Food is our body’s main source of energy. Three macronutrients in particular, namely, carbohydrates, proteins and fats, provide our cells with the fuel they need to perform their normal functions. Ensuring that our cells can function optimally allows us to perform our daily activities to the best of our abilities.
Aside from these macronutrients, some vitamins and minerals are also needed by our bodies to support healthy energy levels. B vitamins, for instance, are needed for converting carbohydrates, proteins and fats into energy.  Vitamin C, iron, magnesium and iodine also play an important role in our body’s natural production of energy. 
Because of how important these nutrients are for maintaining our strength, it’s essential that we include as much nutritious foods in our daily diet as possible. Some dietary supplements can also help us maintain healthy energy levels throughout the day. One example of a potent energy-supporting supplement is maca root.
The History of Maca Root
The cruciferous vegetable Lepidium meyenii, also known as maca or Peruvian ginseng, is a member of the mustard (Brassicaceae) family. It is the only cruciferous vegetable native to the Americas and is cultivated for its edible, underground root, which has been used as food and medicine for thousands of years. 
Maca can be found in the Andes Mountains of central Peru, where it grows at elevations roughly between 13,000 and 14,800 feet. Because vegetation was scarce in the area, and marine and animal meat were not readily available, the ancient Peruvians relied on maca root for their daily dose of some energy-supporting nutrients, such as sugar, starches, protein, iron and iodine. 
Chronicles from the 16th and 17th century reveal that warriors of the Inca Empire consumed maca root to boost their vitality and physical strength.  The Incas also used maca as a folk remedy to support healthy reproductive function, improve mental clarity and treat other minor conditions. Because maca root was so highly prized, it was also used as a form of currency and traded for food like rice, corn, quinoa and beans. 
Then, when the Spanish colonizers arrived in Peru in the early 1530s, they filled the Andean highlands with sheep and replaced native crops like maca with oats. The animals, however, were not used to the inhospitable environment of the highlands and their reproductive capacity suffered as a result.
Upon the advice of the native highlanders, the Spaniards fed the animals maca root. Chroniclers wrote of the incredible boost in health they observed in the animals afterward in their records. Because of the amazing properties of maca root, it became part of the tributes demanded by the Spanish colonizers.
Historical documents show that in 1549, a Spanish conquistador named Juan Tello de Sotomayor received maca as a tribute from Peruvian natives. In 1553, another conquistador and Spanish chronicler, Pedro Cieza de Leon, published the first written description of maca, noting that the root vegetable is widely used by the natives to support their health. 
Maca root is said to have a sweet, slightly spicy flavor. Peruvian natives traditionally dry the hypocotyl – the stem just below the seed leaf – of maca root and then boil it to make maca juice. Boiling is believed to increase the concentrations of some active compounds in cruciferous vegetables.
For instance, in the case of broccoli, studies show that heating increases the formation of sulforaphane, a natural chemical with many health-supporting properties.  While maca root contains only trace amounts of the sulforaphane precursor, glucoraphanin, it boasts high amounts of glucotropaeolin, the precursor to benzyl isothiocyanate (BITC).  BITC has been reported to have many beneficial properties, which include antioxidant and liver-supporting activities. 
The dried hypocotyl of maca root is as hard as stone and can last for many years in storage. When fermented, the juice made from this hypocotyl can be mixed with liquors or used to make desserts. Boiled maca root can also be combined with fruit juice and milk to make a thick broth. According to research, Peruvian natives consume more than 20 grams (g) of dried maca a day.
Organic Peruvian Maca Root is rich in energy-supporting nutrients
Peruvian maca root is widely known as an energizing superfood because of its wealth of nutrients that are either converted into energy inside the body or are involved in energy metabolism. According to analysis, a 100g-serving of organic Peruvian maca root powder can provide the following nutrients: 
- Total carbohydrates, 27% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Dietary fiber, 89% of the DV
- Protein, 25% of the DV
- Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), 21% of the DV
- Vitamin B3 (niacin), 29% of the DV
- Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), 57% of the DV
- Vitamin C (ascorbic acid), 475% of the DV
- Calcium, 19% of the DV
- Iron, 28% of the DV
- Potassium, 35% of the DV
- Manganese, 39% of the DV
As mentioned earlier, B vitamins play a vital role in energy metabolism. Vitamin B2 is used by your body to break down carbohydrates, fats and protein into glucose for your cells.  Vitamin B3 functions primarily in the form of two coenzymes, namely, NAD+ and NADPH. NAD+ helps break down sugar and oxidize fatty acids to generate energy, while NADPH helps with the synthesis of fatty acids, cholesterol and other biomolecules. 
Vitamin B6 is important for the proper functioning of over 100 different enzymes, most of which are involved in the metabolism of fatty acids and the generation of glucose from amino acids.  Vitamin C is required for the synthesis of carnitine, a compound that helps transport long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria, where they are converted into energy for your cells. 
Calcium plays a pivotal role in the regulation of energy metabolism, while iron is a crucial component of enzymes involved in the production of ATP, the principal molecule for storing and transferring energy in cells.  Manganese, on the other hand, is required by enzymes involved in the breakdown of carbohydrates into energy. 
In addition to these nutrients, Peruvian maca root also contains a small amount of iodine (around 52 micrograms (mcg) per 10g-serving), and at least 18 different amino acids, 7 of which are considered essential (not produced by the body).  Iodine is needed for the production of thyroid hormones, which help regulate basal energy metabolism. 
While there is no established optimal dose for Peruvian maca root powder, the dosage used in studies generally only ranges from 1.5 to 3 g per day.  To make the most of your supplementation, consult with a natural health practitioner to find out the best dosage for you.
Peruvian maca root does NOT contain caffeine and has no known or reported side effects when consumed in adequate amounts in supplement form (capsules or powder). 
Health benefits of Organic Maca Root
Peruvian maca root offers plenty of other health benefits aside from supporting healthy energy levels. Here’s what studies have reported about supplementing with maca root:
- It supports optimal brain function – Peruvian maca root contains high amounts of macamides, its signature active components. Macamides are said to be responsible for many of maca root’s health benefits, including its ability to support a healthy brain. According to a study published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, the antioxidant macamides in Peruvian maca root can protect your brain from oxidative stress, which is heavily implicated in brain aging.  This protective benefit can help adults maintain already optimal cognitive performance, especially the elderly. 
- It supports healthy immune function – Peruvian maca root is a great source of glucosinolates, which are sulfur-containing compounds found exclusively in cruciferous vegetables. Glucosinolates are broken down into isothiocyanates like BITC and indole-3-carbinol inside your body.  Studies show that isothiocyanates can support your body’s natural production of antioxidant enzymes, which help protect cells – including your immune cells – from harmful free radicals.  Meanwhile, indole-3-carbinol helps your immune system by supporting the healthy functions of certain immune cells. 
- It supports optimal hormone balance – According to a study published in the International Journal of Biomedical Science, supplementing daily with Peruvian maca root can help you maintain healthy pituitary, thyroid and adrenal levels that are already within the normal range.  This benefit may be attributed in part to indole-3-carbinol, which has been shown to support optimal hormone balance, particularly in women. 
- It supports healthy cardiovascular function – According to an animal study published in the journal Plant Foods for Human Nutrition, including Peruvian maca root in your daily diet is good for your heart as it can help you maintain healthy blood cholesterol and blood sugar levels that are already within the normal range.  A joint study by Australian and Chinese researchers also reported that regular supplementation with maca root can support healthy blood pressure levels that are already within the normal range. 
- It supports optimal reproductive function – As reported by an article published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, modern clinical trials have also confirmed maca root’s ability to support healthy sexual function.  Researchers believe that Peruvian maca root’s reproductive health benefits are thanks to the unique combination of macamides, glucosinolates, alkaloids and other potent phytonutrients it contains.
- It supports healthy stamina and endurance – One of the ways Peruvian maca root supports healthy stamina, endurance and energy levels is by keeping your mitochondria safe from harmful free radicals, courtesy of antioxidant macamides. Mitochondria are the membrane-bound organelles responsible for producing most of the chemical energy your cells need.  A study published in the journal Pharmaceutical Biology also found that a macamide in maca root called N-benzoyloleamide can help reduce fatigue caused by exercise.  This macamide has also been shown to support your body’s natural production of antioxidants, which help keep your brain, liver, mitochondria and muscles functioning optimally.
- It naturally uplifts mood – Aside from its energy-supporting properties, Peruvian maca root is also known for its adaptogenic properties. Adaptogenic herbs like maca root can help you mount a healthy response to stress by supporting normal hormone functions.  Peruvian maca root can also naturally uplift your mood by supporting healthy anandamide levels that are already within the normal range.  Anandamide is an endocannabinoid produced by your brain that stimulates feelings of happiness.  Thanks to macamides and their biological activities in the brain, Peruvian maca root can help you maintain a positive mood.
Where to get lab-verified and certified organic Maca Root Powder
Peruvian maca root is one of the best superfoods for supporting healthy energy levels. Because of its incredible health benefits, it has gained widespread popularity in recent years. As such, you’ll find plenty of maca root products on the market.
However, reports have emerged that China is also growing and exporting maca root products, and it even holds several GMO patents on maca. There are also laboratories in China that produce a synthetic form of maca, which they try to pass off as authentic maca root. 
Although Chinese farmers have successfully grown maca root in the mountains of Yunnan province, there is still a huge difference between the quality, appearance, potency and safety of Peruvian and Chinese maca root.
As shown by a 2019 study published in the journal Scientific Reports, there is a significant difference in the chemical components of Peruvian and Chinese maca root.  Many products from China are sadly of dubious quality and may even be contaminated with dangerous chemicals.
To ensure that the maca root you’re buying is 100% clean, safe and sourced from Peru, choose only products that have been lab verified for cleanliness, purity and potency like Groovy Bee® Organic Maca Root Powder.
Because of the Health Ranger Store’s commitment to bringing you the cleanest products on the market, we offer only organic maca root powder that has undergone extensive quality inspections and lab testing.
Groovy Bee® Organic Maca Root Powder is derived from ultra-clean maca grown under strict organic standards by our trusted suppliers in Peru. It contains no gluten, GMOs or additives and is vegan, non-irradiated and certified Kosher and organic.
Groovy Bee® Organic Maca Root Powder is also thoroughly lab tested for glyphosate, heavy metals and microbiology, so you can be sure of our product’s quality and purity. Supplies are strictly limited, so stock up on ultra-clean maca root powder now while supplies last.
Experience the adaptogenic and energizing properties of organic Peruvian maca root, the ultimate energy-supporting supplement from Mother Nature!
*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose any diseases.