✓ Medically Reviewed and Fact-Checked by Dr. Jesse Ropat, PharmD, RPh, B.Sc.
Since time immemorial, men have been looking for ways to get it up, last longer in bed, and enhance their physical strength.
So, Incan warriors knew they struck gold when they discovered maca root roughly 2000 years ago in the Andes.
An edible plant growing at such a high altitude was a cool discovery. But the tribesmen really flipped out when they found the root (allegedly) increased libido, fertility, and stamina.
Maca (from the Lepidium meyenii plant) is a brassica vegetable native to the Andes in Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina. It’s a hardy plant, not only surviving but thriving 12-14,000 feet above sea level in inhospitable terrain. Because of its origins and popularity to boost energy, it’s often called “Peruvian ginseng.”
As a brassica, maca is related to some of the healthiest veggies on earth, like broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, and cabbage. It also has an impressive nutrient and antioxidant content that includes B vitamins, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, and amino acids.
In health and wellness circles, it’s proclaimed as a superfood for increasing sexual vitality, boosting mood, and improving energy.
Maca is in high demand, and there’s an abundance of powders and capsules available online.
But be cautious. Herbal supplements aren’t FDA regulated, and unscrupulous brands prey on people’s desperation – especially around sexual performance problems.
To help you take the guesswork out of buying high-quality maca, check out our list. (And all the brands comply with Good Manufacturing Practices). Most common doses of MACA are between 1.5g per day at the lower range, up to 3g per day at the upper range, so take that into account when making your selection.)
*Note: We do have affiliate links throughout this article, which means we receive a commission if you purchase from any of our links. This supports our mission to bring complicated health and fitness info in an entertaining package. And it keeps us from putting up annoying things like banner ads. Those suck.
Best Maca Supplement for Libido: Upgraded Formulas
Best Maca Supplement for Hair Growth: Nutrafol Women’s Balance Hair Growth Nutraceutical
Best Maca Supplement for Stress: Irwin Naturals Concentrated Maca Root and Ashwagandha
Best Maca Supplement for Weight Loss: VigRX® Organic Bio Maca
When it comes to maca supplements, the two biggest components to look for are quality and price. While there are some great products that include maca as part of a blend, if you want the best deal, look for single-ingredient maca root.
Slim Sciences Maca+ sources organic certified maca from Peru and Argentina. They’re third-party-tested and manufactured in the USA. Their Maca+ is non-GMO, vegan-friendly, and gluten-free.
Because the quality is high, one bottle runs more expensive than other products on the market. However, for RFS readers they have a buy 1 get 2 deal, which brings the cost overall down and makes it a great deal for you.
Another element that stands out about this product is the 180-day money-back guarantee, so there’s no risk on your end.
Each capsule contains 500mg of pure maca root powder.
For these reasons, Slim Sciences Maca+ is #1 on our list.
Double Wood Supplements is known for its high-quality, health-focused products. They’re third-party tested and GMP-certified. Their maca root product is simple. All it contains is maca root powder and a veggie capsule.
All their products are third-party tested, and the Certificates of Analysis (COA) are publicly available.
Double Wood also makes health supplements super affordable. This bottle of 300 x 500 mg maca capsules costs just $19.95 – 6 cents per capsule.
This is pure maca root in a convenient capsule. No BS.
It’s gluten-free, non-GMO, and made in the USA.
For those looking to boost sex drive, increase blood flow, and even support testosterone production, look no further than this comprehensive testosterone booster from Upgraded Formulas.
Its primary ingredient is 700mg of MacaXtra® organic maca root extract. Just this alone makes this a fantastic product, and worthy of a high spot on our list. This patented form is standardized to 1% glucosinolates, one of maca’s key bioactive compounds.
In addition, though, they include other premium ingredients that support testosterone production. The use LJ100® Tongkat Ali, S7® coffee bean extract, and more.
Upgraded Formulas is known for focusing on high absorption and making products of the highest quality. If you’re looking for all of the benefits of maca and more, look no further than Upgraded T.
If you’re looking to de-stress while also spicing things up in the bedroom, say hello to Irwin Naturals’ Concentrated Maca Roote and Ashwagandha liquid soft-gels.
Think of Maca Root as your chill Peruvian buddy and Ashwagandha as the calm guru—when these two get together, it’s like a zen party for your body and mind.
Together with additional nourishing ingredients like Beet Root and MCT oil, this product aims to provide a holistic approach to stress management while also promoting sexual vitality.
Whether used daily for overall balance or as needed for immediate stress relief, this supplement is tailored to help you lead a more balanced and vibrant life.
If you’re 45 or older and your locks are losing their luster, Women’s Balance Hair Growth Nutraceutical by Nutrafol has got you covered. This physician-formulated supplement is designed with a blend of maca root to give your hair a new lease on life by targeting the root causes of thinning, such as hormonal imbalances, metabolism, and aging. Packed with natural ingredients, this supplement is your go-to for whole-body health and, most importantly, visibly thicker hair.
VigRX® Organic BioMaca is high-quality black organic Maca from Peru. It’s high-grade Maca from the Andes Mountains that has been used for centuries to help boost sex drive and energy levels.
A few elements make this product stand out. First, the formula includes BioPerine, a patented derivative of black pepper that may increase the absorption of maca and aid with weight loss. (Although it goes without saying, for true weight loss to occur, you’ll need to ensure you’re in a caloric deficit).
Second, it’s a clean, simple formula. Besides maca and BioPerine, they use a vegetarian capsule.
Natural Health Source also offers a 67-day 100% money-back guarantee on this product.
Each bottle contains 60 capsules with 600mg of maca per capsule.
The only downside is that it’s a bit pricier than other similar options, at 50 bucks.
Garden of Life sourced maca powder from organic, sustainable farms in the Peruvian mountains. It’s 100% USDA organic and fair trade.
Garden of Life went above and beyond to make their maca powder absorbable. It’s gelatinized for optimal bioavailability and contains a probiotic blend for digestive health. This provides 1 billion colony-forming units (CFU) of bifidobacteria lactis and lactobacillus acidophilus.
You can add the powder to smoothies, protein shakes, oatmeal, and homemade protein bars for a nutrient boost. It has a mild earthy taste, but it’s not unpleasant.
NOW Foods is a trusted brand with a great track record and a catalog of more than 1,400 quality products.
Their maca supplement offers 750 mg of 100% Peruvian-grown, non-GMO maca root per capsule. It’s the highest capsule dose on this list.
Toniiq (pronounced tonic) has only been on the scene for a few years.
Toniiq has gone above and beyond with this supplement. Each capsule contains 500 mg of wildcrafted maca root, ethically sourced from Peru. It comes in a 20:1 extract ratio (it takes 20 grams of raw maca root to make just 1 gram of the powder). It’s probably the highest strength on the market.
There are 90 capsules per bottle, but the strength means you don’t need to take as many as other brands.
Each batch is third-party tested for quality and purity, and the reports are freely available.
PureBulk sells maca powder and capsules in a 4:1 concentration ratio.
This product is for you if you like to buy in bulk (and like options). They also have a variety of container sizes to suit your needs.
PureBulk wants you to buy quality supplements without breaking the bank. They keep costs down and plow the savings back into making the best nutritional supplements for their clients.
All their products are third-party tested in the US. The COA results are available on request through their website.
We’re fans of California Gold Nutrition because they guarantee purity. Their competitively priced products are made in cGMP facilities and regularly audited by a third party.
Each 2-capsule serving of California Gold Nutrition Peruvian Maca provides 1000 mg of organic maca root sourced from the Andean District of Junin, Peru.
We picked what we consider the best maca supplements on the market. But you need to make the best decision for your needs and goals.
These are the factors we looked at when compiling the list.
As mentioned, the supplement industry isn’t FDA-regulated. Brands can make wild claims without the fear of recourse, putting the onus on the customer to ensure a supplement isn’t garbage.
But who has time for that?
We do. We’ve thoroughly researched the top maca products manufactured according to strict quality standards and are third-party tested for purity.
Plus, we boosted companies that make their test results publicly available.
Maca root has been cultivated in the Andes for centuries. But the growing demand for maca means its sustainability (and overall quality) is at risk. Unfortunately, many people try to make a quick buck growing low-quality maca in dodgy conditions.
We looked for products that use organic maca sourced from sustainable farms in Peru.
We chose supplements that offer a therapeutic dose of maca. It’s also easy to adjust the dosage if you prefer to start at the lower end.
We’ve included maca capsules and loose powder so you can decide what works best for your lifestyle.
We don’t want you to walk away from a supplement that may help you just because of the cost.
We’ve made it our mission to choose high-quality products that are also affordable. We’re confident you’ll find a product to suit your budget.
Honestly, we don’t know yet.
This study found that maca extract increased swimming endurance in mice. However, besides a tiny improvement in cycling time, there isn’t much evidence that maca improves physical performance in humans.
Unfortunately, we don’t know if maca improves mental health in people with diagnosed depression, anxiety, or other mood disorders.
Maca root may lower blood pressure in postmenopausal women. But we need more research before we recommend maca for lowering blood pressure.
Its impacts on blood flow are why maca has been reported to support sexual dysfunction (we don’t need to explain more what we mean by this.) However, this also needs more research to back up the claim.
There are three types of maca: yellow, red, and black. They all originate from the same seed crop, but the level of phytonutrients in the skin colors the root.
There’s no evidence to suggest they exert wildly different effects. Most supplements use yellow maca root because it makes up roughly 70% of a crop. Black maca is the rarest.
Take this with a pinch of salt, but Incan shamans considered black maca the best for male libido and fertility. Red maca was used for balancing female hormones.
Maca root is considered very safe. There is no evidence to suggest it has any serious side effects, even at high doses. However, as with anything, seek your healthcare provider’s advice before starting a new supplement or medication.
You need to take a therapeutic dose of maca for the best results. A few sprinkles of powder in your smoothie won’t do much besides give you a (tiny) nutrient boost.
Most studies have used between 2-5 grams per day, with the average being between 1.5g and 3g.
Finally, it takes a few months to see improvements. Don’t expect miracles in a few weeks.
As for the best form of maca, black maca is 99% of what is commercially available, and what you’ll be getting in every product. If you see otherwise, it’s probably just marketing tactics.
The growing demand for maca root has made researchers take note. Lots of studies have been popping up over the last two decades.
The studies have been small, but the results are compelling and warrant further investigation. Until then, let’s talk about what we know so far.
Maca has a reputation (at least among men) for putting you in the mood and helping you perform like a stallion.
And research shows this perception has some truth to it. Well, not the stallion part.
A 2010 review study found maca significantly improves libido in healthy men.
Another (small) 2015 study found taking maca helped men with mild erectile dysfunction perform better in bed. However, the results were subjective.
Maca could be a game-changer for people taking libido-destroying antidepressants. A systematic review of the effectiveness of MACA root on antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction found that MACA showed positive results, indicating it may indeed improve libido, as well as reduce some of the sexual side effects of antidepressants.
That said, we could do with updated research on this subject (and larger sample sizes). If you’re looking for a more proven libido aid, check out tongkat ali supplements. On our list, we also included “blended” products that contain maca root alongside other ingredients.
Maca may be valuable for women experiencing hot flashes, night sweats, fatigue, depression, and low libido associated with menopause.
We can’t say for sure, but it may slow the decline in female sex hormones during menopause. A pilot study found maca increased estrogen and progesterone levels in menopausal women.
I’d love to see if maca root improves bone loss in postmenopausal women. But I’m getting ahead of myself…
If you and your partner are dealing with infertility, maca may be worth a try.
Maca makes you want to have sex and gives your swimmers a boost. This review study found it improves sperm concentration and motility, while this study found an improvement in sperm concentration but not motility.
Even though its role in reproductive health needs more investigation, these promising results suggest that maca could play a larger role in reproductive health.
(Jump to the end of the article for more on the health benefits of maca root.)
While we don’t know exactly how maca works, traditional folk medicine offers some insight. It considers maca an adaptogen – a compound that promotes homeostasis by helping you adapt to physical, mental, and emotional stress.
In sum, maca root helps your body find balance. And, when it comes to health, balance is everything.