The most common question we get in regard to our Hazelnut Coffee Maca bar is pretty straightforward: "What is maca?" We're here to shine a little light on that question so y'all can enjoy your bar even more than usual, knowing how healthy this mysterious ingredient is for your body.
First and foremost, maca is a root vegetable native to Peru that looks similar to a turnip or a radish. Different varieties are different colors, so it can be found in black, golden yellow or a bright red. Red maca is highest in amino acids, while black maca is better known for strengthening the immune and digestive system. Yellow maca is still incredibly nutrient dense (still containing most essential amino acids) and is the most commonly grown. It has been referred to as the "Ginseng of Peru," and has played an important part in Peruvian medicinal traditions. The root can be consumed similar to any other root vegetable - roasted, boiled, mashed, or even dried. For our purposes, we use maca root powder, which comes from the dried version.
In the health world, maca is quickly rising in notoriety as a new "superfood." It's high in protein, iron, potassium, iodine, magnesium, calcium and fiber. Maca also contains the fatty acids linolenic, palmitic and oleic acids. Athletes have been drawn to the root because it is historically known to extend endurance and heighten energy levels. Studies have shown that individuals consuming maca see a rise in seratonin levels as well, thus helping to boost moods and lower depression. And full disclosure: maca has even been said to increase fertility and sexual stamina. Take what you will from that tidbit of information!
When enjoying the Hazelnut Coffee Maca bar (which only has approximately 5 mg of caffeine vs. a cup of coffee's 95mg), the energy boost you may be receiving from it is actually more likely to be due to the maca in the bar as opposed to the coffee beans (which are used more for a satisfying crunch and flavor than a caffeine push)! Amongst the Thunderbird flock, the bar functions as a perfect breakfast before early morning activities like runs or bike rides.... or when we're just running late to work and need some fast fuel.