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Ritual Vitamins Review: Is this the future of vitamins?

We review Ritual’s multivitamins and subscription service to assess quality, convenience, value and more

Last Updated: Nov 29, 2020

Ritual review

Ritual is an online vitamin brand that began with the goal of producing a multivitamin using high-quality, trusted ingredients. The inspiration for the company happened when the founder was looking for a prenatal vitamin she could trust and realized that many of them had questionable ingredients.

According to the FDA, most people get all of the nutrients they need from their diet, but some gaps need to be filled, especially for vegans, vegetarians, and women who are pregnant. Ritual understands this and has developed its products to help fill these gaps. The company leaves out the extras that other multivitamins don’t and is completely upfront about what is in its products and why.

Are Ritual’s vitamins a good choice for you? Are they a good value compared to competitors’ products? We thoroughly tested Ritual’s products and service and will share all details below to help you decide.

Review Summary

Pros

  • Science-backed formulas created with the guidance of a research and development board
  • No dyes or synthetic fillers
  • Vegan capsules are non-GMO and free of gluten and major allergens
  • Delayed-release capsules can be taken without food
  • Apple Watch app helps you keep track of your vitamin regimen
  • You can cancel a subscription at any time
  • Ritual is dedicated to transparency
  • Ritual gives our readers $10 off if you bundle two or more products in an order

Cons

  • More expensive than other vitamins
  • Requires a subscription

Bottom line

If you take a multivitamin and are concerned about knowing the full ingredients in it and where those ingredients come from, Ritual is the best option out there. The company is extremely transparent about ingredients and sourcing. When it comes to the inclusion and exclusion of ingredients, Ritual uses a science-backed approach. While the subscription structure might seem inconvenient for some people, Ritual opts for this approach in the hopes that taking a daily vitamin will become a habit (or, ahem, a ritual). Ritual’s honesty, transparency, and commitment to scientific integrity are refreshing to see in a dietary supplement.

Our Top Picks

Ritual

Ritual is a great multivitamin choice for adult men and women of all ages who care about science-backed supplementing and transparent sourcing.

Ritual has analyzed thousands of scientific studies in order to formulate multivitamins that intelligently fill gaps in the diets of Americans, by age and gender, without including excessive or counterproductive ingredients. Its dedication to transparency and honesty is admirable.

Why you should trust us

Innerbody Research recently celebrated its 20-year anniversary online. Over the past two decades, we have helped tens of millions of readers make more informed decisions involving staying healthy and living healthier lifestyles.

We extensively test each health service we review. We try our best to give you, our readers, an unbiased exploration of at-home health services, free of marketing jargon or gimmicks. We evaluate the service based on our adherence to quality, the latest medical evidence and health standards, and a simple question: would we buy the product or service ourselves if it weren’t part of our job, and would we recommend it to family and friends?

Additionally this review of Ritual, like all health-related content on this website, was thoroughly vetted by one or more members of our Medical Review Board for accuracy.

How Ritual works

Multiple things make Ritual different from ordinary multivitamins, which is evident as soon as you see one of its vitamin capsules. Most multivitamins that you buy over-the-counter are in the form of large tablets. Ritual vitamins are specially engineered capsules that contain tiny beads suspended in oil. Ritual claims this capsule design delivers nutrients to your body more effectively. Additionally, these vegan capsules are delayed-release, so they dissolve lower in the gut, meaning you can take them on an empty stomach, and they’re less likely to cause nausea. They are free of GMOs, gluten, and major allergens and contain no artificial colors or fillers.

Transparency

Ritual is very particular and transparent about its supply chain, providing information about where each ingredient is sourced right on its website. For example, the vitamin D3 in all of its products comes from Nottingham, UK; the folate from Pisticci, Italy; and the vitamin E from Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Ritual goes steps further, however. An unparalleled level of transparency means that you can know:

  • The form of the nutrient and why it’s important (for instance, vitamin B12 in the form of methylcobalamin, which is more active than the more common cyanocobalamin)
  • The source of the nutrient and why it matters (for instance, vitamin D sourced from lichen – a much more sustainable source than fish liver oil or sheep’s wool)
  • The supplier of the nutrient along with background information (for instance, Boron supplied by Illinois company FutureCeuticals, with a parent company growing the plants and a biotech team in Southern California)
  • The manufacturing location (for instance, choline – as choline bitartrate – manufactured in Verona, Missouri)

Let’s say you want learn more about the source of folate in Italy, for example. Ritual provides that level of information. The manufacturer of this ingredient is Gnosis. Its folate – called Quatrefolic – is a biologically active, methylated form of this B-vitamin, which is important because around 40% of people have a genetic mutation that actually prevents them from being able to absorb folic acid. This is just one of many examples of Ritual’s dedication to transparency and quality.

This brand is also honest about results, stating that the changes you’ll experience from taking a daily multivitamin happen slowly. Rather than promising a “miracle” cure, the company states that it may take three to four months to feel a difference.

Science-backed

Another of key principle at Ritual is that the company believes in the science behind the idea of better ingredients for better health. Each of the ingredients in each of Ritual’s multivitamin products is chosen based on analysis of thousands of independent scientific studies.

Ritual’s selected nutrients and formulations have been guided by an impressive team of scientists and researchers with backgrounds in physiology, epidemiology, nutrition, and biochemistry. Ritual adds another layer of medical oversight with its review board consisting of physicians and nutritionists.

Ritual even invested in a university-led, double-blind clinical trial with Auburn University to study its proprietary product – the Essential for Women – and made the results available on its website. The results after using the product for 12 weeks were very impressive – for instance:

  • Vitamin D levels rose by 43%
  • Omega-3 DHA rose by 41%

And as for the vitamins themselves, they are carefully designed so that their nutrients dissolve in the small intestine, a great place for absorption. (Many people don’t realize that when we eat, the small intestine is where the majority of our absorption of minerals and nutrients occurs.)

Privacy considerations

Ritual does not collect much of your personal information, but it does store your payment information. Per Ritual, the website is Level PCI compliant and meets the highest security standards.

A word about the FDA

The FDA does not approve any vitamin or supplements and treats them as a subset of food rather than pharmaceuticals. This means that no supplement or vitamin brand can claim that it treats illness or is FDA-approved. That said, the companies that make multivitamins are held to certain standards when it comes to manufacturing and labeling and must comply with certain FDA regulations.

What is impressive about Ritual – and speaks to its mission of transparency – is that it devotes an entire webpage to explaining the details about what the company is allowed to claim under the rules of the FDA. While all vitamin and supplement manufacturers have to abide by these same rules, it is rare to find a company so open and honest.

Pricing

ritual multivitamins

Ritual has a total of nine products with consistent pricing. Its Essential 18+ vitamins for women and men cost $30 per bottle and its Essential 50+ vitamins cost $35. Ritual also offers prenatal and postnatal vitamins that each cost $35. Kids and teens vitamins all cost $30. If you bundle two or more products, you save $10 the first month.

Ritual vitamins are only available by monthly subscriptions. This means you cannot order a bottle or two off of the website. That said, delivery is free, and you can cancel at any time. Ritual also offers a 30-day, money-back guarantee if you don’t love the product.

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HSA, FSA, and health insurance

Ritual does not have an option for paying with an HSA, FSA, or health insurance. The company accepts major credit cards, PayPal, Apple Pay, and Google Pay. According to the IRS, anything that is beneficial for general health, including vitamins, is not considered a medical expense and would not be eligible under an HSA or FSA.

Essential for Woman 18 Plus

The Essential for Women 18+ is carefully formulated for women ages 18-49 and contains the following:

  • Folate
  • Omega-3
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin D3
  • Iron
  • Vitamin K2
  • Boron
  • Vitamin E
  • Magnesium

Notice that this product does not contain calcium and vitamin C. Again, Ritual is completely transparent about why it chose to leave out these nutrients, explaining that the company believes in a food-first approach to vitamins and only aims to fill in the gaps of your diet; most of us in the United States get enough calcium and vitamin C from dietary sources.

By focusing on the gaps in our dietary nutrition, Ritual also helps your body make the most of nutrients you ingest in food. Let’s consider calcium, for instance. Most people have more than adequate amounts of calcium from dietary sources. But without sufficient boron, magnesium, vitamin D3, and vitamin K2, the calcium may not be able to bring the help we anticipate for our bone health.

Essential for Women 50 Plus

Ritual’s Essential for Women 50+ is designed for the needs of post-menopausal women and includes eight ingredients:

  • Folate
  • Omega-3
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin D3
  • Vitamin K2
  • Boron
  • Vitamin E
  • Magnesium

The difference between this vitamin and the Essential for Women 18+ is that the Essential for Women 50+ has more magnesium and vitamins K2, B12, and E. It also doesn’t contain iron and has less folate.

Essential Prenatal and Postnatal

Essential Prenatal

The Essential Prenatal is a very popular product – so popular that it’s occasionally out of stock. If this happens, though, you can sign up to be on Ritual’s waiting list so you can add it to your monthly subscription when it becomes available.

Ritual’s formula includes the following 12 nutrients:

  • Folate
  • Omega-3
  • Vitamin B12
  • Choline
  • Iodine
  • Biotin
  • Vitamin D3
  • Iron
  • Boron
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K2
  • Magnesium

In contrast to the normal women’s multivitamin from Ritual, its prenatal formula notably contains more iron, magnesium, omega-3, and vitamin D, in addition to three unique ingredients – biotin (in large quantity), iodine, and choline. These adjustments are all based upon scientific research and for the benefit of the mother and her developing child.

For instance, research suggests that iodine insufficiency in pregnant women is tied to cognitive and motor development issues for children. Biotin, meanwhile, tag-teams with folate to protect genetic integrity, and studies indicate that choline plays an important role in fetal brain development. Insufficiencies among pregnant women are common for all three of these important nutrients, which is why Ritual includes them.

Essential Postnatal

As its name suggests, Essential Postnatal is the postnatal counterpart to Ritual’s prenatal vitamin. Essential Postnatal is intended to help women for the six months following birth and while women are lactating. Consistent with the company’s overarching philosophy, Ritual delivers the nutrients that new mothers need but don’t ordinarily consume in high enough quantities for optimal health.

Unlike the prenatal vitamin, this supplement is formulated with vitamins A and C, as well as zinc. It contains less iron, in keeping with dietary recommendations during lactation.

This postnatal vitamin aims to fortify the health of both the postpartum mother and the nursing infant. For instance, the amount of omega-3 fatty acids included in Essential Postnatal promotes healthy fatty acid content in the breast milk that feeds a newborn. Similarly, Ritual provides iodine, biotin, and choline to compensate for the higher nutritional demands while a woman is breastfeeding.

Essential for Men 18 Plus

Ritual’s multivitamin for men ages 18-49 includes the following 10 ingredients:

  • Omega-3
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin D3
  • Magnesium
  • Zinc
  • Vitamin K2
  • Folate
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin E
  • Boron

The formula for men differs from the Essential for Women 18+ in a few ways, all based on each gender’s unique needs. Men have higher recommended daily intakes of zinc and vitamin A than women, yet American men tend to get insufficient quantities of them from dietary sources. For this reason, Ritual includes these in its Essential for Men 18+. Additionally, since men have a lower recommended daily intake of iron than women, the men’s multivitamin does not contain iron.

Essential for Men 50 Plus

  • Omega-3
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin D3
  • Magnesium
  • Zinc
  • Vitamin K2
  • Folate
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin E
  • Boron

While this vitamin has the same ingredients as the Essential for Men 18+, the doses of five nutrients differ in this formula designed for men ages 50 and over. The Essential for Men 50+ contains more folate, magnesium, and vitamins E, K2, and B12. These changes support bone health and make up for the most likely dietary gaps experienced by men over 50.

Ritual vitamins for kids and teens

Ritual has begun offering its high-quality supplements formulated for children as well. Currently, there are three products available for kids. Each of the following products sells for $30 per month.

Essential for Kids 4+

These gummy multivitamins for kids ages 4 and up manage to be tasty (flavored by lemon, raspberry, and monk fruit) while containing zero sugar. They’ll deliver the essential nutrients that Ritual’s research indicates kids need in a supplement:

  • Vitamins A, B9 (folate), B12, C, D, E, and K2
  • Zinc
  • Choline
  • Iodine
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • A blend of fiber and prebiotics for good measure

The inclusion of omega-3s and prebiotics in a tasty kids’ gummy helps Ritual’s new product stand out. Nearly 80% of top-brand gummy multivitamins for young kids fail to contain omega-3 fatty acids.

Essential for Teens (Hers)

Formulated specifically to meet the dietary needs of girls ages 13-17, the Essential for Teens (Hers) comes in Ritual’s standard delayed-release capsule and features a subtle mint overtone. It contains chelated iron to promote healthy red blood cell count. Bone, brain, and immune health are also emphasized in the formula, with omega-3 fatty acids and important nutrients like vitamins A, B12, K2, and D3 alongside zinc, magnesium, and boron.

Essential for Teens (His)

For teenage boys ages 13-17, Ritual has its own formula – Essential for Teens (His), which contains many of the same vital nutrients as the multivitamin for teenage girls. However, some of the proportions are different in accordance with what scientific research suggests is optimal, and the “His” version omits iron. This multivitamin is intended to give teenage boys all of the nutrients they won’t naturally consume in sufficient quantities to optimize brain, immune, bone, and muscle health.

Bundling opportunities

To take advantage of Ritual’s $10 discount on your first month, consider whether a bundle makes sense for your household. Ritual has two pre-built suggestions that appeal to many:

  • The Co-Habit, which comes with men’s and women’s Essential 18+ vitamins. This bundle is clearly meant for young heterosexual adults living together. Your relationship status doesn’t matter to Ritual; the company just wants you to be healthy.
  • For mother and child, Ritual offers its Multi-Generation bundle, which includes an Essential Women’s 18+ multivitamin and its Multivitamin Kids 4+.
  • Ritual lets you custom-build your own bundle with its Home Made option.

Getting started with Ritual

Signing up with Ritual is easy. Everything is done on the Ritual website, which has a clean, simple design that’s easy to navigate.

  1. Browse the products. A clean, inviting interface allows you to browse based on identity – women, men, children. Within those broader sections, refine your shopping by age or life stage (e.g., women over age 50, pregnant women, adult men, teenage boys).
  2. Choose what you want. As you make your decisions, Ritual’s website provides all of the information about the sourcing and rationale for various ingredients in its supplements. You’ll be able to know a lot about what you’re buying, which is something our researchers found pretty outstanding.
  3. Add products to your cart. If you choose a single product, the website reminds you about the bundling offer and gives you suggestions of what to add to your cart. You don’t need to enter any discount codes – the $10 savings will be automatically applied. Ritual even reminds you that this discount only applies to your first month, so you’re not surprised with your next month’s payment.
  4. Create an account and finalize your order. After you are done shopping, Ritual prompts you to create an account before processing your order. This allows you to manage future deliveries and cancel your subscription if necessary.
  5. Start taking your Ritual vitamins. Your package ships free of charge and will arrive on a monthly schedule. You can dictate the delivery date that works best for you. It’s simple to cancel on the website, and Ritual offers a 30-day money-back guarantee if you’re unsatisfied with your first month.

Place an Order

How we evaluate health products and services

At Innerbody Research, we customize our evaluation criteria depending on the type and nature of the health-related service. For health-related products and services, we have five areas that we use for our evaluations, including:

Quality: How well does the company deliver its core service(s) and product(s) to the customer? For testing services, does the company adhere to the latest and most advanced testing technologies and achieve a very high degree of accuracy? For non-testing telehealth services, is the quality of the service and/or product high enough that we would recommend it to loved ones without hesitation? If not, why not?

User-friendly: How intuitive and user-friendly is the service? Does the device/program/app/website achieve a good degree of user-friendliness for its customers?

Value: Are you getting your money’s worth? Are there any hidden costs or charges? Does the company offer discounts?

Privacy: If health data is stored, will your data be stored securely? Are payments secure?

Customer support: Particularly in situations where ‘one size fits all’ doesn’t make sense, how well does the company help to make the service ideal for you?

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