Maca root’s reputation as an herbal elixir for sexual health and balancing hormones may have an unintended consequence—gaining weight. But is maca root weight gain really possible? Find out if you should avoid maca root if you’re trying to keep your weight in check.
What is Maca Root?
Maybe you’re curious about taking maca but heard that it can make you put on a few pounds. We’ll explore this possibility shortly. But first let’s get to know this supplement a little better. Doing so can help to understand how it may lead to weight gain in the first place….
Maca root is a cruciferous vegetable. That means it’s in the same group as broccoli, cauliflower and kale. But essentially, the root is a tuber (like a potato or yam).
The veggie grows native in the Andes mountains in Peru. Over the years, it’s become a popular supplement. Particularly so for women about to enter menopause. That’s because maca helps balance hormones.
When hormones are balanced, one outcome is improved libido and sexual function. (Men also use it for improving sexual health. Especially for stamina and erectile dysfunction.)
Women also use maca to improve mood. Obviously, you’ll feel a lot happier when you’re not suffering from hot flashes, which is a consequence of low estrogen. (Try also drinking Dong Quai tea if you have hot flashes.)
In addition, if you’re frequently cold and have pale skin, maca may also help. That’s because it helps improve thyroid gland function.
Maca Root Benefits: Is Having a Bigger Booty Worth It?
If you’re dying to know about maca root weight gain, stay tuned. You’ll find out if this South American superfood can pack on the pounds in just a bit….
But first let’s explore what many women are wondering before taking it: does it really work for improving your sex life?
According to at least a couple studies, the answer is yes. Preliminary studies at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) suggest it boosts libido. Especially in women who have already gone through menopause.
Maca can even help counteract the negative sexual side effects of antidepressants. The MGH research offers anecdotal evidence from participants in the study. The participants revealed that after taking maca root, their libido and ability to achieve an orgasm was improved.
The cherry on top: Both men and women experienced the health benefits in the studies.
As for how much to take, the MGH researchers recommend a dose between 1.5 and 3 grams per day.
In addition to improving sexual wellness, another advantage of taking this supplement is helping your body deal with stress. Like ashwagandha, maca is considered an adaptogen. Adaptogens help the body adapt to stress. (That’s why certain herbs are called “ADAPTogens”.)
If you’re often tired, adaptogens are one of the best supplements for supporting your adrenal glands.
Here’s another benefit of maca root for women: according to research in the International Journal of Biomedical Science, it can restrict weight increase.
Wait? Say, what? Isn’t a maca root side effect weight gain?
Maca Root Weight Gain: It’s Not As Bad As You Think
Without further ado, here’s the real skinny on this topic….
Because of the hormone-balancing effects, yes, it’s theoretically possible that taking maca root pills or powder could make you gain weight.
But before explaining how this happens, answer the following question:
When you step on a scale, what do you see?
Just a number, right? That number staring back at you is your weight, of course. But the number isn’t giving you the full picture. How much of the number is body fat?
And how much is lean muscle? What about water weight?
Are you getting the picture here?
If you do gain a couple pounds after taking maca root, it’s not because you’re eating too much of it and getting fat. Rather, it’s because of three reasons….
The first reason is a consequence of the hormone-balancing actions. You see, when your hormones are in better balance, your metabolism increases. And as a result, you may feel hungrier.
But that doesn’t mean you’re going to get fatter if you take maca root powder (or pills).
On the contrary, if you do experience maca root weight gain it’s because you’ll lose fat and gain muscle. Muscle weighs more than fat. Therefore, you may possibly weigh a pound or two more than after taking the supplement.
It makes sense if you think about it. After all, if you have more energy to do resistance-training (weight lifting) as a result of taking maca root, you’ll gain muscle.
So just because you gain weight doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad thing.
Maca Root For Curves: The Superfood of Choice for Strippers?
Some women who take lepidium meyenii (maca’s botanical name) actually like the fact that they put on a little weight. In fact, some women are claiming that it can help you achieve a derriere extraordinaire. Yes that’s right, a bigger butt, a la Brazilian butt lift style is possible when taking maca. Or so says some young women in YouTube videos.
But does taking maca root pills for curves actually work?
Consider this 11-minute YouTube video. The host of the video, Bella, works in the exotic-dancing industry. She claims that maca distributes fat into the right places, i.e. “the curves.”
In the first few seconds of the video, Bella says, “Today I’m going to be talking about something that can be very useful to either strippers or just anyone out there….”
Bella immediately then adds the disclaimer that she’s not a doctor.
No judgement towards Bella. After all, who better to know what works for curves than an exotic dancer?
Bella goes on to say that she uses raw organic black maca powder. This particular type of root, she explains, was the most rare and most valuable type of maca root. Inca warriors subsited on black maca root. The warriors used it for stamina and strength in battle.
Anyhow, Bella offers a scientific explanation as to how maca root weight gain works….
She claims that estrogen is what gives women curves. The lean-framed Bella then says, “I’m missing a lot of estrogen.”
Bella says her goal with taking maca root is for her fat to be better distributed throughout her body. Although she doesn’t appear to be overweight in the least bit, she says that the fat she does have is concentrated entirely around her stomach.
Does Maca Root Increase Breast Size?
Eating healthy and staying active, Bella claims, will ensure that taking maca root doesn’t lead to weight gain if your appetite increases. And not only that, it can help redistribute the fat you do have to your breasts and butt.
Unfortunately, you’re not going to find any large research studies that support this theory. There’s no scientific paper entitled: Maca Root—A Natural Approach to Breast Lifts.
However, on the Internet, you’ll find lots of anecdotal evidence it works.
In the video, Bella supports the theory by providing before and after measurements.
In another YouTube video, the presenter, Jalisa, claims that before taking maca root powder, her bust measured a 34B. After taking it: her bust increased to 37.
“For me that’s huge,” says Jalisa, adding, “I’ve been a size 34 since high school.”
And as for sexual health, Jalisa says, “Y’all that’s true to the core. It definitely increases libido.”
Jalisa goes on to say that her butt and hips only increased a couple centimeters.
One viewer of Jalisa’s video commented that after taking maca (along with fenugreek), she went from a size C to a double D.
Not only did her bust increase, but the commenter claims that “maca keeps ‘the ladies’ firm.”
Maca Root Weight Gain: Conclusion
As with any supplement, don’t rely on YouTube videos for proof. Every single substance on this planet has the potential to be dangerous. Even water can be fatal. (Drinking too much can deplete your body of electrolytes.)
However, there is sufficient research on this supplement. And the research shows that it can be very beneficial for managing stress by rebalancing hormone levels. In addition, it may help lower blood pressure.
But as to whether or not it can give you a Brazilian booty: the jury is still out. You’ll have to try it yourself and see.
Just remember that if you do take this supplement and you pack on a couple pounds, it’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Hormone-Balancing Effect of Pre-Gelatinized Organic Maca
Natural supplements for mental health
Maca reduces blood pressure and depression, in a pilot study in postmenopausal women.