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10 Potent Ways to Boost NAD+ Naturally (Without NMN or NR)

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Effective Alternative NAD Boosters
Effective Alternative NAD Boosters

By now, you’ve probably heard of NAD+.

Thousands of supplements have popped up after top scientists praised the molecule as a potential “fountain of youth”.

Researchers have long sought molecules able to halt aging. They’ve made serious progress.

Understanding NAD+ is one of the biggest longevity breakthroughs of my lifetime.

Even those completely uninterested in health have taken notice of this vital molecule.

Compared to most supplements, popular NAD boosters like NMN and NR are still expensive and less researched. Most people don’t need either of these supplements. Before you spend potentially hundreds on a monthly recurring supply of synthetic NAD, make sure you’re doing the other things right to boost NAD naturally.

What is NAD & 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 regenerate 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.

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.

Protect yourself with some of these top EMF-protection devices, products, and tools.

Skip the Evening Snack

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.

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 training. BFRT is a great travel-friendly workout option, portable, and effective.

Swap The Booze

Ethanol Vs Hard Ketones Alcohol

Add potential NAD+ depletion to the multitude of reasons to cut back on ethanol alcohol.

High blood alcohol neegatively impacts NAD+ levels, especially in the liver.

Several papers suggest that alcohol impairs both NADH as well as the complimentary DNA-repairing SIRT1 enzyme [R].

Interestingly, decreased NAD+ also slows the body’s clearance of toxic byproducts of alcohol detoxification [R].

Not only does drinking alcohol waste NAD+, but it also harms the vital recycling (salvage) pathway [R].

While the occasional cocktail probably isn’t much concern, bingeing or drinking frequently likely will cause issues.

You can certainly still have fun and enjoy yourself without alcohol. I mostly quit years ago because I discovered these alcohol alternatives that induce a pleasant buzz without the hangover or toxicity.

Add These Cheap NAD Precursor Supplements

After optimizing your lifestyle habits, you’ll want to consider consuming some inexpensive NAD-supporting supplements.


bulksupplements 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.

Buy Niacin

Nicotinamide & Niacinamide

thorne niacinamide supplement

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.

Buy Niacinamide

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.

In other words…

H2 is the stress-resilience-building molecule of bioharmony Click To Tweet

This article will help you learn the benefits, uses, and science of molecular hydrogen therapy.

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

Buy H2 (DrinkHRW)

Use the exclusive DrinkHRW coupon code URBAN for 10% off.


bioptimers magnesium gifts e1670554157920

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.

Buy Magnesium

Entering Ketosis (Naturally or via Supplements)

ketoneaid ke4

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.

For the strongest effects, pick up some KetoneAid KE4.

Buy KE4 (KetoneAid)

For more information, see my post on the best ketone-boosting products and supplements.


assorted veggies

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 [R]. By slowing the breakdown of NAD with these compounds, your levels stay higher. Learn more here in my ultimate guide to apigenin supplements.

Coffee is another substance showing the potential to increase NAD+. New 2024 research attributes this effect to a molecule called Trigonelline [R].

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 buckets of the stuff laying around like anti-aging researchers.

And that’s completely fine.

With commonly recommended lifestyle strategies (sleep, exercise, healthy diet, smart supplementation, meal timing, and reducing toxin exposure) we can naturally and effectively maximize our NAD levels. Click To Tweet

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:

  • Click here for the best nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) supplements on the market. NMN is the favorite booster of anti-aging scientists and researchers.
  • Click here for the best nicotinamide riboside (NR) products. NR has far more data and clinical trials behind it.

I personally use a comprehensive supplements complex for better results and fewer potential side effects.

Read my review of the best all-in-one NAD+ supplements to boost your levels even higher and with fewer potential drawbacks.

What’s your favorite way to naturally boost NAD? Drop a comment below and let me know!


Post Tags: Diet, Fasting, Fitness, Supplements

2 thoughts on “10 Potent Ways to Boost NAD+ Naturally (Without NMN or NR)”

  1. Nick,

    You recommend Niacin at a dose of 25 milligrams. But the link you have is for 100 mg tablets. Not sure if I should be taking 25 mg or 100mg.

    • Hey Kevin!

      I prefer Niacin at a dose of 25-50mg. I usually break the tablets I get into multiple pieces. Slightly less convenient but also makes them even cheaper.


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