Boost Your Energy Naturally – 5 Maca Energy Bar Recipes For Athletes

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I have never loved running. I couldn't understand why anyone would want to run unless they were being chased by a creepy clown or zombies, but it seems that I have a thing for pain. Or maybe I just like accomplishing things that sound totally outside of my comfort zone. Either way, I have decided to put aside my dislike for running and train for a 5K marathon. Who would have thought that me, of all people, could be heard saying “I want to train for and complete a marathon!” 

Inspired by amazing female athletes to accomplish more

After attending the Outessa summit, I was inspired by the many amazing female athletes who were just like myself. I came home realizing that I wanted to accomplish more. I made friends with Iron Man triathlete, Kendra Goffredo while I was there, and after hearing her story about how she didn't know how to swim months before she had decided to train for her first triathlon, I was inspired to knock something off of my bucket list that I never thought was possible. I decided that I wanted to train for a 5k marathon.

Creating fuel for training, in my own kitchen

The first thing that I started looking into as I transition into training mode is, of course, my diet and nutrition. Wanting quick and easy fuel before a workout or run, I turned to every athlete's favorite energy giving snack, protein/energy bars. I have to admit, I am a bit obsessed with trying the MANY different protein/energy fueling bars that are on the market, but the price per bar and the many unwanted ingredients has made me think twice about picking any old protein bar off the shelf. I needed to make sure that these bars contained healthy whole foods ingredients that would naturally provide my body with fuel to complete a race. I've previously written about my Strawberry Banana Chia Seed Breakfast Bars for sustainable energy in the morning or on the trails, but these bars are just as tasty with less effort to make them!

Food for Incan warriors

When it comes to finding the competitive edge in athletics, diet and nutrition are the best places to start, yet herbs have historically been in focus. Alternately known as Peruvian Ginseng, maca is a radish-like root that grows high up in the Andes mountains of Peru and Bolivia. According to ancient legends, Incan warriors used to consume maca before battle to support endurance, and some research suggests there may be wisdom to this ancient tradition.* (1)

Maca is full of nutrients

Both men and women can benefit from taking Maca to nourish and strengthen the body and the immune system.* Maca is rich in minerals such as calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous and zinc, certain vitamins such as B1, B2, and C, and it even contains iodine and several essential fatty acids. Maca is also rich in protein, containing 4g of protein per ounce. (2) Unlike caffeine, which is a known stimulant, adaptogens have “a normalizing effect upon bodily processes.” As an adaptogenic herb,  maca supports stamina and endurance while helping to maintain balanced levels of the appropriate hormones.* Though maca doesn’t contain any hormones itself, it is rich in several amino acids that serve as building blocks for key hormones in both men and women. (3)

MegaFood's Daily Maca Plus Nutrient Booster Powder

As a huge fan of MegaFood supplements, I was super excited to find their Daily Maca Plus Nutrient Booster Powders. Not only do you get the awesome benefits of maca root, but they also have two separate blends with herbs tailored to men or women. While I love to add these booster powders to my morning smoothies, I sometimes get tired of smoothies and look for more ways I can add them to our daily routine. Both the Men's and the Women's powders have maca root in them. According to MegaFood:

Daily Maca Plus For Men 40+:

  • was formulated to support overall health and vitality in men.*
  • Maca, a nourishing superfood and a staple in the diet of those living in the mountains of Peru, supports optimal health.*
  • The herbs in this formulation have been selected for their traditional use in supporting male physiological function.*
  • Saw Palmetto is traditionally used to support healthy prostate function.*

Daily Maca Plus For Women:

  • A foundational, herbal Nutrient Booster Powder™ formulated to support women experiencing the everyday hormonal imbalance and discomforts related to the female cycle.*
  • Maca, a nourishing superfood and a staple in the diet of those living in the mountains of Peru, supports optimal health.*
  • Foodstate® Chaste Tree Berry, Black Cohosh and other herbs help maintain a healthy hormonal balance and manage common conditions, such as occasional body aches related to menses and hot flashes related to menopause and perimenopause.*
  • Supports healthy stress response.*

5 Maca Energy Bar Recipes For Athletes
Vegan & Gluten-Free




  1. Combine dates, maple syrup, and vanilla extract in a high powered blender (I used my Blendtec Twister jar so that I could scrape the sides while it was blending) and pulse until the dates are ground and the mixture is turned into a date paste. Scoop the date paste into a separate bowl.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients for the flavor you are making, into the blender and pulse until blended together but with small chunks still throughout the mixture. You can play around with the chunkiness of this depending on how fine you grind these ingredients.
  3. Mix the second mixture into the date paste and knead the mixture with your hands until a “dough” is formed (this is easier if you wear gloves!)
  4. Split the “dough” into 4-5 equal parts and shape each part into a bar shape using parchment paper or gloves.
  5. Store bars in the fridge, using parchment paper to separate layers. These bars can also be stored in the freezer until needed.


  1. Stone M, Ibarra A, Roller M, Zangara A, Stevenson E. “A pilot investigation into the effect of maca supplementation on physical activity and sexual desire in sportsmen.” J Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Dec 10;126(3):574-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2009.09.012. Epub 2009 Sep 23.
  2.”Maca Powder Nutrition Facts & Calories
  3. “Adaptogen” definition


* This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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