Maca Dosage—How To Take Maca For Maximum Benefit

Published on December 13, 2022

By Kristen Boye BS, Natural Health

Kristen Boye

Kristen Boye is a natural health expert, writer, copywriter, and editor. Kristen was raised on an organic farm in British Columbia which inspired her life’s work. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Natural Health, is a Certified Natural Foods Chef, co-owner of a medicinal herb farm, and is a natural foods and children’s health advocate. Kristen lives with her husband and two children on their medicinal herb farm in Western North Carolina.

Maca root, also known as Peruvian Ginseng or Lepidium meyenii, has been used for thousands of years as a source of nourishment, currency, and for traditional herbal support.*

Natives of the high-altitude Peruvian mountains used it for fertility, libido, stress, energy, stamina, immunity, stamina, brain health, and to treat various ailments.*REF#1

Maca has garnered such a reputation it’s been the subject of many scientific studies aiming to explain its health-giving benefits.

If you’re reading this article, chances are you know about maca and want to learn more about maca dosage and how to take it effectively.

In this article, you’ll learn five simple steps to help you determine dosage and get the most out of your maca powder or supplements.

Step 1: Find a Clean and Authentic Source Of Maca

When buying any herbal supplement, it is essential to look for the highest quality you can find.

When it comes to Maca, this means looking for powders or supplements that meet the following criteria:

  • Certified organic
  • Peruvian grown vs. grown in non-native habitats like China or India
  • Third-party tested for identity and contaminants

Unfortunately, Maca’s surging popularity has resulted in some less-than-optimal growing and manufacturing practices.

For example, experts believe many of Maca’s beneficial plant compounds only form when it is grown within its native habitat; the high-altitude, windy, cold, intensely sunny, and rugged Peruvian Andes Mountains. 

Therefore, the quality may be compromised if it’s cultivated elsewhere using pesticides, herbicides, and artificial growing conditions.REF#1

By following the criteria listed above, you can find high-quality Maca to suit your needs.

Step 2: Decide on the Right Form of Maca for You: Capsules, Powder, or Tincture

Determining optimal Maca dosage depends on the form of Maca you plan to take.

Capsules are great for convenience and may contain 100% Maca or Maca blended with complementary herbs, like our Maca Root, Women’s Libido, or Male Libido

Gaia Herbs offers 100% pure Maca Powder or a tasty Maca and Cacao combo in our Maca Boost® Cacao Ginger.

Maca tinctures are also convenient and available in alcohol or glycerin forms from various companies.

Once you’ve settled on the best type of Maca for you, you’re ready to determine dosing. 

Step 3: Determine How Much Maca To Take/Dosage

Always talk to your healthcare practitioner when seeking Maca dosing to support a specific bodily system or concern.

For general Maca dosing, follow these tips:

    • There’s no official recommended dosage for Maca. However, the standard dose generally used in human studies ranges from 1500 mg - 3000 mg taken daily with food over 6-16 weeks.
    • Since every brand of powder and supplement will contain a different amount of Maca per serving, start with the recommended amount on the bottle. You can always increase or decrease the amount as you observe how Maca affects your body.
    • Gelatinized maca used in Gaia’s formulas is Maca root that’s had the starch removed by soaking in boiling water. 
      • The people of the Peruvian highlands have recommended cooking Maca because they believe it makes the plant’s nutrients and phytocompounds more absorbable while reducing the chance of stomach upset.REF#2 
  • Therefore, you may be able to take less of a gelatinized product than a non-gelatinized product and see great results.

Dosing Maca isn’t an exact science. 

As with all foods and herbs, the optimal individual amount depends on various factors, including the type of Maca, how it’s prepared, the person’s size, digestive health, and health goals.

Always check with your practitioner if you’re pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a chronic health condition.

Step 4: Choose When to Take Maca

There is not a formal scientific consensus on the best time of day to take Maca.

Historically, the Incans consumed Maca root throughout the day in soups, stews, as a side dish, in desserts, and in fermented beverages. We also know warriors would load up on Maca for several days before a battle to help enhance their strength and endurance.

However, timing your dose may be appropriate in certain circumstances.

For example, since research shows Maca supports your adrenals in the normal production of cortisol (your body’s master stress hormone)REF#3, taking it at night may be best if your goal is to support healthy sleep and relaxation.

However, if your mental and/or physical energy is low in the mornings, taking maca upon rising may support your cortisol awakening response.*

Your cortisol awakening response refers to the naturally higher levels of cortisol a healthy body should produce after a sustained period of rest.REF#4

Scientists believe this phenomenon relates to the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which controls cortisol secretion with the sleep cycle/circadian rhythm and your stress response.REF#5

There is also evidence that your cortisol awakening response is influenced by different factors such as gender, general health, and stress levels.

Research has shown maca’s alkaloids and other plant compounds can help promote normal HPA axis health.* These axes are connected to the endocrine system and nervous systems. Therefore, the endocrine glands, nerves, and hormones benefit when they're functioning optimally.REF#6

What about taking maca before a workout?

Although there is evidence that maca can help support endurance and stamina by supporting the adrenals,REF#7 there is no evidence that it needs to be taken right before a workout. 

However, as previously mentioned, there is a historical precedent that warriors would increase their maca dosage before a battle.


In summary, as an adaptogen, Maca can be taken anytime to support your stress response and energy. 

If you have challenges timing your dosing, check with your practitioner for individual recommendations.

Step 5: Commit to Taking Maca Daily

If there’s one commonality between historical use and scientific studies of Maca, it should be taken daily for the best results.

With consistent daily use at the appropriate dose, you too may experience the science-backed benefits of Maca for supporting normal function of REF#8 REF#9 REF#10

It’s also important to understand that adaptogens typically take some time to work. So don’t give up if you don’t see results in a day, a week, or even a month.

Just stay consistent with your daily dosage and talk to your practitioner about tweaking your approach if you aren’t seeing the results you’d hoped for within a few weeks.

Start Incorporating Maca Into Your Healthy Lifestyle Today

One of the best things about maca is it actually tastes good! You can enjoy it in a variety of different ways, including taking it in capsules or as a tincture.

Here are some ways to incorporate a healthy daily dose of Maca into your daily routine:

Click here for more ah-mazing Maca recipes and get started experimenting with creative maca dosing today.


  • 1. Gustavo F. Gonzales, "Ethnobiology and Ethnopharmacology of Lepidium meyenii (Maca), a Plant from the Peruvian Highlands", Journal List Evid Based Complement Alternat Med v.2012; 2012 PMC3184420.
  • 2. Luis G Valerio Jr, Gustavo F Gonzales, "Toxicological aspects of the South American herbs cat's claw (Uncaria tomentosa) and Maca (Lepidium meyenii) : a critical synopsis", Toxicol Rev . 2005;24(1):11-35. doi: 10.2165/00139709-200524010-00002. PMID: 16042502.
  • 3. H. O. Meissner,1 P. Mrozikiewicz,2 T. Bobkiewicz-Kozlowska,3 A. Mscisz,2 B. Kedzia,2 A. Lowicka,2 H. Reich-Bilinska,4 W. Kapczynski,5 and I. Barchia6, "Hormone-Balancing Effect of Pre-Gelatinized Organic Maca (Lepidium peruvianum Chacon): (I) Biochemical and Pharmacodynamic Study on Maca using Clinical Laboratory Model on Ovariectomized Rats", Journal List Int J Biomed Sci v.2(3); 2006 Sep PMC3614604.
  • 4. Eva Fries 1, Lucia Dettenborn, Clemens Kirschbaum, "The cortisol awakening response (CAR): facts and future directions", Int J Psychophysiol. 2009 Apr;72(1):67-73. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2008.03.014.Epub 2008 Sep 30..
  • 5. Nicolas C. Nicolaides 1, Alexandros N. Vgontzas 2, Ilia Kritikou 3, George Chrousos 4 Kenneth R Feingold 1, Bradley Anawalt 2, Alison Boyce 3, George Chrousos 4, Wouter W de Herder 5, Ketan Dhatariya 6, Kathleen Dungan 7, Jerome M Hershman 8, Johannes Hofland 9, Sanjay Kalra 10, Gregory Kaltsas 11, Christian Koch 12, Peter Kopp 13, Márta Korbonits 14, Christopher S Kovacs 15, Wendy Kuohung 16, Blandine Laferrère 17, Miles Levy 18, Elizabeth A McGee 19, Robert McLachlan 20, John E Morley 21, Maria New 22, Jonathan Purnell 23, Rakesh Sahay 24, Frederick Singer 25, Mark A Sperling 26, Constantine A Stratakis 27, Dace L Trence 28, Don P Wilson 29 , editors., "HPA Axis and Sleep", PMID: 25905298 Bookshelf ID: NBK279071.
  • 6. José Manuel Lozano Sánchez', Zoraida Axtle Serranol*, Julio Avilés Durán, Héctor Salvador Godoy Morales, Paola Berenice Merchand Álvarez, Ricardo Mera Mejía? Luis Felipe Montaño Estrada and Erika Patricia Rendón Huerta, "Peruvian Maca and Possible Impact on Fertility", Journal of Nutritional Health & Food Engineering.
  • 7. A López-Fando 1, M P Gómez-Serranillos, I Iglesias, O Lock, U P Upamayta, M E Carretero, "Lepidium peruvianum chacon restores homeostasis impaired by restraint stress", Phytother Res . 2004 Jun;18(6):471-4. doi: 10.1002/ptr.1455..
  • 8. Gustavo F. Gonzales *, "Ethnobiology and Ethnopharmacology of Lepidium meyenii (Maca), a Plant from the Peruvian Highlands", Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012; 2012: 193496. Published online 2011 Oct 2. doi: 10.1155/2012/193496.
  • 9. José Manuel Lozano Sánchez', Zoraida Axtle Serranol*, Julio Avilés Durán, Héctor Salvador Godoy Morales, Paola Berenice Merchand Álvarez, Ricardo Mera Mejía? Luis Felipe Montaño Estrada and Erika Patricia Rendón Huerta, "Peruvian Maca and Possible Impact on Fertility", Journal of Nutritional Health & Food Engineering.
  • 10. Maria Rosales-Hartshorn*, "Maca: Botanical Medicine from the Andes", Volume 1 : Issue 2 Article Ref. #: 1000AFTNSOJ1e001.