Unlocking Youthful Vitality

NAD+-Powered Diet and Lifestyle Tips for Aging Gracefully 

Are you looking to boost your energy levels, improve cognitive function, and enhance your overall well-being naturally? The key could lie in increasing the levels of NAD+ (Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide) in your body. 

Previously, we discussed the biochemical pathways and foundational aspects of NAD+ in anti-aging. Now, let’s explore practical ways to elevate NAD+ levels through diet and lifestyle adjustments. 

Power Up Your Plate 
(Dietary Tips to Support NAD+ Levels) 

Maintaining healthy NAD+ levels is crucial as we age. In young and healthy individuals, NAD+ levels are naturally sustained through a quality diet. Many whole foods contain NAD+ precursors, including vitamin B3, effectively utilized by young bodies to maintain high NAD+ levels. These foods also provide essential nutrients supporting cellular metabolism and overall cell health. 

Nicotinic acid, the precursor to NAD+ also known as vitamin B3, is abundant in meat and fish like chicken and tuna. Additionally, cow’s milk and beer contain small amounts of the more potent NAD+ precursor, nicotinamide riboside [1] [2]. To support your overall health, incorporate nutrient-rich whole foods into your diet as widely as possible. 

Here’s a Mediterranean-inspired list of healthy foods to include in your diet: 

  • Olive Oil: Extra virgin olive oil as a primary fat source 
  • Fatty Fish: Salmon, sardines, mackerel 
  • Dairy Products: Greek yogurt, feta cheese 
  • Whole Grains: Whole wheat bread, bulgur, quinoa 
  • Legumes: Chickpeas, lentils, beans 
  • Leafy Green Vegetables: Spinach, kale, Swiss chard 
  • Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds 

Now, let’s expand our focus beyond dietary strategies to explore additional lifestyle habits that can further enhance NAD+ levels and overall cellular health. 

Beyond the Plate 
(Lifestyle Habits to Enhance NAD+ Levels) 

1. Keep Moving!  
(Physical Exercise)  

Engaging in regular physical activity amps up the activity of an important enzyme called nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT), which boosts NAD+ production and improves mitochondrial function, leading to increased energy and vitality [3]. Research even suggests that aerobic and resistance exercise training can reverse age-dependent decline in NAD+ salvage capacity in human skeletal muscle [4]. To reap these benefits, aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise, such as brisk walking, jogging, or cycling, most days of the week. 

2. Pause the Fueling! 
(Intermittent Fasting) 

Intermittent fasting, characterized by alternating periods of eating and fasting, has been shown to elevate NAD+ levels in mice [5]. Moreover, emerging research suggests that fasting stimulates cellular repair mechanisms and enhances mitochondrial function, highlighting its potential health benefits [6] [7]. One commonly adopted approach is the 16/8 method: fasting for 16 hours followed by an 8-hour eating window. 

3. Crank Up the Hotness!  
(Heat Exposure) 

You may have heard that occasional heat exposure can be beneficial for us, and it turns out, science is beginning to uncover why. In yeast cells, for example, heat exposure has been found to boost NAD+ levels, supporting overall cellular health [8]. By mimicking natural environmental fluctuations, regular exposure to heat stress can promote resilience and contribute to our well-being. 

4. Enjoy the Slumber  
(Quality Sleep) 

We already know that quality sleep is not merely a respite for the mind. Surprisingly, our sleep patterns and NAD+ levels share a close relationship. While we’re still unraveling the direct influence of sleep on NAD+ levels, there is good evidence that our internal clocks are regulated in part by NAD+! [9]. Studies indicate that NAD+ levels may impact sleep quality, and increasing NAD+ levels may be associated with improved sleep outcomes and healthier internal clocks [10] [11]. Aim to get 7-9 hours of uninterrupted rest each night at an appropriate hour/time of day, which will contribute to overall well-being, and set the stage for optimal functioning. In the future, we may know more about whether NAD+ levels can be increased with better quality sleep as well. 

NAD+ Hasta La Vista, Baby! 

And this brings us to the end of our little NAD+ journey for today.  

We’ve delved into the importance of boosting NAD+ levels naturally through diet and lifestyle changes. By incorporating NAD+-boosting foods into our diet, engaging in regular exercise, practicing intermittent fasting, using heat therapy, ensuring adequate sleep, we’ve explored the ways to support our body’s NAD+ production and reap the benefits of enhanced cellular health. 

However, let’s not forget that true well-being is a holistic endeavor! While NAD+ is a crucial piece of the puzzle, it’s just one part of the larger picture. To truly improve our health and well-being, we must take a comprehensive approach. This means addressing factors like chronic stress and embracing positive habits that nurture our vitality and resilience. 

In the journey towards optimal health, let’s remember: with NAD+ on our side, we bid farewell to the old, welcoming in a brighter, more vibrant future. Here’s to embracing wellness in its entirety, one empowered choice at a time. 

Author: Qi Zhang 


  1. Trammell, S. A. J., Yu, L., Redpath, P., Migaud, M. E., & Brenner, C. (2016). Nicotinamide Riboside Is a Major NAD+ Precursor Vitamin in Cow Milk. The Journal of Nutrition, 146(5), 957–963. https://doi.org/10.3945/jn.116.230078 
  1. Garofalo, C., Sabbatini, R., Zamporlini, F., Osimani, A., et al. (2021). Exploratory study on the occurrence and dynamics of yeast-mediated nicotinamide riboside production in craft beers. LWT, 147(12), 111605. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lwt.2021.111605 
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