Traveling to Peru soon? Planning on hiking Misti, Huascarán, or Rainbow Mountain? Will you scale the steps to Machu Picchu? Want to surf the coast from Máncora to Punta Hermosa? Supplements can help you achieve those travel fitness goals. Supplements give your body an extra edge during physical performance and recovery, ensuring you’ll be able to finish that long day of hiking or surfing and bounce back quickly.
New to supplements? Click here to read my article “What Are Supplements, and Are They Beneficial?”
The fitness scene is growing in Peru, making it convenient for travelers to find gyms and supplements. Popular supplements in Peru include modern-day favorites as well as ancient Peruvian superfoods. Let’s review popular travel supplements in Peru based on availability, convenience, and cost-effectiveness.
A traditional Andean superfood, maca is a root vegetable related to the radish. It has been a necessity of the Peruvian diet for thousands of years. Only recently has science tapped into the benefits of maca, resulting in a significant rise in popularity with U.S. sales growing by over 300% in a nine-year period.
Maca is a powerhouse of nutrients. It’s great for supporting energy levels, cognitive function, and sexual health. Travelers can use maca before physically demanding sightseeing for a natural boost of mind and body.
When visiting Peru, you’ll find maca in every local market and commercial store. I recommend buying it from the local markets where it will be the cheapest. While living in Lima, I often bought two pounds (one kilogram) for 20 soles (approximately $6).
Cow’s milk contains two types of protein: whey and casein. Whey protein is more bioavailable, ensuring better digestion and absorption of nutrients, even for those who are lactose intolerant.
Whey protein is a famous muscle-building supplement shown to increase protein synthesis or the creation of muscle protein. Whether you’re hiking, surfing, or sightseeing, whey can promote recovery and growth while protecting your current level of muscle tissue.
New to protein supplements? Check out my article, “What are Protein Supplements?” and learn which type of protein is right for you.
When buying whey protein in Peru, imported brands are always more expensive. I recommend NitroWhey from the Peruvian supplement brand, Universe Nutrition. It provides 20 grams of protein per serving at a cost-effective price. I bought an 11-pound bag (5 kilograms) for 235 soles (approximately $71). If you’re in Lima, I recommend buying NitroWhey through BeNow supplements. They offer a range of sizes and free delivery.
Also known as amaranth or mini quinoa, kiwicha is another Andean superfood that has been in the Peruvian diet for thousands of years. Kiwicha is a gluten-free grain that is too pretty to eat because of its beautiful stalks of red, purple, and gold.
Kiwicha is ideal for the budget traveler looking to eat healthy: One cup of cooked kiwicha provides nine grams of protein, five grams of fiber, and a variety of vitamins and minerals, most notably B vitamins, calcium, and phosphorous.
You can find kiwicha in both commercial stores and local markets throughout Peru; however, I recommend the latter. Local markets tend to have more variety at a lower cost. I’ve commonly found 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of kiwicha for only three soles (approximately $0.90). That might not sound like much, but kiwicha is incredibly lightweight so you will walk away with a comically large bag.
Fat burners or thermogenics in Peru are tamer than in the States, but they are based on generally well-received ingredients such as caffeine, taurine, and L-carnitine.
If you are currently on a weight-loss diet or if you tend to indulge a lot when traveling, fat burners can help you burn extra calories and maintain your goal weight.
Imported brands such as Lipo 6 and Hydroxycut can be found in commercial supplement stores such as Nutrition Labs, but they are not budget friendly. The Peruvian brand, Universe Nutrition, has two notable fat burners that can support weight loss, but don’t expect overnight miracles. I recommend buying X-B and Xtreme Cap from Mercado Libre, an online store that can deliver to your hotel, hostel, or apartment. A 15-pack of X-B is 35 soles (approximately $11).
As a powerful antioxidant, vitamin C has been shown to reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease, boost your immunity, and support other important nutrients in your body, most notably collagen. Taking vitamin C while traveling might prevent you from getting sick, especially while you’re on long flights or bus rides.
Vitamin C or ascorbic acid is available year-round in pharmacies, commercial stores, and local markets. It’s easiest to find the dissolvable tablet form, and the cost is between 10 to 20 soles (approximately $3 to $5).
Do You Need Supplements in Peru?
Starting to feel a cold coming on and you want vitamin C? Want to try the Andean superfoods maca and kiwicha? Need to know if Peru has one of your favorite supplements? Let me know in the comments below.