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Alan Graves: Longevity entrepreneur
My Day | My Life
BY PETER BOWES | SUNDAY APRIl 9, 2022
Alan Graves is the CEO of Do Not Age, a UK-based longevity research company and provider of products, such as nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN), for healthy aging.
Related: Mission to extend healthy lifespan – LLAMA podcast interview,January 18, 2022
My Day | My Life explores the lives of people who have, in one way or another, mastered the art of aging. Whether it be through diet, exercise, mindfulness, spirituality, nutraceutical interventions, social connections, generosity or fulfilling careers, we discover the essential elements to living life with purpose, and perhaps, longevity.
Alan Graves: I am 31 years old at the moment. I wake up with the alarm. That’s about 6 a.m. I reach over and grab the phone, which is not something I would recommend – having the phone in the bedroom. And it is something I’m trying to work on. I’ll check my emails from bed, unfortunately, which is probably not the healthiest thing to do. But when you have a ton of emails, sometimes things need replying to, especially when you’re dealing with people all over the globe in different time zones.
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Out of bed by about 6:30 after having replied to the urgent ones. The first thing I do before I clean my teeth or anything is I will drink as much water as I can, as much as my body will let me put in, because I usually wake up feeling relatively dehydrated because obviously you’ve not taken any water in for at least 8 hours. And I think it sets me up for the day. It helps to wake me up and get me ready. It’s it’s my coffee, if you will. I’ve tried to keep up on the caffeine. I’m one of those people that gets jittery on it and anxious, so I tend to avoid it. I don’t think some people are meant for it.
I’ll do some exercises. But this isn’t like a workout. This is sort of stretches and movement just to get my body moving, clean my teeth, and then the vast majority of the time there’ll be no food and it will be straight to the office to crack on with some more Do Not Age work.
Our mission is to extend healthy lifespan for as many people as possible. And I think when you first hear that, most people focus on the first half of it to extend healthy lifespan. But the second half for us is equally as important for as many people as possible. If you price those products too high, it’s going to create a socioeconomic barrier, and that’s not what we want. So what we’re trying to do is sort of democratize health. Those of your listeners that are already using our products. They’ll probably know us for our NMN. That’s what we became known for because it was our most popular product and still is to this day. And when we first entered the market, we both increased the quality of NMN and decreased the price. So usually you can do one or the other if you’re a good company. But we managed to do both, which is a bit of a unicorn, and that’s why we became known as the world’s number one NMN supplier. Obviously, we do do a lot more than just that.
The workout comes about 10:00 am, so I’ll do 10 to 11 at the gym and that’s only on weekdays as well. I tend to do other things on the weekends. So whether it’s playing football and things like that. When I work out, I use a PT because it’s not my specialty. I certainly don’t want to be doing the movements incorrectly. Obviously by now I’m used to doing them, but I like to have somebody there just in case. I always think there’s improvements in form that can be made, so it tends to be mostly resistance training, weights, whether that be squats, deadlift, bench press, overhead press, etc.. Just before I go to the gym, I’m usually very busy, so most times I’ll have the thought I could really do without this. And then once I get there, I really enjoy it. And then afterwards I feel absolutely fantastic. And if I do ever miss a day because of a meeting that can’t be moved or things maybe outside of my control, then I do feel it. I don’t feel as, I don’t know if happy is the right word, but I don’t feel as content throughout the rest of the day, if I don’t exercise.
After the workout, there’ll be some kind of protein. So whether that’s a protein bar or a protein shake and then a small gap, and then the first meal, which is going to be mostly vegetables, is the middle of the day. And then I will eat another substantial meal a little bit later, probably around the 3:30 or 4:00 mark.
I’m fortunate enough I get somebody to tell me what I should be eating and at what times so that we’re getting all the right macros and things like that in. It’s something that Do Not Age do very well actually as a company as well – if you’re not a specialist in something then you should hire or contract that to a specialist instead of guessing. That’s the way we see things and that’s the way I see things as well. You know, I have my strengths and and macros and nutrients isn’t one of them. So I let somebody else do that and then I’ll eat what they put in front of me. And because I’m hungry, because obviously I have that the rest of the day fasting because I’m hungry. It always tastes really nice anyway.
When I first went on to a plant based diet, I felt better. I felt a lot lighter. I don’t know if it was extreme for me because I was somebody that growing up and if a meal didn’t have meat in it, I didn’t consider it a meal. It wasn’t food unless there was some flesh on the plate. And so going from that to being plant based was quite a significant change. And like I said, I felt a lot lighter, my digestion got a lot better, but that was seven years ago and now I’m just used to it. So it’s kind of normal.
I tried to become an accountant. I’m a failed accountant is what I am. I didn’t do very well in the exams. I don’t think it was for me. And again, it’s about when you’re younger, it’s about finding what your strengths are and playing to those. I then went into a career in the heating industry and whilst it was successful, climbed my way up to National Manager, it wasn’t something I was passionate about. I didn’t get out of bed every morning and go, yes, I’m going to go and speak about boilers. Once Do Not Age came about it was one of those things where I couldn’t have told you what I wanted to do before, but once it happened, I was like, yes, this is my passion.
In general in life, what drives me is a motivation that my father and my parents in general instilled in me to always strive to be better and to do the right thing, which I’m grateful to them for. But in terms of what I get out of bed for these days, it has to be the feedback from the Do Not Age consumers. There is nothing like it. In my younger years, I did standup comedy. I’ve done acting on the television, played to big audiences. I’ve done all sorts of things all over the we’ve lived in many different countries all over the world, and there’s been some great feelings, but some of the things we get, they just bring you to – it makes it very emotional. So that is why I get out of bed in the morning.
My mind at the end of the day is usually very frustrated that there isn’t a few more hours to get more done. But having said that, I do think I’m the type of person that unless we’d managed to change 7 billion people’s lives, which we’re not quite at yet, then I would still always feel that way, and I don’t recommend it. I certainly don’t recommend it to anybody else, but that is how I tend to be. I’m always thinking about how we can do more and help more people.
To wind down. I use blue light blockers and you don’t have to get them from Do Not Age – other places have them. But yeah, the blue light blockers really help because I’m having to be on the screen because that’s where the work is. In terms of winding down. Sometimes I’ll read a book if I can spare 50 minutes, get a few chapters of a good book, and I usually prefer self-help books myself. It’s about a routine for me. So my body knows now, right? When the light goes off and I go and clean my teeth, the light goes off. It’s time to get to sleep. And thankfully I don’t struggle with that anymore.
The Live Long and Master Aging podcast, a HealthSpan Media LLC production, shares ideas but does not offer medical advice. If you have health concerns of any kind, or you are considering adopting a new diet or exercise regime, you should consult your doctor.