Fatigue refers to a physical and mental state of extreme tiredness and lack of energy. It leaves people struggling to carry on with their activities and focus on daily tasks. While unhealthy lifestyle practices can certainly cause fatigue, it is oftentimes brought about by various medical conditions.
Maca is famous for its effects on hormonal balance, fertility, and physical endurance.1 Thanks to its unique composition, this South American tuber could also have anti-fatigue benefits, although the effects of maca on reducing fatigue have not yet been proven in research studies.
Conducted at the Higash-Koganei Sakura Clinic in Tokyo, Japan, this trial involved 60 adult women (between the ages of 20 and 65) who experienced fatigue on a daily basis.
For four weeks, half of them took 200 mg of concentrated maca extract (containing 9.6 mg of benzyl glucosinolate per day), while the other half took the placebo. Researchers studied the outcomes using a visual analogue scale (VAS) for fatigue.
For reference, benzyl glucosinolate is a compound found in maca, which is credited for its effects of promoting physical endurance and possibly anti-fatigue properties.
After a 4-week supplementation with maca, the VAS scores for fatigue decreased in both groups. However, the scores were significantly lower in women taking maca who were younger than 45.
Participants taking maca for fatigue have not reported any side effects throughout the study period. Treatment safety was evaluated with a variety of blood tests and laboratory assessments.
What Does this Mean?
The results of this trial have shown that taking maca helps relieve fatigue, which was particularly noticeable in women younger than 45.
When fatigue is a symptom of a medical condition, it may require pharmacological treatment. In many cases, however, it can be relieved naturally with diet, exercise, and herbal supplements. Thanks to its unique flavor and versatility, consuming maca for energy is an easy way to restore optimal way.
- Functional Foods in Health and Disease, The improvement of daily fatigue in women following the intake of maca (Lepidium meyenii) extract containing benzyl glucosinolate, 2022
- Evidence-Based Complementary Alternative Medicine. (2012). Ethnobiology and Ethnopharmacology of Lepidium meyenii (Maca), a Plant from the Peruvian Highlands. Retrieved April 24, 2023, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3184420/