Lifestyle Changes to Naturally Increase NAD+ Levels

Gianna H

2/18/20243 min read

person holding brown grains
person holding brown grains

As we age, our bodies undergo various changes, and one of the most significant changes is the decline in NAD+ levels. NAD+ (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) is a coenzyme that plays a crucial role in cellular metabolism and energy production. It is involved in various biological processes, including DNA repair, gene expression, and cell signaling.

Low NAD+ levels have been linked to aging, age-related diseases, and a decline in overall health. Fortunately, there are lifestyle changes you can make to naturally increase your NAD+ levels and potentially slow down the aging process. Let's explore some of these changes:

1. A Balanced Diet

Eating a balanced diet is essential for overall health and can also help increase NAD+ levels. Include foods that are rich in niacin, a precursor to NAD+, such as:

  • Fish: Salmon, tuna, and sardines are excellent sources of niacin.

  • Poultry: Chicken and turkey are lean sources of niacin.

  • Legumes: Lentils, chickpeas, and beans are not only rich in niacin but also provide other essential nutrients.

  • Nuts and seeds: Almonds, peanuts, and sunflower seeds are good sources of niacin.

  • Vegetables: Mushrooms, avocados, and leafy greens like spinach and kale contain niacin.

Incorporating these foods into your diet can help provide the necessary building blocks for NAD+ synthesis.

2. Regular Exercise

Engaging in regular exercise has numerous health benefits, and it can also help increase NAD+ levels. Studies have shown that exercise activates certain proteins called sirtuins, which play a role in NAD+ metabolism. These proteins help regulate cellular processes and promote longevity.

Both aerobic exercises, such as running or cycling, and resistance training, like weightlifting, can have a positive impact on NAD+ levels. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week to reap the benefits.

3. Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is a dietary approach that involves cycling between periods of fasting and eating. This practice has gained popularity for its potential health benefits, including increased NAD+ levels.

During fasting, the body switches from using glucose as its primary fuel source to utilizing stored fats. This metabolic shift activates certain enzymes that promote NAD+ synthesis. Additionally, fasting has been shown to increase the activity of sirtuins, further supporting NAD+ production.

There are different fasting protocols you can follow, such as the 16/8 method (fasting for 16 hours and eating within an 8-hour window) or alternate-day fasting. It's important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any fasting regimen.

4. Stress Management

Chronic stress can have a negative impact on various aspects of health, including NAD+ levels. When we experience stress, our bodies produce cortisol, a hormone that can deplete NAD+ levels.

Implementing stress management techniques can help reduce the impact of stress on NAD+ levels. Some effective strategies include:

  • Meditation and mindfulness: Practicing meditation or mindfulness exercises can help calm the mind and reduce stress levels.

  • Regular exercise: Physical activity not only increases NAD+ levels but also helps reduce stress and improve overall well-being.

  • Getting enough sleep: Prioritize quality sleep as it plays a vital role in regulating stress hormones and supporting overall health.

  • Seeking support: Talking to a trusted friend, family member, or therapist can provide emotional support and help manage stress.

5. Adequate Sleep

Sleep is essential for overall health and well-being, and it also plays a role in NAD+ regulation. Research has shown that sleep deprivation can lead to a decline in NAD+ levels.

Ensure you prioritize getting enough quality sleep each night. Establish a regular sleep schedule, create a sleep-friendly environment, and practice relaxation techniques before bed to promote better sleep.

6. Limit Alcohol Consumption

Excessive alcohol consumption can have detrimental effects on NAD+ levels. Alcohol metabolism consumes NAD+, leading to a decrease in its availability for other essential processes.

While moderate alcohol consumption may not significantly impact NAD+ levels, it's important to be mindful of your alcohol intake and avoid excessive drinking.

7. Supplements

In addition to lifestyle changes, certain supplements can support NAD+ levels. These include:

  • Nicotinamide Riboside (NR): NR is a form of vitamin B3 that has been shown to increase NAD+ levels in the body.

  • Resveratrol: Found in grapes and red wine, resveratrol activates sirtuins and promotes NAD+ synthesis.

  • Quercetin: This flavonoid found in various fruits and vegetables can help increase NAD+ levels.

It's important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplements to ensure they are suitable for you and won't interact with any medications you may be taking.

By incorporating these lifestyle changes, you can naturally increase your NAD+ levels and potentially support overall health and longevity. Remember, consistency is key, and it's always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before making any significant changes to your lifestyle or starting any new dietary or exercise regimen.