9 Best Nicotinamide Riboside Supplements Backed By Science (2021 Review & Comparison)


Looking for yhr fountain of youth?

Anti-aging and longevity researcher David Sinclair brought nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) into the limelight. Here’s what you might not know though: scientists discovered NAD in the early 20th century. Why is it making a comeback?

It’s the energetic currency keeping your body functioning at its peak. NAD deficiency dramatically speeds up how fast you age.

Nicotinamide Riboside (NR) is one of the most popular biohacks because it directly quenches low NAD levels.

Fix that deficiency, and maintain youthfulness longer.

Today’s post will give you essential background on the best Nicotinamide Riboside products on the market, and what makes each of these products stand out.

For quick reference…

The Best Nicotinamide Riboside Supplements of 2021

Best Overall NR: Tru Niagen
Best Value NR: Ultra Health 30C Bulk (use coupon URBAN to save)
Best All-in-One NR Formula: Life Extension NAD+ Cell Regenerator with Resveratrol
Popular NR: Ultra Health Nicotinamide Riboside (use coupon URBAN to save)
Best Quality NR: Thorne Research ResveraCel Nicotinamide Riboside
Best NR Powder: Botany Biosciences Nicotinamide Riboside Chloride

On to the background and then product comparison.

What is NAD+ and How Does NR Help?

Nicotinamide riboside is a form of vitamin B3 (also called niacin or nicotinic acid). Unlike the other forms, research shows that NR increases levels of NAD+, a key central metabolism regulator. Core functions of NAD include:

  • Converting food to energy
  • Repairing DNA
  • Creating androgen hormones
  • Building muscles
  • Recovery
  • Activating a group of seven essential longevity proteins called sirtuins
Over 500 different enzymes rely on NAD and without it, you'd die in 30-seconds. Click To Tweet

You’ll live with suboptimal NAD levels. But you’ll age faster and have difficultly performing at your peak.

Supplementing with nicotinamide riboside is an insurance policy against low cellular energy.

Benefits of Nicotinamide Riboside Supplementation

NR works primarily to increase the energy available to the body’s many organs and cellular processes. It slows down the aging of tissues throughout the body most susceptible to degenerative disease.

Using NR as a longevity compound is new and we need more studies to fully elucidate uses and effects. Much of the current understanding is based on animal models.

Powerful Nicotinamide Riboside benefits include:
  1. Improved muscle function
  2. Cellular energy generation
  3. Overcoming jet lag
  4. Boosts physical and mental energy
  5. Repairing DNA faster
  6. Restores exercise capacity
  7. Fighting diseases of the brain and body (like Alzheimer’s)
  8. Protecting the brain, liver, and mitochondria
  9. Reducing blood pressure
  10. Decreasing symptoms of diabetes
  11. Helping prevent hearing loss
  12. Increasing metabolism
  13. Enhances blood sugar control
  14. Improving weight loss
  15. Mitigating damage from oxidative stress
  16. Regulating your sleep/wake cycle, (known as the circadian rhythm)
  17. Extending lifespan

Research suggests that taking Nicotinamide Riboside to optimize NAD will restore systems affected by a cellular energy deficit. I always recommend boosting NAD levels naturally and with the precursors first.

Natural Ways to Boost NAD

You can increase your levels via two primary strategies:

  1. Adding boosting supplements
  2. Making your body more efficient with the current process (salvage pathway)

You’ll get better, longer-lasting results from the latter.

Natural ways to boost your NAD levels without NR or NMN include:

  • Raw honey
  • Fermented foods
  • Sauna sessions
  • Pau D’ Arco tea
  • Fasting

Certain foods contain trace amounts of nicotinamide riboside:

Before you run to the grocery store and stock up: you won’t be able to chug enough milk to get appreciable amounts of NR.

I wrote a mega-guide to naturally boosting your NAD here.

Once you’ve optimized the salvage pathway and are looking for more, these are the best products.

Most NR Supplements Are Fake or Dangerous?

Heavy metals, impurities, and other banned ingredients regularly contaminate supplements. Third-party reports across brands and ingredients have found outright fraud: some products contain absolutely zero of the stated ingredient but rather another unrelated compound instead.

Since it’s new, supplement manufacturers and commercial sources have only begun appearing in the last few years. Suppliers cannot match the demand spike. The market and online stores have become littered with fake (and expensive) NAD boosters.

The brands I trust most have either been directly used in clinical studies, or undergo strict third-party testing. Below is a list of some popular nicotinamide riboside products.

The Top NR Products of 2021

Best Overall NR: Tru Niagen Nicotinamide Riboside

tru niagen

Overview

NR Dose: 300 mg

Contents: 90 capsules

Serving Size: 1 capsule

Specialty: Heavily studied & proven product

NSF Certified for Sport

Tru Niagen Nicotinamide Riboside is the most heavily studied brand, the subject of 10 clinical studies in humans. It has consistently been the biggest name in NAD boosting supplements. The company behind Tru Niagen, ChromaDex, has the backing of NR’s patent holder, Dr. Charles Brenner, on its advisory board. They sell three products: 150mg NR capsules, NR 300mg NR capsules, and 300mg NR portable drink mixes. Tru Niagen is the gold-standard, proven to increase NAD+ levels by 40-50%.

Runner Up NR: Elysium Basis

elysium basis

Overview

NR Dose: 250mg

Contents: 30 capsules

Serving Size: 2 capsules

Specialty: dual antioxidant blend

Vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, and contains no artificial colors or flavors.

Elysium Health’s Basis product is their answer to an upgraded Nicotinamide Riboside product. Though the serving size is smaller than Tru Niagen (250mg), their formula includes 50mg of another unique anti-aging compound called Pterostilbene. Developed by MIT’s Leonard Guarente, Ph.D., a clinical study has also shown that Basis increases NAD+ by 40%. Elysium is devoted to quality, putting each supplement batch through vigorous testing. All publicly posted for wary consumers. It’s no wonder TIME Magazine featured Elysium Health.

Best Value NR: Ultra Health NR 30C (Bulk)

Ultra Health RiboGEN 30C 300 caps

Overview

NR Dose: 300mg RiboGEN NR

Contents: 300 capsules

Serving Size: 1 capsule

Specialty: best value NR

No excipients or additives

Each capsule contains the samepatented RiboGENTM as inside their best-selling product. Ribogen is the strongest NR on the market. If you can get over the sticker shock, the 30C line of Ultra Health NR comes out to about $1.10 per serving. A price usually only available to vitamin shops, doctors, and clinics. As with all their products, 30C is pure pharmaceutical-grade nicotinamide riboside, with zero excipients or additives. Since this line is intended for resale by medical professionals, it comes in a sealed mylar pouch.

With Ultra Health 30C, you get the same quality NR used in medical research and clinical studies, but at the lowest price per dose.

Use exclusive coupon code URBAN for a 10% discount.

Also Good: Life Extension NAD+ Cell Regenerator Nicotinamide Riboside

lifeextension nad 1

Overview

NR Dose: 300mg

Contents: 30 capsules

Serving Size: 1 capsules

Specialty: trusted brand and good price

Gluten-free, non-GMO, vegetarian

One of Life Extension’s best sellers, their NAD+ Cell Regenerator comes in the budget 100mg and more potent 300mg versions. Life Extension uses the same ChromaDex patented formula of Nicotinamide Riboside called NIAGEN®. In their online store, 155 users have rated the product an average of 4.8 stars, leagues above most longevity supplements. Their webpage features the science behind the ingredient, Q&As, and ideal supplements to further optimize NAD.

Popular NR: Ultra Health Nicotinamide Riboside

Ultra Health NR

Overview

NR Dose: 300mg

Contents: 60 capsules

Serving Size: 1 capsule

Specialty: pharmaceutical grade NR

No excipients or additives

Ultra Health has a line of NR products ranging in strength and formula. Their best-selling product is NR60B, which includes the patented and ultra-potent RiboGENTM. Ultra Health is a rapidly growing newcomer to commercial NR, with their first products listed in 2019. All of their products boast no excipients or additives, and they further protect potency with double-walled anti-UV safety canisters. This company is dedicated to NAD boosting, selling only NR and NMN.

Use the exclusive coupon code URBAN for a 10% discount on the product here.

Best Combo: Life Extension NAD+ Cell Regenerator with Resveratrol

lifeextension nad resv

Overview

NR Dose: 300mg (+ 100mg resveratrol)

Contents: 30 capsules

Serving Size: 1 capsule

Specialty: longevity ingredient mega blend

Gluten-free, non-GMO, vegetarian

Those looking for a more advanced all-in-one formula will enjoy Life Extensions’ Cell Regenerator Plus Resveratrol option. Resveratrol is another well-studied and powerful antioxidant synergistic with NR. In this product, you get the same high-quality patented and clinically validated NIAGEN form of NR (300mg), along with a more absorbable form of resveratrol called trans-resveratrol (100mg). Additionally, you get Bio-Quercetin, Fisetin, and the active ingredients in several fruits.

Cleanest: Thorne Research ResveraCel Nicotinamide Riboside

thorne resveracel

Overview

NR Dose: 300mg (+ 150mg trans-resveratrol)

Contents: 60 capsules

Serving Size: 2 capsules

Specialty: clean & powerful ingredient synergy

Gluten-free, derived from natural flavors & natural Colors, dairy-free, soy-free

Thorne Research is another one of the most trusted names in dietary supplements. Between strict quality control, and cutting-edge formulations, their products always deliver. Thorne regularly tests among the cleanest supplements on the market and is a go-to choice for professional athletes. ReservaCel is their blend of longevity ingredients including Nicotinamide Riboside, quercetin, betaine, and trans-resveratrol. Their the only ones to include betaine which further increases the effectiveness of NR. Thorne transparently discloses the exact ratio of all compounds inside. Including 50mg more resveratrol than Life Extensions’ formula. Choose ReservaCel for the largest (and pure) dose of anti-aging ingredients.

Best Value Powder: Botany Biosciences Nicotinamide Riboside Chloride

botanybio nr

Overview

NR Dose: 250mg

Contents: 10 grams

Serving Size: 250mg

Specialty: best bargain powder

No artificial colors, preservatives, or additives

Disclaimer: Science Biologics products are not intended for human consumption and are for research purposes only.

If you’re looking for maximum value, or prefer powders (like I do), nothing beats the product made by a company called Botany Biosciences (a branch of Science.bio). Botany releases products as they gain traction, once they ensure that their raw material suppliers will pass third-party purity testing. Each container holds 10 grams of NR. At 250mg per serving, that works out to a 40-day supply. The MSRP price alone is best-in-class, but you’ll often find additional sales on their healthy aging products. For precise dosing, you’ll want a milligram scale for any powder products. Botany is so confident you’ll enjoy their product that they offer a 30-day-no-questions-asked money-back guarantee.

Other Great Powder: Liftmode Nicotinamide Riboside

liftmode nr 1

Overview

NR Dose: 200mg

Contents: 10g

Serving Size: 200mg

Specialty: occasional great deals

GMO-free, gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, additive-free

LiftMode is a company popular amongst nootropics and smart drug connoisseurs. They offered NR powders ranging in size from a one gram tub all the way up to ten grams. Their Nicotinamide Ribosides are on the more expensive side. Occasionally I get an email about sales. I’d suggest waiting for one of these blowout sales to purchase.

UPDATE: LiftMode has stopped carrying NR in favor of the related NAD Booster, NMN.

NR Questions & Answers

Each of the above products should boost your NAD levels. But here is some additional information to help you make the best-informed choice for your specific situation.

NR vs MNM: which is superior?

Nicotinamide mononucleotide and nicotinamide riboside are both NAD+ precursors. NMN is more stable than NR and this stability confers additional health benefits. There’s less evidence behind NMN, and NR has been proven to extend lifespan in mice.

Is NR Safe?

Nicotinamide riboside is a naturally occurring form of vitamin B3 and thus has been Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) by the FDA. Although some users report minor side effects from extremely high doses, there have not been any cases of overdose. Always consult with your doctor before starting new supplements.

What is the best NR dosage?

Research suggests that the ideal dose for nicotinamide riboside is anywhere between 100 to 2000mg per day. Although minimal, side effects do increase with higher doses. The more NR, the greater NAD+ levels. For longevity, 300mg is sufficient. A larger dose of around 1000mg is more effective for increasing energy.

What are the side effects of NR?

Current nicotinamide riboside research has discovered zero side effects in humans. However, some users report trouble sleeping because of the increased energy. A study done in mice found worsened physical performance by 35 percent. These findings have not been replicated in humans, but athletes should be cautious of taking NR.

Should You Supplement Nicotinamide Riboside?

Nicotinamide riboside is one of the best and most effective NAD boosters available (though longevity scientists like David Sinclair prefer NMN supplements).

Anti-aging biohackers have reported reversing their “biological age” and dramatic energy improvements from this new supplement.

Start with free NAD+ boosters.

Depending on your genes and lifestyle (see my review of SelfDecode, the top DNA analytics software to easily understand your genes), you may benefit tremendously from taking either NR or NMN. SelfDecode will tell you if supplementation is a waste of money or crucial.

After signing up, check your results from these two genes:

Beware of the many fake and adulterated products that have flooded the NAD supplement market. Using a contaminated product will do more harm than good. Choose one of the products above to slow aging, increase your energy, and feel your best.

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Nick Urban

Nick Urban is the Founder of Outliyr, an expert biohacker of 10+ years, Data Scientist, Certified CHEK Practitioner, host of the Mind Body Peak Performance Podcast, and a High-Performance Coach.

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This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase to support my work at no cost to you. Thanks for your support!

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