In a recent interview with our ambassador and super athlete, Nico Pfitzenmaier, also known as Nico Zen, we get his professional opinion on the benefits of maca for athletes.
Nico has been a dear friend of Soaring Free Superfoods and long-standing enthusiast of the superfood, maca. In our interview below it becomes clear from a professional athlete’s experience how maca powder benefits your sports performance and supplements your body to perform at its best.
He also shares with us his own super-charged maca powder sports drink so that you may also enjoy the pervuvian maca root power.
1.What do you use maca for and, in your opinion, what other benefits could people get from using maca?
Maca is an incredible source of nutrients, which promote stamina and endurance. This is great for athletes who are looking for sustained energy. Artificial stimulants and sports supplements normally over stimulate the body and stress the adrenal glands.
Maca is an adaptogen which helps the body to reduce stress by supporting the endocrine system. This helps the athlete to recover faster and also supports the body’s homeostasis.
Since maca root has a naturally oxygenating effect on the blood, it is a perfect food for endurance athletes. Specifically, when you train or race in high altitudes, maca is a must-have to reduce the negative effects on performance and in high altitude it even alleviates altitude sickness.
Hard training wears out your muscles and body, so you want to give the body the right nutrients and support.
Maca contains 18 essential amino acids, no less than 60 phytochemicals and high amounts of omega 3 and omega 9, which all assist with muscle repair. The naturally occurring magnesium and fatty acids will aid in relaxing the muscles and reduce inflammation from training, which will help your body to recover quicker.
2.What are your favourite ways to eat maca?
For some reason I don’t like the taste of pure maca so much, therefore I had to find a way to blend it in with something and cacao definitely does the trick for me. My favourite way to eat maca is actually with chaga tea, cacao powder, coconut oil, cinnamon and coconut blossom nectar. You can call it the “super chaga rocket fuel” drink!
3.When do you find it most beneficial?
During intense phases of training and races I take a tablespoon daily in order to improve energy levels, stamina and shorten recovery time. I normally take it in the morning as my “rocket fuel” drink or I mix it with the Green Alkalizer and some camu camu berry powder. Because maca is an adaptogen you should cycle it on and off because your body may get used to it and most likely won’t experience the full effect.
4. Can you suggest any synergistic combinations of maca and any other foods or supplements that you would recommend?
Cacao has been used for decades in medicinal circles to enhance the positive effects of other superfoods or superherbs.
When you mix maca with chaga tea (which also promotes stamina and immune support ), raw cacao, coconut oil, cinnamon and coconut blossom nectar you create one of the best endurance boosters that exists, which is ideal before races.
A perfect recovery drink after hard training and racing is the following: 2-3 teaspoons of Green Alkaliser, 2-3 tablespoons of maca, 1 teaspoon of camu camu berry powder mixed into spring water. If you have a blender add 1 banana, or some dates.
5.What do you feel gives you the edge so that you can compete and rank against people half your age?
It is definitely the lifestyle I have chosen which incorporates a vegan, 80% raw diet, daily meditation & yoga along with exercising in nature.
If you want to live up to your full potential and a “life without limits”, your body and mind have to be holistically supported and this is 100% my approach. The diet you choose has to work for your blood type and digestive enzymes that help your body effectively digest and absorb the food you are eating. Up to 40% of the stress one experiences can be cause through inadequate nutrition!
Yoga (specifically Vinyasa Flow in a heated room) is the perfect way to re-balance, strengthen, stretch and detoxify your body. It also helps immensely to increase co-ordination and balance which benefit most sport disciplines, from mountain-biking to surfing. For over 12 years this form of Yoga has replaced the gym for me and has kept my body strong, injury free and well balanced!
Meditation helps you to master your mind and gain strength, happiness and balance from within. This mindfulness practice is a game changer which affects and improves all aspects in one’s life. Specifically, when I compete I can tap into this strength that comes from within, to transcend physical discomfort, but also cast doubt and negative distraction from my mind.
Maybe the most important principle in my life is that “I do what I love and love what I do”! Only then can you get fulfillment from your life and give 100%.
6.Why do you choose Soaring Free Superfoods Maca?
The Soaring Free Superfoods range stands for superior quality and is obtained from sustainable sources, therefore I can trust that I get the highest grade maca available. There are very few companies which provide superfoods with compostable packaging, so the environmentally conscious approach is an added benefit to choosing this brand!
7.Which maca is your favourite and why?
The black maca contains a higher potency of rich nutrients that provide incredible healing properties and feels superior to other maca.
8.What’s the next superfood on your radar?
It would be spirulina. I rate it as the most important endurance superfood!