How to Eat Maca Powder: Raw, Gelatinized, or Cooked? (A Complete Guide)

June 25, 2024 0 Comments

How to Eat Maca Powder: Raw, Gelatinized, or Cooked? (A Complete Guide)

Maca powder, a nutritional powerhouse derived from the maca root, has gained immense popularity for its potential to boost energy, libido, and mood. But did you know that how you consume it can significantly impact its benefits? This comprehensive guide will delve into the three main ways to eat maca powder – raw, gelatinized, or cooked – and help you choose the method that aligns best with your needs and preferences.

Eating Maca Powder Raw

  • Benefits:

    • Highest Nutrient Density: Raw maca powder boasts the highest concentration of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and antioxidants. It's the most natural and unprocessed form of maca.
    • Potential Benefits: May be more effective for boosting energy, libido, and athletic performance due to its higher enzyme content.
  • Detailed Nutritional Profile:

    • Vitamins: B1, B2, C, E
    • Minerals: Calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc, iron
    • Amino Acids
    • Unique Phytonutrients (macamides, macaenes)
  • Processing: Gently dried at low temperatures (60-70°C) to preserve nutrients.

  • How to Use:

    • Smoothies: Blend it into your favorite smoothie for a nutrient-packed boost.
    • Sprinkle on Food: Add a teaspoon to yogurt, oatmeal, or other dishes for a subtle earthy flavor.
    • Energy Bites: Combine with dates, nuts, and seeds for a quick and healthy snack.
    • Maca Milk: Mix with your preferred milk for a creamy and energizing drink.
  • Who Should Avoid:

    • Individuals with sensitive digestion or thyroid issues. Raw maca can be harder to digest and contains goitrogens, which may affect thyroid function.

Eating Gelatinized Maca Powder

  • Benefits:

    • Easier to Digest: Starch is removed during gelatinization, making it much gentler on the stomach.
    • Nutrient Absorption: While some nutrients are slightly reduced, the removal of starch may enhance the bioavailability of others.
  • Detailed Nutritional Profile:

    • Similar to raw maca but with slightly lower levels of some vitamins and minerals.
  • Processing: Gelatinized maca undergoes a two-step process:

    1. Gelatinization: Heated to over 100 degrees Celsius for about 5 minutes to break down starches.
    2. Drying: Dried at 60-70 degrees Celsius to preserve remaining nutrients and beneficial compounds.
  • How to Use:

    • Straight from the Bag: For the quickest and most convenient option, simply take a spoonful of gelatinized maca powder and consume it directly. This is ideal for those always on the go.
    • Mixed into Foods and Drinks: Gelatinized maca has a milder flavor, making it easier to blend into smoothies, yogurt, oatmeal, or other favorite foods and beverages.
    • Capsules: If you prefer a pre-measured and portable option, gelatinized maca is often available in capsule form.

Tip: If you're constantly on the move or prefer a no-fuss approach, taking gelatinized maca in capsules or directly from the bag can be the most efficient way to enjoy its benefits.

Cooking with Maca Powder

  • Benefits:

    • Enhanced Flavor: Cooking mellows the strong, earthy taste of maca.
    • Versatility: Easily incorporated into both sweet and savory dishes.
    • Digestibility: May further break down fibers, making it easier for some to digest.
  • How to Use:

    • Smoothies: A classic way to add a boost to your morning routine.
    • Energy Balls/Bars: Combine with nuts, seeds, and dates for a healthy snack.
    • Oatmeal/Porridge: Stir in for a warming and energizing breakfast.
    • Soups and Stews: Adds depth and nutrition to savory dishes.
    • Baked Goods: Use in muffins, cookies, or bread for an added nutritional punch.

Choosing the Right Maca for You

Consider the following factors when deciding how to eat maca powder:

  • Digestive Health: Gelatinized or cooked maca may be better for those with sensitive stomachs.
  • Flavor Preference: Raw maca has a stronger, earthier flavor, while gelatinized or cooked maca is milder.
  • Desired Benefits: Raw maca may be more potent for energy and libido, but research is ongoing.

Important Note: Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement, especially if you have underlying health conditions or are pregnant/breastfeeding.


Maca powder is a versatile superfood with the potential to enhance various aspects of your health and well-being. By understanding the different ways to consume it, you can personalize your approach to maximize its benefits. Whether you choose raw, gelatinized, or cooked, incorporating maca into your diet can be a delicious and nutritious way to support your overall health goals.

Click to popup