I don’t think I’m alone talking about when one health fad or another decides to turn around and bite you.  Maca root bit me.  I wanted to talk about it, not just to raise awareness about maca root, but really just as a general voice of warning.  Really know what you’re ingesting.  Read up on the possible side effects.  I did a little bit of research but I sure could have done more.  I had a good friend have a similar reaction to having too much soy in her diet (she was an edamame lover) so I know this stuff just happens sometimes.

I love green smoothies.  I’m constantly on the hunt for new yummy things to put in my green smoothies, particularly protein powder.  In my search I found supermixme.


I don’t want to say anything negative about their company or their product-if anything the fact that I was consuming this every single day in my smoothie should be a testament to just how yummy their stuff is!  Cacao, Coconut and Maca is delicious together and I started adding it to my green smoothie every morning.  I did a quick read about maca and was hoping it would help balance my cortisol levels (my job does a lot of damage to my adrenals and I’m on the hunt to find things to fix my hormones).

After 2 weeks or so of taking the powder (I was taking half a dose daily, I wanted this yummy stuff to last!) I started to notice my sex drive falling.  I figured I was tired (also part of my jobs) but it continued to fall which is very strange for me.  Then I started getting more emotional-I just couldn’t keep it together.  Things that normally wouldn’t make me cry started making me cry.  I started to have less control over all of my emotions.  I stopped losing weight (I really only kind of was, let’s be honest BUT it was starting to budge).  Then I started bouncing back and forth between sad and happy in a maniac way.  It was then that I started to recognize this weird PMS feeling that I couldn’t seem to get out of.  It clicked.  I remembered being on estrogen-based birth control and having this type of feeling for the week of my period.  Only this wasn’t just a week.  This was all the time.

SEE MORE: What is Maca?

I figured this was it, this was menopause (my biological sisters went through menopause around this age).  Or was I pregnant? (I still have an IUD, but I also have 2 good friends that got knocked up with IUD’s so I’m beginning to lose faith in them) Then I thought I’d killed my adrenals.  It was my husband that said something about the powder.  I started doing research about maca. It turns out I’m not the first to have some weird side effects.

“Use of maca powder for extended periods can cause some to suffer from aggressiveness, anxiety, depression and emotional instability.”

Extracts from maca might act like estrogen. If you have any condition that might be made worse by exposure to estrogen, do not use these extracts.”

Changes in hormone levels can also lead to menstrual problems, decreased sex drive and weight gain or even hot flashes.”

Yep.  When put like that it 100% describes me for the last 2 months or so.  So I quit maca a few weeks ago and WOW.  Big difference.  It took almost 2 full weeks off before I started to feel different and now I’d say I’m back to only semi-crazy (so normal).

So yeah.  Don’t ingest things until you’ve done your full research.  It could make you a crazy person, and no one wants that.  Even if they are super-foods.

Commiserate with me and tell me I’m not the only one that’s done this to themselves?  Comment below if you’ve been taken advantage of by a super food:

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  • Reply
    June 5, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    Ive tried 2 types of Maca. The first was the Maca root raw pill form, the first day i had a lot of energy and felt great, however, by the third day, i was starting to feel depressed about everything and would constantly cry at anything that would happen to me. I decided to stop the pills after 2 weeks or so and try the gelatinized maca root powder. The powder made me almost stoic, i felt like i had no feelings for the first few days. Then it put me in constant state of PMS all the time, and it would be even worse if i drank alcohol. For some reason the alcohol made my feelings even worse over very minor things. The only thing good about the powder is that my butt grew lol. But seriously, if you are even a little bit sensitive to anything like i am, really do your research and take it with caution. I haven’t felt like myself now for over a month and decided to quit the maca a few days ago. Cant wait to be back to normal.

  • Reply
    August 1, 2016 at 6:16 pm

    This is so important. I tried a raw form and it gave me terrible cramps around my body. Then I read, people should never consume it raw. I tried it cooked capsul form. Wow…I went crazy. Happy – sad – angry. I couldn’t figure it out. I thought I was pregnant. Maca is not for everyone.

  • Reply
    January 24, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    Idk about Maca as a superfood, but it is considered a natural form of DHEA for women experiencing menopause or having thyroid problems. I have been experimenting with what to use–creams, DHEA pills, or Maca. I feel that it causes me to become emotional the very day I use it, as if I’m on my period. I’m not really sure what it IS good for, but I read that people indigenous to where it grows eat the stuff like potatoes and are healthy. And ya, it tastes good in smoothies.

  • Reply
    April 4, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    It made me feel like I was going crazy, really. Sweaty hands, rapid heart, thinking I was going to the nut house and that I had lost my mind, I even said I’m losing my mind. I started maca root powder 1/4 teaspoon and chaste tree and ashwaghnda for 7 days and they were the worst days ever!!!!!

  • Reply
    Sara Mackenzie
    May 16, 2017 at 8:11 am

    Hi April and all! Maca dosage particularly for women is extremely important. If you take too much for you it causes stimulation which is what all the above experiences sound like. You want Balance effect not stimulation. For this you need to start out low and possibly remain there. And Maca does not work well with other herbs ie Agnus castus or ashwaganda or any other herbs or drugs that work on hormones- it is best taken alone. Most women do well to start on just 500 mg or 1 gram daily and see how you feel on that. It is likely the mix of herbs or too much Maca that caused these results.. it is a powerful root and dosage is individual. Cacao is also powerful- a little goes along way as it’s full of theobromine which can aggravate your nervous system. It’s a shame manufacturers are not providing this information to their customers.

    • Reply
      May 19, 2017 at 2:59 pm

      Thank you so much for the information! I’m nervous to go near it again so we’ll see!

    • Reply
      May 19, 2017 at 7:52 pm

      Thanks for the reply. Wish I would’ve known not to mix with other hormonal herbs such as ashwaghwanda. It was a awful experience. I feel better with your comment, to help validate I wasn’t crazy. Thanks again!

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