Are black maca and red maca different? If you’ve seen them sitting on the shelf at your local health food store, you’ve probably wondered if one is better than the other. Here’s what men, women, and athletes should know about black maca vs red maca.
What is Maca?
If you’ve never heard of maca before, you’re probably a little apprehensive about taking it as a supplement. Its scientific name is Lepidium Meyenii and it’s part of the brassica family, just like other highly nutritious veggies such as cabbage, kale, and broccoli.
The maca root is a turnip-like root that grows in the high altitude of the Peruvian Andes. Maca flour has been used for thousands of years by many South American cultures, so it’s certainly not a new discovery.
However, it has just recently become popular in the US, mainly as a health food supplement for increasing energy and vitality. Its adaptive properties have earned it the nickname “Peruvian Ginseng.”
Maca is generally sold in a powdered form that can easily be added to smoothies, baked goods, and other foods.
Black Maca vs Red Maca: The Differences
Peruvian maca powder comes in three color variations: red maca, black maca, and yellow maca. Although the maca colors all offer very similar health benefits, there are slight differences.
Yellow maca is widely available, but most superfood experts prefer the taste and benefits of red and black maca varieties.
The main difference between black maca vs red maca is the taste. Red maca tends to be milder and sweeter than black maca. Studies also show that red maca has a stronger positive effect on energy levels and mood than black maca.
Red maca is the rarest variety of maca. It has a malty taste and contains the highest level of antioxidants of all three forms. It may protect against prostate cancer and prevent bone density loss.
Red maca is also coveted for its ability to balance hormones and increase stamina and strength. Red maca is also rich in amino acids, the building blocks of protein.
It has also been used to help the body cope with stress and relieve depression.
Black maca has been called natural viagra due to its benefits for male sexual health. Neither red nor yellow maca are as beneficial. Black maca can also protect the body from fatigue and stress.
Black maca also improves memory, focus, and functions as a natural anti-depressant. Not only does it improve mood and sleep quality, but it also boosts the immune system.
Black maca has a flavor that’s similar to roasted soybeans. It is not as sweet as red maca, but it’s much sweeter than the yellow variety.
We’ll explore the health benefits of the black maca vs red maca varieties in more detail throughout the article.
The Health Benefits of Maca for Men
There’s a lot of promising evidence to show that maca can be beneficial for men’s sexual health. It has a positive effect on both male libido and fertility.
Clinical studies show that black maca root increases healthy sperm production and leads to higher sperm counts. Incorporating it into your daily routine may be beneficial if you and your partner are trying to conceive. Since maca powder also boosts energy and overall mood, it can also increase libido and sex drive.
When comparing black maca vs red maca benefits for men, red maca root contains polyphenols that have been shown to reduce prostate size, while black maca has no effect on the prostate.
The Health Benefits of Maca for Women
Men aren’t the only ones who can benefit from maca. For women, maca supports healthy hormone levels. It also improves calcium absorption, which is crucial for bone health, especially in women nearing menopause.
And, there’s more good news for women as well! Maca does not contain plant-based estrogens as soy does, so it won’t elevate estrogen levels. It’s actually one of the best adaptogens for balancing hormones and supporting female reproductive health.
Since maca helps to balance hormones, it can also reduce PMS and menopausal symptoms, like mood swings, hot flashes, and night sweats. It also helps to relieve insomnia for some women. Both red and black maca are beneficial for bone health and increasing bone density.
You may notice a slight weight gain when they begin taking maca, especially if you work out. Don’t let it alarm you! Maca muscle building and function. Since muscle weighs more than fat, this nominal weight gain indicates muscle growth, which is good for your health and fitness.
The Benefits of Maca for Athletes
Athletes may also want to consider adding maca root powder to their training regimen. Many pro athletes love it pre-workout for its ability to improve overall performance and stamina. Others take it as a post-workout supplement to overcome fatigue.
Maca is rich in calcium and iron, which are crucial for athletes. It also contains high levels of magnesium and potassium, which promote muscle health and reduce cramping. B vitamins provide mood and energy support as well.
The protein and other nutrients in maca support overall wellbeing and health. It’s an excellent supplement for everyone from runners and bodybuilders to yoga enthusiasts. Maca extract is also available in capsule or gelatinized form for enhanced bioavailability.
Black Maca vs Red Maca: Final Thoughts
All varieties of maca root powder offer amazing health benefits when included in the diet regularly. Many products you’ll find in the health food store contain a combination of all three colors to maximize the beneficial effects.
Each color variation offers specific benefits for both men and women. One color of maca isn’t better than the other, and incorporating them both into your daily routine will ensure that you get the best of both worlds.
However, if you really want to hone in on the benefits of one color, you can find products that contain just one color variety. Whatever option you choose, just about anyone can enjoy the health benefits of this amazing superfood.