Does Maca Root Make You Gain Weight?

Does Maca Root Make You Gain Weight?

In recent years, maca root has gained popularity worldwide due to its numerous health benefits, including boosting energy levels, improving fertility, and balancing hormones. However, one question often arises among those considering adding maca root to their diet is whether it can cause weight gain.

In this article, we will dive into maca root for weight gain and answer the question - does maca root make you gain weight?


Does Maca Root Make You Gain Weight?

maca root may help with gain weight in women

With its low and seemingly insignificant calorie value, Maca is considered an aid to slimming diets [4]. Like sweet potatoes, Maca is a low-calorie, high-energy food abundant in starchy carbohydrates.

Although maca root is unsuitable for weight gain due to its low calorie and fat content, there are several indirect ways in which maca root may contribute to weight gain. We will find out together soon.

How Does Maca Root Help You Gain Weight?

ways that maca may help with weight management

Below are some benefits that Maca root indirectly supports weight gain:

Increased appetite: [5] Consuming maca root may cause some individuals to experience heightened appetite. If this increases calorie consumption without adequate compensatory dietary adjustments or increased physical activity, it could contribute to weight gain.

Enhanced muscle growth: A study that supplemented maca root with myotubes for 2 days showed that adding MacaMaca to C2C12 bone cell cultures increased muscle diameter and myotube area [6].

Increased muscle mass can contribute to weight gain. In addition, weight gain due to muscle mass and not fat is also a sign of healthy weight gain.

Regulating hormones: Maca regulates other hormones in the body and promotes a healthy state of balance. Reducing stress and anxiety is common when taking maca products and can also support healthy eating habits that can lead to weight gain.

Increases in energy: Maca is known for its energizing effects, as it promotes increased movement and can stimulate a more robust appetite, potentially leading to a higher calorie intake.

How Much Maca Root Should You Take For Weight Gain?

maca root dosage for weight gain

There is no specific dosage for using maca root for weight gain. So, how much maca root should you take for weight gain?

Maca aqueous extract is generally considered safe in doses up to 5 g extract/kg, equivalent to approximately 11 g dry hypocotyls/kg. The most significant effect was observed at a 1.0 g extract/kg dose.

In the Peruvian central Andes, it is typical for individuals to consume around 50-100 g of dry Maca hypocotyls (approximately 0.71-1.42 g of dry hypocotyls/kg) in a single meal, often in the form of a juice made by boiling the dry hypocotyls [7].

Which Maca Root Is Best For Weight Gain?

Below is a comparison table showcasing the critical benefits of three different types of Maca.

Black maca 

Yellow maca

Red maca

  • Improve memory and concentration
  • Balance hormones
  • Provide energy
  • Improve overall health
  • Increase libido and fertility (potentially)
  • Reduce stress
  • Support physical health and endurance
  • Hormone balance
  • Anti-fatigue
  • Reproductive support
  • Supports physical health and endurance
  • Supports bone health
  • Antioxidant


Of the three types of Maca, the Black Maca is considered the rarest and has the most benefits.

Although there are some similarities in the benefits of the three types of Maca because they are the same species, there are differences in the nutritional composition contained in these three types, although there is no specific proof.

Black Maca is considered to have the potential for weight gain because it supports hormone balance, reduces stress, and promotes overall health, but this has not been clearly proven.

Can Maca Root Help With Weight Loss?

can maca help with weight loss

Although maca root has been linked to various health benefits, little scientific evidence supports claims that it directly aids weight loss. Maca root has no magical properties that can make you lose weight on your own.

Achieving weight loss usually involves a combination of factors, including sustaining a calorie deficit, engaging in regular physical activity, and following a balanced and nutritious diet.

While maca root is a nutrient-dense food that offers potential health benefits, it should not be regarded as the sole solution for weight loss.

A study conducted on mice found that incorporating Maca supplementation into a regular diet did not significantly impact weight changes.

However, the study revealed that Maca is a compound rich in polyphenols [8], which plays a significant weight control role. Maca is not a compound that directly reduces or increases weight but contributes to maintaining a healthy weight.


What's The Best Way To Take Maca Root For Weight Gain?

Although maca root may have potential benefits for weight gain, it is essential to focus on a balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrient-rich foods to support healthy weight gain. Please note that maca root is not a direct weight-gain compound; it aids weight gain indirectly through its health benefits. You can gain healthy weight by using the correct dosage and maintaining healthy living habits.

Are There Any Side Effects Of Using Maca Root For Weight Gain?

Maca root can cause side effects in some individuals, such as digestive problems, allergies, etc. A scientific study has shown some side effects for patients using maca root, including headaches, digestive disorders, panic attacks, irritability, frequent urination, increased sweating, and disrupted sleep, dreaming more, menstruation more [9].

Should I Consult A Doctor Before Taking Maca Root For Weight Gain?

While maca root is generally safe for most individuals, it is advisable to seek guidance from a healthcare professional, such as a doctor or nutritionist, before incorporating it into your routine, along with any other new supplements. This precaution is essential if you have pre-existing health conditions or are taking any medications. Prior consultation ensures your well-being and promotes informed decision-making.


Maca root is a nutritious food with potential health benefits, including hormone regulation and appetite stimulation. While no direct evidence supports its role in weight gain, maca root can contribute to overall health and indirectly aid in healthy weight gain. Maintaining a balanced diet and incorporating other healthy habits is crucial for successful weight management.


[1] Leitão, S., Cabrera, L., Larisa, L., Maysa Formigoni, Hernandez, R., Adriana Aparecida Droval, & Reitz, A. (2020). Medicinal effects of Peruvian maca (Lepidium meyenii): a review. Food & Function, 11(1), 83–92.
[2] Meschino, J. (n.d.). Natural Support for Sexual Performance & Libido Enhancement in Men and Women A Research Report. Retrieved February 5, 2024, from
[3] M. Ley, Beth . Maca: Adaptogen and Hormonal Regulator. BL Publications, 2003.
[4] Medicinales, P. (n.d.). Boletín Latinoamericano y del Caribe de. Retrieved February 5, 2024, from
[5] Kasprzak, D., Jodlowska-Jedrych, B., Borowska, K., & Wojtowicz, A. (2018). Lepidium meyenii (Maca) – multidirectional health effects – review. Current Issues in Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, 31(3), 107–112.
[6] Yi, D., Yoshikawa, M., Sugimoto, T., Keigo Tomoo, Okada, Y., & Hashimoto, T. (2022). Effects of Maca on Muscle Hypertrophy in C2C12 Skeletal Muscle Cells. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 23(12), 6825–6825.
[7] Chung, F., Rubio, J., Gonzales, C., Gasco, M., & Gonzales, G. F. (2005). Dose–response effects of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) aqueous extract on testicular function and weight of different organs in adult rats. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 98(1-2), 143–147.
[8] Maca modulates fat and liver energy metabolism markers insulin, IRS1, leptin, and SIRT1 in rats fed normal and high-fat diets. (2023). Archives of Physiology and Biochemistry.
[9] Dording, C. M., Fisher, L., Papakostas, G., Farabaugh, A., Shamsah Sonawalla, Fava, M., & Mischoulon, D. (2008). A Double‐Blind, Randomized, Pilot Dose‐Finding Study of Maca Root (L. Meyenii) for the Management of SSRI‐Induced Sexual Dysfunction. Europe PMC (PubMed Central), 14(3), 182–191.
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Ralph S. Albert, with over 10 years of expertise in nutrition and research, now heads the Research division at Vinatura Supplements. His dedication and extensive knowledge ensure top-quality articles on nutrition and health, collaborating with a skilled team. He has successfully completed The VINATURA Expertise Research Training Program, underscoring his commitment to Vinatura's mission. Ralph has also published numerous articles and conducted valuable research in the field, making him a trusted resource for individuals on their wellness journey.

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