I may receive a commission for purchases made through product links on this page, but I always stand by my opinions and endorsements!
So, you’re ready to boost your health with supplements.
There’s just one problem…
You have no clue which one to choose.
Off the top of my head, there are dozens of supplements which may help you, including herbs, vitamins, protein powder, and more.
Don’t worry. I’m here to help you pick.
In my Supplement Comparison Series, I put 2 supplements against each other and break down the pros, cons, cost and more of each.
In this piece, we’ll dive deep into Maca vs Caffeine.
What is Maca?
Maca (Lepidium Meveni) is an ancient vegetable that’s been used as a root crop for thousands of years.
It has a similar appearance to the everyday turnip, and its roots can grow in a variety of colors, including black, purple, and yellow.
Maca has been used medically and nutritionally since the days of the Inca warriors in Peru, but its popularity has spiked only recently.
Although Maca is mainly cultivated in the Peruvian Andes, it’s grown in many South American countries, including Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, and Paraguay.
What is Caffeine?
Caffeine (trimethylxanthine) is considered the most popular psychoactive drug in the world.
It’s a stimulant (i.e it stimulates the nervous system) that’s naturally found in fruits, beans, and leaves of over sixty plants worldwide.
The most common source of Caffeine is coffee, and its name is derived from the word kaffee, which means coffee in German.
Benefits of Maca
Maca is nutrient-rich
Maca is an excellent source of many important vitamins and minerals.
In fact, 1 Oz of Maca root powder contains:
- Iron: 23% of the RDI
- Copper: 85% of the RDI
- Potassium: 16% of the RDI
- Vitamin C: 133% of the RDI
- Vitamin B6: 15% of the RDI
- Manganese: 10% of the RDI
Maca also contains many health boosting plant compounds, like glucosinolates and polyphenols.
Maca may protect skin from UV radiation
The sun emits ultraviolet (UV) rats which can damage exposed skin. Over time, this can lead to wrinkles and increase your risk of skin cancer.
When applied to the skin, Maca extract may help protect you from this damage. (Source)
This protective effect has been shown in animal studies, including this one on rats, too.
But, it’s important to note that this effect has only been shown when Maca is applied to the skin – not when taken by mouth.
Maca may boost libido
Reduced sex drive is a problem for many adults as they get older.
In fact, research suggests that up to 52% of menopausal women in the US experience low sexual desire!
So with this in mind, it’s no surprise that many people look towards herbal supplements to revive their sex life.
But while a lot of these herbs don’t deliver on their promises, Maca’s effectiveness has been supported by research.
For example, a 12-week study measured the sexual desire of men after taking Maca or a placebo.
After just 8 weeks, the Maca users reported a significant improvement in sexual desire.
Maca may help improve menopause symptoms
Menopause is diagnosed after a woman has gone 12 months without a menstrual period.
Although this is a natural part of aging for women, it may result in a few unwelcome symptoms, such as:
- Hot flashes
- Mood swings
- Vaginal dryness
- Sleep difficulties
If you’re unfortunate enough to experience these symptoms, then Maca may be able to help as a review of 4 studies concluded that it could relieve these symptoms.
Benefits of Caffeine
Caffeine may help lower the risk of Diabetes
Type 2 Diabetes is a serious disease that’s characterized by high-blood sugar levels.
It can cause some nasty symptoms like sight loss, numb hands and feet, excessive thirst, and fatigue.
Interestingly, Caffeine may help protect against Type 2 Diabetes.
A review of six studies concluded that those who ingest the most Caffeine have up to a 30% lower risk of developing Diabetes.
Caffeine may help with fat loss
Many thermogenics and weight loss supplements include Caffeine in their ingredients.
And for a solid reason too.
A study of 8 people found that taking 10mg of Caffeine per kg of body weight boosted fat burning by 13%.
Another study found that taking 300mg of Caffeine each day can increase calorie burning by 79 calories each day.
Caffeine may enhance exercise performance
Research suggests that Caffeine may enhance exercise performance.
One study found that Caffeine reduced perceived force by 5.6%, which may make your workouts feel easier.
Another study found that taking 5mg of Caffeine per kg of body weight an hour before exercise improved endurance by 5%.
Caffeine may enhance mental performance and mood
Many people drink coffee because the Caffeine makes them feel happy and alert.
Interestingly, a review of 12 studies concluded that Caffeine consumers have a 16% lower risk of depression.
Another study found that Caffeine improved awareness, attention, and reaction time when compared with a placebo.
Maca is usually sold as a powder or in capsules.
Typical prices for these are:
- Powder: $27 for 1 lb
- Capsules: $13 for 100
Caffeine is generally sold in tablets or capsules.
Here are some standard prices for these:
- Tablets: $7 for 100
- Capsules: $7 for 100
Maca Side Effects
Maca is well-tolerated by most healthy adults, although Peruvian natives recommend boiling fresh Maca root as it may have adverse effects.
Also, those with thyroid issues should speak to a doctor before using Maca as it contains compounds called goitrogens, which may interfere with thyroid gland function.
Caffeine Side Effects
Like Maca, most people can take Caffeine with minimal fuss.
But when taken in copious amounts, the following side effects have been reported:
- Rapid heartbeat
My Maca Recommendation: The Maca Team Organic Black Maca
A high-quality Maca supplement made by fellow Maca enthusiasts.
The Maca Team Organic Black Maca is the real deal.
What I like about it
I love that this supplement is created by Maca fanatics, known as The Maca Team.
Well, unlike other brands, it’s made by people who are passionate about Maca and focus solely on providing the best Maca that money can buy.
I also like the fact that the Maca root has been pre-cooked, which makes it easier for your body to digest.
The serving size of 8 capsules (yes… you read that correctly) might be annoying if you really don’t like swallowing capsules.
My Caffeine Recommendation: NutraBio 100% Pure Caffeine
NutraBio 100% Pure Caffeine ticks all the boxes of a top supplement.
It’s clean, potent, and high quality.
What I like about it
The Caffeine used in these capsules is HPLC lab tested by a 3rd party.
In other words, it’s tested to the highest of standards, so you know that you’re getting only the finest quality Caffeine.
Another great feature is the fact that the Caffeine is pure despite being in capsules.
So you’re not wasting your hard-earned money on fillers, binders, or any of that other junk.
Just 100% good ol’ Caffeine.
A small number of people have reported an upset stomach after taking these capsules.
Maca vs Caffeine: The Verdict
Thanks for sticking to the end of this Maca vs Caffeine face off with me.
Perhaps you’ve already made up your mind on which one you’re going to take and have excellent results with.
Some of you may even want to use both.
Or perhaps you haven’t even decided yet…
Well, if that’s you, then here’s a high-level guide to help you decide:
You might prefer Maca if:
- You want to boost your libido
- You suffer from menopause symptoms
- You want to increase your nutrient intake
You might prefer Caffeine if:
- You want to lose more fat
- You want to reduce your risk of Type 2 Diabetes
- You’re on a budget and want the cheaper option
- You want to enhance your exercise performance
Thanks again, and I’ll see you soon.