9 Natural Ways to Increase NAD+

Researchers have long sought molecules that can halt aging, and they have made significant progress in this area. One of the biggest breakthroughs in longevity in recent years has been the discovery of NAD, a molecule that has garnered the attention of top scientists around the world. 

Despite the enthusiasm for NAD, it is still a relatively new product on the market and can be expensive, with individual formulations having little scientific evidence to support their effectiveness. Even people who are not normally interested in health have taken notice of this molecule, which is a testament to its potential as a game-changer in the field of aging and health.

Most people don’t need to take NMN or NR. Before you spend potentially hundreds on a monthly recurring supply of products, make sure you’re doing the other things right to boost NAD naturally.

What is NAD and Why Does it Matter?

nad ox red

Biochemistry isn’t exactly simple, as exemplified by NAD.

NAD is a family of indispensable coenzymes that power most metabolic processes in your body. It’s made up of NAD+, NADH, NADP+, and NADPH. They help your mitochondria generate fuel, make nutrients, DNA & RNA, hormones, and quell free radicals.

My favorite form, NADPH, recharges your body’s antioxidants. That’s right, without the recharging electrons NADPH donates, your vitamin C, vitamin E, and glutathione antioxidant supplements run out of power. Only once they are recharged can they return to neutralizing free radicals roaming your body.

Long-term health requires high levels of NAD. You re-generate NAD naturally, but due to modern lifestyle, not nearly enough. To keep it high we have three options: recycling what you already have (salvage pathway), creating it from scratch (de novo synthesis), or minimizing NAD-lowering processes.

Filling the NAD Leak

Without addressing underlying lifestyle factors that deplete NAD, you can only increase it so much.

It’s like filling a leaky tire with more air. Sure, it works in the short-term, but eventually, it goes flat again. The real solution is to patch the tire, stop all leaks, and re-inflate.

Once you do that the air stays.

Such is the case with NAD. Dr. Mercola’s book EMF*D taught me lifestyle optimizations to make before moving on to NMN or NR.

Anything that protects your DNA, RNA, and genetic material will help keep your NAD topped off.

1. Minimizing EMF exposure

cell tower white

EMF exposure drains NAD. Fast.

A DNA repair molecule called PARP voraciously consumes NAD. Indeed, PARP sucks energy molecules from NAD+.

How much? PARP uses 150–200 molecules of NAD+ just to repair each DNA break.

Electromagnetic radiation exposure also activates another consumer of NAD+ called NOX (bear with me through all these acronyms). Other things like infection also activate NOX. Too much NOX impairs NAD.

It’s virtually always overlooked, but few things deplete your NAD levels as effectively as EMFs.

2. Skip the Evening Snack (Time Restricted Eating)

clock dinner 1

Yet another reason to compress your feeding window (my favorite phrase for eating dinner earlier).

Converting excess calories to body fat costs you doubly:

  1. You gain body fat.
  2. Your NADPH levels drop significantly.

Thankfully, the fix is easy.

Eat fewer calories so the fat conversion doesn’t take place in the first place. Or consume those calories earlier in the day.

How much earlier?

Mercola recommends eating your last meal three to four hours before you go to sleep.

3. High-Intensity Exercise

hiit rando

Another win for exercise.

To sweeten things further, it seems that any form will do.

Both aerobic and resistance training increase NAMPT, and as a result, NAD+ too.

High intensity exercise is best. Don’t have time for a long workout? You can also complete an entire strength workout in a few minutes.

Above all, I recently wrote about my favorite form of exercise to improve NAD+ & NAMPT. It’s a technique called blood flow restriction trainingBFRT is a great travel-friendly workout option, portable, and effective.

Add These Cheap NAD Precursors

supplement precursors

4. Niacin

Niacin is dirt cheap. And effective.

If you want to avoid DNA damage or unstable chromosomes, deficiency is no laughing matter.

Niacin increases NAD+ levels inside cells. That’s not all. It is especially effective at increasing NAD+ in the brain.

There are a lot of products on the market, and at all kinds of doses. Full-flush, non-timed release Niacin at a dose of 25 milligrams works best. Remember, more isn’t always better.

5. Nicotinamide & Niacinamide

Wonder what NAD stands for?

Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide. Notice any similarities?

Your body breaks down NAD+ into this molecule.

It’s not nearly as effective as niacin in raising intracellular NAD+ levels. Niacinamide reduces activity of the longevity pathway SIRT1, so most experts caution against its use.

I’d only consider it if the niacin flush bothered me too much. At 25mg, the niacin flush should be virtually non-existent though.

6. Molecular Hydrogen

The smallest molecule in the universe, molecular hydrogen is another trendy supplement.

Molecular hydrogen doesn’t carry a charge, so it easily enters your cells.

When it does, it lowers oxidative stress, quells free radicals, and fuels NAD-hungry PARP.

If that wasn’t enough, molecular hydrogen also protects your genetic material, proteins, cells, and mitochondria from damage.

Finally, it fixes excessive NOX levels. Restoring NOX also frees up NAD.

Check out my post on the best molecular hydrogen tablets for reviews, comparisons, and discounts.

7. Magnesium

I believe that everyone should supplement magnesium.

Nearly everyone’s deficient, it’s safe in massive quantities, it activates more than 600 enzymes, and even protects you from EMFs by acting as a natural calcium channel blocker.

Magnesium is virtually free of side effects, an effective relaxer, and inexpensive.

It’s great for maintaining cell stability, RNA and DNA synthesis, and helping repair cells. There are countless forms of the mineral.

One form in particular, magnesium glycinate, has the added advantage of also increasing NADPH. Magnesium belongs in all NAD boosting stacks.

8. Entering Ketosis (Naturally Or Using Supplements)

MCT oils, ketone salts, and ketone esters all upregulate NAD+ by minimizing loss through the salvage pathway.

Scores of clinical studies show that ketones favorably improve the NAD+/NADPH ratio. This one in particular shows the effects occur after just two days of fasting or via exogenous administration.

Other research suggests that certain ketone bodies mimic the increased cellular senescence benefits of NMN and NR.

Another study in Cell Metabolism showed ketones elevate NAD+ in brain neurons.

Benefits primarily come from increased blood BHB.

If you’re not interested or unable to fast or follow the ketogenic diet, exogenous ketone products can increase the essential coenzyme nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide.

9. Fruits & Vegetable Phytonutrients

assorted veggies
Fruits and veggies are good for NAD.

Quality of life matters, right? The NRF2 phytochemical pathway regulates healthspan, so you’ll live quality years.

NRF2 activates hundreds of genes related to antioxidants and stress.

It boosts NAD by increasing NADPH and also NQO1.

Best of all, you can easily active the NRF2 pathway through diet:

  • Apples
  • Tea
  • Berries
  • Turmeric
  • Dark chocolate
  • Red wine
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Garlic
  • Parsley
  • Onions

If supplements are your thing, vitamin D and molecular hydrogen also stimulate NRF2.

Additionally, an enzyme called CD38 is responsible for degrading NAD.

Rat studies show foods high in the flavonoid apigenin (parsley, celery, onions, oranges, chamomile, thyme, and other herbs) inhibit CD38. By slowing the breakdown of NAD with these compounds, your levels stay higher. Learn more here in my ultimate guide to apigenin supplements.

Cheap Supplements & Lifestyle Hacks to Naturally Boost NAD Levels

Most people don’t need designer supplements to increase their NAD levels.

We don’t all have gallon buckets of the stuff sitting around like anti-aging researchers.

And that’s completely fine.

Once you optimize the basics above, however, NMN and NR can be like adding rocket fuel to an otherwise healthy lifestyle. When you’re ready for them, I’ve rounded up the very best products on the market:



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