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Both Maca and Guarana are reliable supplements and I’m a big fan of them both. But as they’re pretty similar, some people might find it hard to choose between them.
Well if that sounds like you, then you’ve come to the right article.
This is the exact reason I started this Supplement Comparison Guide!
In these posts, I put 2 supplements up against each other and compare them on benefits, price, drawbacks and much more. All so you can make a more informed decision.
In this piece, we’ll take a look at Maca vs Guarana.
What is Maca?
Maca (Lepidum Meveni) is a vegetable that’s been grown as a root crop for many thousand years.
It has a similar appearance to the everyday turnip and grows in a variety of colors, including purple, yellow and black.
Despite only recently becoming popular, Maca has been used since the days of the Peruvian Inca warriors.
Maca grows in many countries, including Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay and Argentina, although it’s mainly cultivated in the Andes mountain region.
What is Guarana?
Guarana is a plant native to the Amazon rainforest.
It belongs to the same family of plants as the everyday Lychee, known as the soapberry family.
Guarana’s name is derived from the word warana, which means fruit like the eyes of the people in the Tupi-Guarani language.
(It’s pretty obvious why when looking at the above image. Is it just me who’s creeped out?)
Benefits of Maca
Maca may enhance sexual desire
Did you know up to 52% of menopausal women in America experience low sex drive? (Source)
So with this in mind, it’s not surprising that many people try supplements to help revive their sexual appetite.
Although most libido-boosting supplements have disappointed in clinical trials, Maca’s effectiveness has been supported by research.
For example, in one study, males took either Maca or a placebo over 12 weeks.
After just 8 weeks, those who took Maca reported a significant boost in libido.
Maca is nutrient-rich
Maca is a great source of many important vitamins and minerals.
In just one ounce of Maca root powder, you’ll find:
- 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’s rich in other health-promoting plant compounds like glucosinolates and polyphenols too.
Maca may improve Menopause symptoms
A woman is officially diagnosed with menopause once she’s gone a full year without a menstruation.
Despite this being a natural part of aging, it can cause many troublesome symptoms such as:
- Hot flashes
- Mood swings
- Vaginal dryness
- Sleep difficulties
If you encounter these symptoms during menopause, then Maca be of use as a review of 4 studies concluded that it can help relieve these symptoms.
(Related reading: 3 Best Fish Oils For Menopause)
Maca may improve the skin from UV radiation
UV rays are emitted from the sun which can damage exposed skin and cause sunburn.
Over time, this can lead to wrinkles and may even increase your risk of skin cancer.
But according to research, Maca extract applied to the skin can help protect you from this damage.
However, it’s important to stress that this protective effect is only seen when Maca’s applied directly to the skin – NOT when taken by mouth.
Benefits of Guarana
Guarana may improve mental function
A study compared the effects of Guarana and Ginseng on mental performance during a task.
Although subjects from both groups had improved memory and performance, the Guarana users completed the tasks in less time.
So if you want to boost your mental ability, then Guarana is a solid choice.
Guarana may help reduce fatigue
Guarana may be able to combat fatigue thanks to its high caffeine content.
(Caffeine works by reducing the effects of Adenosine, which is a neurotransmitter that makes you feel tired.)
In a study, subjects took either a Guarana-containing supplement or a placebo.
According to the results, the Guarana subjects had less fatigue than the placebo subjects.
Guarana may improve heart health
Guarana can help reduce the risk of heart disease by multiple mechanisms.
First, the antioxidants found in Guarana may help improve blood flow and prevent blood clots. (Source)
Second, Guarana may help reduce oxidized LDL cholesterol. (Source)
(This is what’s referred to as “Bad” cholesterol by the way…)
Guarana is antioxidant-rich
Free radicals can induce oxidative stress, which is thought to play a key role in aging and many serious diseases.
Antioxidants are powerful molecules that can combat free radicals so they’re great for reducing oxidative stress.
Guarana’s antioxidant profile is impressive to say the least, as Guarana is rich in:
Maca is normally sold in capsules or as a powder.
Here are some typical prices for these:
- Powder: $27 for 1 lb
- Capsules: $13 for 100
Like Maca, Guarana is typically sold in capsules or as a powder.
Standard prices for these are:
- Powder: $24 for 1 lb
- Capsules: $15 for 120
Maca Side Effects
Maca is well-tolerated by most people, but Peruvian natives recommend not to boil fresh Maca root as it may have adverse effects.
Furthermore, those with thyroid issues should talk to a doctor before using Maca as it contains substances which can interfere with thyroid gland function.
Guarana Side Effects
Guarana is safe for most people, although high doses may cause the following side effects:
- Heart palpitations
It’s possible these side effects are from the high caffeine content in Guarana.
And because of this high caffeine contents, pregnant women should avoid Guarana.
My Maca Recommendation: The Maca Team Organic Black Maca
A stellar Maca supplement produced by a team of Maca lovers.
I’ll be impressed if you can find a better Maca supplement than this.
What I like about it
I love the fact the Maca root used in this supplement has been pre-cooked.
This helps your body digest and utilize it, making it more effective.
Also, it’s awesome that this Maca’s made by fellow Maca enthusiasts.
Well, when you buy from a company who specialize in one product, you can bet your bottom dollar that it’s a good quality product.
I really don’t get why the recommended serving size is 8 capsules.
Could the Maca Team not just make each capsule stronger?
I don’t know.
But 8 capsules just seems unnecessary IMO.
My Guarana Recommendation: Nutricost Guarana Powder
An epic Guarana supplement that comes in powder form.
Perfect for those who like the freedom to choose how much Guarana they want to consume.
What I like about it
The fantastic reviews show that many people just like you have used this supplement and have seen excellent results.
So it’s pretty clear this stuff works.
Also, I love that this powder is straight up pure Guarana.
No cheap fillers, binders, or other nasty chemicals.
Just 100% Guarana goodness.
And the fact that it’s a powder means you can chop and change the dosage to meet your individual needs.
(Some people will respond better to lower doses while others will respond better to higher doses.)
I guess being a powdered supplement is a double-edged sword.
Although it’s more flexible than capsules, it means you have to actually taste the supplement.
Which isn’t necessarily bad, but chances are some folks won’t like the taste.
Thanks a ton for staying to the end of this Maca vs Guarana breakdown with me.
I hope you’ve found this enjoyable and interesting!
Hopefully, you know exactly which one you’re going to use and have great results with.
But for those one the fence, then here’s what I’d recommend:
You might prefer Maca if:
- You want to boost your nutrient intake
- You want to increase your sexual desire
- You want to relieve menopause symptoms
You might prefer Guarana if:
- You suffer from fatigue
- You want to improve your heart health
- You want to increase your mental ability
- You want to boost your antioxidant intake
See you in the next one!