The more I learn about maca from studies, supplemented by empirical knowledge, the more I begin to understand the many applications that it has. One profound application is for those extreme sport athletes and adrenaline junkies that do high-risk activities, such as big-wave surfing, snowboarding, base-jumping…anything that stimulates a large release of epinephrine in to the system.
Hormonal imbalances are mainly caused by stress. What I mean is anything that stresses you out. It could be a thought, it could be a person, money,…anything. It is a primordial chemical response that served us well when we had to run for our lives from saber tooth tigers. And while it still serves extreme athletes physically and to some degree mentally (such as alertness and acute perception), the psychological impacts are rarely seen as beneficial. The term “psyched-out” comes to mind. This is where I think that maca can actually have a profound beneficial impact.
When you get stressed-out, your adrenal glands release epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine, which trigger physiological aftershocks, which we feel in our mind and body as a fight or flight response. Maca has the chemical alkaloids that help to balance adrenal responses to stress. This is very profound, actually, because it applies to all instances in life when a human being is under stress. But for extreme athletes this balancing of adrenaline has profound psychological implications.
Consider the fight or flight response of adrenaline. When a person gets psyched-out, how much of it is actually psychological and how much is due to an overload of hormones in the blood. The physiological responses to adrenaline, such as rapid heart beat, constricted muscles, and dilated airways may trigger unwelcome psychological repsonses. Using maca an athlete can chemically balance natural responses to stress. The ripple effect is a calm and centered psyche while performing under extreme stress.
Personally speaking I have experienced these psychological implications when doing hot yoga and surfing. Just to be clear, by taking maca, you aren’t weakening any natural responses to stress. The maca aids in the homeostasis of adrenal response, meaning that it perfects it.