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Maca vs L-Theanine (Benefits, Side Effects + More!)

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So you’re ready to get healthier with the use of supplements.

There’s just one (big) issue…

You’ve got no idea which one to go for.

Off the top of my head, there are dozens of supplements which may help you, including herbs, vitamins, minerals, amino acids and more.

Don’t worry though – I’m here to help you pick.

In my Supplement Comparison Series I put 2 supplements against each other and compare their pros, cons, price and much more.

In this article, we’ll get stuck into Maca vs L-Theanine.

Let’s get started.

What is Maca?

Maca root powder

Maca (Lepidum Meveni) is an ancient vegetable that’s been grown as a root crop for many thousand years.

With a similar appearance to the turnip, Maca can grow in a variety of colors, including purple, black and yellow.

Although Maca is mainly cultivated in the Andes region, it growns in many South American countries, including Argentina, Bolivia, Peru and Paraguay.

Interestingly, Maca has been used since the days of the Inca warriors in Peru, but has only recently spiked in popularity.

What is L-Theanine?

L-Theanine is an amino acid found in tea leaves that’s renown for its “calming” properties.

So for most people, tea is the most common source of L-Theanine.

(To be even more specific, real green tea is the most common source.)

L-Theanine is one of my favorite brain-enhancing ingredients, as it’s safe, effective and good for you.


Benefits of Maca

Maca may boost sexual desire

Many adults experience a reduced appetite for sex as they get older.

In fact, research shows that up to 52% of US menopausal women experience low sex drive.

So with this in mind, it’s not surprising to see a lot of people trying out different supplements to restore their sexual appetite.

While a lot natural herbs have disappointed, Maca’s effectiveness has been supported by research.

In one study, men took either Maca or a placebo over the course of 12 weeks.

After only 8 weeks, those who took Maca reported a significant improvement in sexual desire.

Maca may protect the skin from UV radiation

UV rays from the sun can damage exposed skin.

Over time, this can lead to wrinkles and even increase your risk of skin cancer.

But according to research, Maca extract may be able to help protect from this damage when applied to skin.

But please keep in mind, this effect is only seen when applied to the skin – NOT when taken orally.

Maca is nutrient-rich

Maca is an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals.

In fact, just one ounce 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 healthy plant compounds, like polyphenols and glucosinolates.

Maca may improve Menopause symptoms

Menopause is officially diagnosed after a woman’s went a full year without a menstrual period.

Although this is a natural process, it may result in a few annoying symptoms, including:

  • Irritablility
  • Hot flashes
  • Mood swings
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Sleep difficulties

If you’re facing these symptoms during menopause, then Maca may be able to assist as a review of 4 studies found that it can help alleviate these symptoms.

(Related reading: 3 Best Fish Oil Supplements For Menopause)

Benefits of L-Theanine

L-Theanine may help improve sleep

I firmly believe that sleep is the most neglected aspect of living a healthy life.

So recently, I’ve tried a variety of supplements to improve my sleep quality.

So far, I’ve used:

  • Holy Basil
  • L-Theanine
  • Phosphatidylserine
  • California Poppy Extract

I had the best sleep when either taking Holy Basil and Phosphatidylserine at the same time, or L-Theanine on its own.

(California Poppy Extract was as much use as a chocolate fireguard.)

While this is just my anecdotal experience, many others have reported improved sleep since taking L-Theanine too.

L-Theanine may reduce caffeine jitters

You know what you really can’t beat?

That first sip of a warm, aromatic coffee in the morning.

The one which puts a smile on your face even if it’s a Monday.

But sometimes, the caffeine buzz that follows can be overwhelming.

It can make me feel awkward, jittery and on edge.

But since I started taking L-Theanine alongside my morning cup of Joe, these effects are hardly noticeable!

L-Theanine may boost cognitive function

Lots of people use L-Theanine for its “brain boosting” properties.

It seems to help cognitive function by amplifying your slow brain waves, which increases creativity.


Maca Cost

Maca is generally sold as a powder or in capsules.

Here are some standard prices for these:

  • Powder: $27 for 1 lb
  • Capsules: $13 for 100

L-Theanine Cost

Like Maca, L-Theanine is usually sold as a powder or in capsules.

Typical prices for these are:

  • Powder: $10 for 100g
  • Capsules: $20 for 100

Side Effects

Maca Side Effects

Maca is generally safe to supplement with, but Peruvian natives advise boiling fresh Maca root, as it may have adverse effects.

Also, those with thyroid problems should be cautious with using Maca as it contains goitrogens, which can interfere with thyroid gland function.

L-Theanine Side Effects

L-Theanine supplements are well-tolerated by most people.

But the following side effects can occur if you drink too much tea:

  • Nausea
  • Irritability
  • Upset stomach

Interestingly, these side effects are believed to be from the caffeine in the tea rather than the L-Theanine.


My Maca Recommendation: The Maca Team Organic Black Maca

Click to see on Amazon


A top-quality Maca supplement made by fellow Maca lovers.

You’ll be lucky to find a better Maca supplement than this.

What I like about it

I love that this supplement is created by Maca fanatics, called The Maca Team.

How comes?

Well, unlike other brands, it’s made by folks who have a real passion for Maca and focus on providing the best Maca money can buy.

Also, it’s great that the Maca root used in these capsules is pre-cooked, which helps your body digest and utilize it, making it more effective.

Potential Drawbacks

The serving size is… wait for it…


I mean that’s a bit of a joke, right?

I don’t know what the Maca Team are playing at there, but apart from that, there’s little to complain about.

Check price and read more reviews of The Maca Team Organic Black Maca on Amazon.

My L-Theanine Recommendation: Nootropics Depot L-Theanine Powder

Click to see on Amazon


A fantastic powdered L-Theanine supplement.

Perfect for those who like the freedom of choosing how much L-Theanine they want to take.

What I like about it

It’s nice to see that this supplement only contains L-Theanine powder.

That’s right…

No nasty additives, junk fillers or strange chemical preservatives you need to be cautious of.

Just 100% L-Theanine goodness.

Another great feature is that each tub provides an enormous 2500 servings, so one purchase will last you literally years.

(I don’t know about you, but I find it a pain having to stock up on supps every month…)

Also, the fact that it’s a powder means you can experiment with the dosage to suit your needs.

(It’s likely some of you will respond better to a lower dosage and other will respond better to a higher dosage.)

Potential Drawbacks

Some people would rather take capsules than a powder, and I completely get that.

But if you dislike the taste, then feel free to add some of your favorite juice to mask the taste.

Check price and read more reviews of Nootropics Depot L-Theanine on Amazon.

Maca vs L-Theanine: The Verdict

Thanks for staying with me to the end of this Maca vs L-Theanine showdown.

I hope most of you now know which of the 2 supplements you’re going to use and have epic results with.

But if you’re still undecided, here’s what I’d recommend:

You might prefer Maca if:

  • You want to increase your sex drive
  • You want to boost your nutrient intake
  • You want to relieve your menopause symptoms

You might prefer L-Theanine if:

  • You want to sleep better
  • You want to be more creative
  • You’re a coffee fan but hate caffeine jitters

Hope this helped!

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