Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Trying something new -- MACA!

The short story: I've decided to supplement my diet with maca, a root vegetable from Peru. I think it will help with adrenal fatigue (from frequent workouts), sugar cravings, depression (which I mostly have under control, but when I find something that claims to boot serotonin, my ears perk up!) and overall health.

The long version: From page 156 of The Thrive Diet, by Brendan Brazier (an excellent book)

Maca

Curtailing the effects of stress by helping the adrenal glands regenerate, maca is an ideal "modern world" food. I know I have been better able to adapt to physical stress when supplementing with maca. Maca also works to restore the negative effect that stress has on hormonal health. Even a modest decline -- or increase, for that matter -- in certain hormone levels will impair the body's ability to build muscle and recover from stress in general. And out-of-balance hormonal system is a catalyst for numerous aliments. A prolonged hormonal imbalance will also induce signs of premature aging, and cause excess body fat to be stored.

Maca possesses the building blocks or precursors for serotonin. As you read in Chapter 1, the body will often try to self-medicate when it's feeling overwhelmed by stress-induced chemical reactions in the brain. It's at this time that sugar cravings are prevalent -- they're the brain's attempt to raise serotonin levels. A diet that includes a daily dose of maca will supply the body with what it needs to curtail stress and construct serotonin, thereby reducing or altogether eliminating sugar cravings and the vicious circle they can initiate.

Sterols are steriod-like compounds found in both plants and animals that promote quick regeneration of fatigued muscle tissue. Maca is a rich source of sterols. During the off-season, I build my strength and muscle mass in the gym. Strength is important for any athlete, even an endurance athlete, as it improves the efficiency of muscle contractions. I like to start the season with a bit more muscle than I need since it will be whittled down as the year progresses. I've recently experienced exceptional strength gains when supplementing with maca. I've been able to lift more weight than in previous years and recovered faster. It has enabled me to perform more high-quality workouts. Maca increases energy by means of nourishment, not stimulation.

Comment from me: I just started this today, with MacaSure from Sequel. I'm taking 3 capsules a day and I'll let you know how it goes.

2 comments:

Brit-Man said...

You can boost Seratonin in other ways, with things like Trypotphan or 5-htp, those will work for people pretty well too.

I'm glad all is well for you. Take care and best wishes ;-) :-).

Matt

Julianne said...

so... where can you buy this maca?