Have you ever heard of the maca root? You may or may not have, but the maca root has been used for thousands of years to help boost energy, energy that could be helpful for you for your races! Intrigued yet? ; )
From where does the maca root originate? Maca is a plant grown in the Andes Mountains in Peru, used as a vegetable crop for thousands of years. It has an odor similar to butterscotch and is a part of the radish family.
What were its original uses? The maca root was originally used as “a nutritional supplement, a fertility enhancer for both animals and humans and an energizer.” It is also known to have been used by the Incas and Spanish before battle in order to “increase energy, prowess, and recovery time.”
What studies have been done with regard to athletes and maca? Since the late 1990’s, many studies have been done on maca, but just a few have been used on maca and energy. In 2009, a study was done on a group of athletes, some of which took maca powder, and the remaining took a placebo for two weeks. At the end of the two weeks, the athletes completed a 40 km cycling course, and studies found that those who took maca reduced their times, while the athletes who took the placebo had times that remained close or the same as their previous personal bests.
How does it work? Maca is all natural–no caffeine, no preservatives, no processed energy enhancers. The maca root is a “nutritional powerhouse,” containing protein, fiber, amino acids, and a number of vitamins and minerals and unique compounds. Additionally, maca is an adaptogen–a very rare plant–that raises “the physical’s body’s state of resistance to diseases through physiological and emotional health improvements.” As such, the maca root contains the incredients to aid in training, racing, and recovery, in a natural manner. How can you use it? Maca can be found in a capsule form, but is most known to have come in the form of powder, which can be blended in your smoothies. Add in the rest of your ingredients, and its slightly nutty taste is barely noticeable. With regard to dosage, 1-3 teaspoons (or 6-16 capsules) daily is recommended. What is most important, is that you find the dosage that works for you and your body, so adjust accordingly.
If you would like to do some more reading on your own, you can do so here!
Discussion: Have you ever tried the maca root? What are your thoughts?