Should I Use Yellow, Red or Black Maca – Does it Matter?

Which Maca root is best, yellow, black or red?

This Peruvian vegetable root is enormously popular in almost every part of the world. The more popular it got, the more different maca supplement choices became available in shops. With a vast variety of options, it became difficult to decide which maca supplement to use, yellow, red or black maca, and which color is the best. So, I did a little research.

Does it matter what maca have different benefits? The short answer is, yes. In animal studies, different colors of maca have been found to have a variety of effects. Such as, increasing fertility, improving sexual function or improving libido and energy. While black maca has better results on sperm production, the purple or red maca is shown to reduce the prostate size, and so on.

In this article I will address the three primary color groups and why their color matters, through the eyes of scientific research, based on my research and personal experience.

A quick note. Now that you landed on this pages, the chances are that you already have the most necessary ‘basic’ knowledge about what maca is. But in case you do not know much about maca (and you’d like to learn), no worries, visit the page ‘All About Maca root,’ where you will get all you need to know about maca. Then, come back to this page. :) For all those who already do different maca types and colors, and want to eagerly find out more, you can skip this small part and move onto the next section below.

As far as the rest, here we go…

This edible nutrient-rich powerhouse root comes in a range of colors, cream, yellow, grey, purple, yellow-and-purple, red, and black. The three most talked about colors are cream (white to light yellow), purple or red and dark grey or black. And the scientific research states that these three different maca colors somewhat have different properties. This is most probably where the ‘awareness’ came from, about the different colors of maca and why they should be used for different purposes.

It’s also important to note that the color of the roots is primarily in the skin. Meaning, the colors of the actual powders vary only slightly and the outcome is going to look like a beige oatmeal color. Also, before we point out benefits of each maca color group, it is good to mention at this point that based on a study in 2006 (1), all varieties of maca showed the same antidepressant activity. Further, all maca colors are adaptogens, hormone balancer, mood, libido and fertility supporters, one color perhaps being more potent with specific compounds than the other (according to various research results).

So let’s take a closer look.

Yellow Maca – Fertility and Mood Booster

In general, all maca types tend to have an earthy, slightly nutty taste. When cut open it has a bit yellowish to beige color. But the flavor can also vary based on the kind of maca, with yellow maca being a bit more on the sweeter side of flavor. This is why yellow maca is excellent to start with due due to its sweetness. If you find yourself dragging through the day, yellow maca could be the right morning pick me up choice. It has also been discovered that yellow maca is very helpful in dealing with symptoms associated with menopause like hot flashes.

This is our favorite maca powder type. One of the main reasons is, as I have struggled in the past with hormonal imbalance, after the pregnancy, yellow maca had an almost instant effect on my body and mind regarding balancing hormones and improving my mood. Thus, yellow maca is suitable for:

Act as a Hormone Balancer
Helps Increase Energy Levels
Supports Fertility
Excellent mood booster
Great for those experiencing symptoms when having PMS, or when going through pre/post and during menopause.

Red Maca – Reduce Prostata Size

Something called pink, purple, but most often red, this maca type has a slight malty taste and is the most common supplement form, and it contains the highest amount of amino acids. Often cultivated from purple or other maca bulbs, when cut open, it has a pale greyish to white color. red maca has shown to be useful in balancing hormones, increasing libido and boosting stamina. In 2007 study, red maca has shown to reduce prostate size in rats (2, 3) in which prostate hyperplasia had been induced with testosterone enanthate (TE) and reversed the experimentally induced osteoporosis. In addition to usual benefits (same as yellow maca), red maca is very helpful for:

Balancing Hormones
Reducing prostate size
Handling Depression
Protective Effect on Bone Structure

Black Maca – Cognitive Booster & Increased Sperm Production

Black maca is a bit more bitter, and cream-colored roots have an even sweeter taste. When cut open, the black maca has a greyish to white color. Black maca has better effects on sperm production than yellow maca which has only moderate results. (3) According to Gonzales et al. studies, black maca presented the most excellent effect on sperm production in male rats. Black maca also shows the most excellent effect on cognitive function. Two animal studies in 2011 found that black maca was able to improve memory impairment in mice, most probably thanks to its high antioxidant content. (1, 2) Additional findings are natural fatigue (4) fighter, as well as:

Strongest Energy Booster
Supports Enhanced Male Potency & Fertility 
Promotes Mental Focus  – Improves memory
Supports Athletic Performance and Stamina 

Should I Buy Yellow, Red or Black Maca?

It is obvious that all three maca types are adaptogens and hormonal balancer (without affecting blood hormone levels). It is also clear that all three types help the body adapt and better deal with different stressor levels and help lower cortisol levels (cortisol is also known as an ageing hormone). Plus, maca will help modulate the endocrine system, meaning if the reproductive power is worn down when using maca, suddenly we have the reproductive power up and running.

It is also a fact that based on a few research studies one maca type will show stronger ability to boost body’s abilities to cope with stress, while other maca might be more powerful when it comes to the prostate size. But, does it matter which maca color you’ll buy? In reality no. We did not know this until we watched our favorite Medicine Hunter, Dr. Bond a few years back.

You see, red maca, yellow maca or black maca, purple, grey… they all grow in the same field, and every one of those colors will be in the same batch of that field when farmers decide to harvest maca. Not only that, but nobody is growing single colored maca, nor selling single colored maca out in the market. Yep, you heard it right. I told you-you’ll be surprised. There is not a particular field in Peru designed to grow individually in yellow, red or black maca. And when farmers harvest maca, they put all in one place to dry. Once dry, they will hand pick good maca and prepare it for the next step which is grinding (video below).

On a positive note, and if the video below is 100% accurate, most of the maca we buy from the shops has a mixture of all three maca colors in the package, so we are already getting the powerhouse product. This is brilliant because we get all the good nutritious stuff. On the negative note, if there is a company that buys maca from Peru separated by colors (which I highly doubt), it would be somewhat challenging to find a product online, or from your nearest shop that you can trust they speak the truth. So, what next?

Tips for Choosing Your Ideal Maca Supplement

Maca helps both men and women, whether you’d like to improve sexual drive, you’re going through menopause, want to enhance libido, boost adrenal glands, testosterone levels, and so on. The number one rule of thumb, however, is that you should always aim to consume maca supplement with real maca in it and minimal contamination and fillers. So, when choosing the right maca, make sure you do proper research on where your maca supplement comes from. Know your producer. Ideally, it should write on the product, certified organic maca.

So, which maca to buy? Listen to your body, do you experience a lack of energy or a frequent mood swing? Based on your needs, you will then select the maca supplement which is right for you. As already mentioned, we have started with yellow maca, and it seems to still work well for us. Sometimes, we do change the maca supplement brands and colour types simply for the sake of testing new products, or to compare which maca will perform better in terms of energy, libido, which one is more suitable for women.

Here is the list of our raw maca selection to help you make an easier decision >> Our recommendation.

The number two rule is to check with your doctor if you should use maca especially if you have hypothyroidism or a history of thyroid problems. Also as there is limited research on the safety of maca for pregnant and breastfeeding women, make sure you consult your doctor when using maca.

All the products we mentioned in our list recommended product section you can buy separately on Just click the highlighted text or product image, and you will be taken directly to the exact product page on Amazon.

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