca powder into your daily diet.
- 100 percent organic
- Versatile and delicious
- Company plants a tree with every product purchased
- Grown and sourced directly from farmers based on fair trade practices
- Users have reported an overpowering taste
- Package seal may be unreliable
Pride of India boasts an organic maca root superfood ground powder grown in Lima, Peru.
The product is USDA Certified organic, and enriched with fiber, protein, vitamin C, vitamin B, calcium, iron, and other minerals.
You can add it to juices, smoothies, soups, oatmeal, granola, energy supplements, cereal, and baked goods.
It is gluten-free, non-GMO, cholesterol- and fat-free, vegan-friendly, and non-irradiated.
The gelatinized maca root powder is packed in the USA in a resealable bag, and delivers an earthy and nutty taste, so you can add to your diet for increased energy, performance ability, and endurance.
- Easily dissolves
- Enriched with vitamins, nutrients, and other minerals
- No refund policy
- Some users say it has stems in it
Kiva offers an organic maca powder that is 100 percent pure, vegan-friendly, non-GMO, raw, and fair trade certified.
The product comes in a 16-ounce resealable pouch, with each bag containing the 100 percent raw, organic maca powder.
Maca roots that are used to make this powder are hand-selected and harvested from the high Andes mountains of Peru, and they’re processed minimally in low temperatures to protect their natural nutrients, and flavor.
Kiva backs its products with its promise – to provide innovative food from around the world that’s great tasting, healthy, and of the highest quality.
The company is committed to using ingredients sourced from farmers practicing sustainable farming methods.
- Users find it delightful when added to smoothies
- Sound, resealable package
- Minimally processed to preserve nutrients
- Contains essential amino acids and vitamins
- Some users report that it’s too chalky
- Some report odd aroma
Divine Organics, a health and wellness organic food line founded by David Kaplan, is based in Marin County, Northern California.
The brand’s vision and passion is to bring super premium, unique, and organic raw food to the market, and is a recognized leader in sourcing and providing organic superfoods and cutting edge wellness products.
Through its motto, ‘Life from life, energy from energy’, Divine Organics has built a tradition of supplying only the best products to health food and gourmet stores in the country.
It supports sustainable and family-owned farms in different countries, including Peru, from where it sources its maca root to create this delicious maca powder brand.
The powder is USDA certified organic, and is packed in a resealable or reclosable bag to preserve its freshness, making it last longer.
The bags seal well, keeping the pure, rich, and incredible powder aroma intact, for a refreshingly subtle and confection-like smell.
Divine Organics offers a 60-day better-than-money-back guarantee, meaning you can order with the peace of mind knowing the product is 100 percent satisfactory.
However, if dissatisfied, and you raise the complaint within 60 days of purchase, you’ll get a full, no-questions asked refund.
Add it to your recipes for food or beverages including smoothies, teas, puddings, yogurts, oatmeal, baked goods like muffins, chocolates, cookies, bread and other meals.
- Dissolves well
- Speedy delivery upon purchase
- Full refund within 60 days of purchase if dissatisfied
- USDA Certified
- Some users reported chemicals in the bag’s lining
- Bag is large and bulky
Final Thoughts – Which is the best Maca powder brand?
Maca root powder and supplements are great if you want to add a nourishing superfood to your diet.
From these 10 best brands, and user reviews, the powder promises to boost energy, elevate your moods and hormones, increase libido and fertility, and endurance.
Diana Paul is a certified nutritionist who writes for leading health blogs. She is a master herbalist, yoga teacher, forager, and wild-crafting writer She is focused on helping people transform life blocks to opportunities. Based in NYC, she often holds health seminars and lectures.