You’ve got vitamin C (an attempt to avoid getting sick), vitamin D (who has time for the sun?), and magnesium (because you read somewhere that it’s supposed to be good for anxiety)—and that’s just to name a few. Translation: Your vitamin collection is officially out of control.
But how many of these supplements are superfluous? What’s the difference between B2 and B12? And why do vitamins have to be so confusing?
Faced with a similar conundrum—and seriously troubled about the harmful additives she found lurking in many capsules when she was pregnant—Ritual founder Kat Schneider decided to find out what women really need. “I couldn’t find a brand I trusted,” she explains, “so I decided to build my own from the ground up.”
“Over half of the nutrients in a typical multivitamin are not actually necessary.”
After canvassing scientists and industry vets (and combing through literally thousands of studies), Schneider and her team came to a surprising conclusion: “Over half of the nutrients in a typical multivitamin are not actually necessary,” says Luke Bucci, PhD, Ritual’s head of research and development.
Great news for Marie Kondo-ing your medicine cabinet—but where does that leave us? According to Ritual’s research, most women are lacking nine specific nutrients. So the team set about to combine these into one magic (and chic) pill, as well as eliminating all the unnecessary add-ins they found in many other multivitamins.
To whit: The resulting Ritual cocktail is a powerful lineup of vitamins K2, D3, B12, and E, plus boron, iron, magnesium, folate, and omega-3—and Schneider says users have raved about the feel-good benefits. (Also, the tiny snow globe capsules have major Instagram potential.)
“Not only are [women] feeling a difference in their mood, energy, and skin from taking ingredients their bodies need, but they can really tell our obsession with quality.”
“What’s been really cool is to see how people are responding to our product IRL,” Schneider says. “Not only are they feeling a difference in their mood, energy, and skin from taking ingredients their bodies need, but they can really tell our obsession with quality.”
Schneider’s serious about that quality part. Everything in the non-GMO and gluten-free pill—from the ingredients themselves to the casing holding them together—is vegan, and made from the same forms that are found in healthy, antioxidant-rich foods.
Turns out, the exact form of the vitamin can inform how well it works in your body. For one nitty gritty example, instead of using only alpha tocopherol for vitamin E (what you get in most multis), Ritual uses a mix of three other tocopherols found in foods rich with the vitamin.
“Think of it like baking a cake…when you mix all the ingredients together, they work synergistically to create a perfect final product.”
And the essential blend makes one supercharged team. “Think of it like baking a cake,” Dr. Bucci says. “Not one of the ingredients on its own is more important than the next—or tastes that great by itself—but when you mix all the ingredients together, they work synergistically to create a perfect final product.”
Every ingredient was selected without cost in mind, because Schneider didn’t want the price tag to be a hindrance to quality. As a result, $150 worth of nutrients are packed into a $30 bottle, solely available on the Ritual site through an easy subscription service. Oh yeah, and if you aren’t totally jazzed after your first bottle, Ritual picks up the tab.
Scroll down to learn more about the nine nutrients you’re likely lacking—and the crazy-good benefits of adding this power-packed blend to your daily regimen.
The team’s research uncovered that 40 percent of women are unable to properly absorb synthetic folate (AKA folic acid), so Ritual uses a natural variety from Italy to make it easier to unlock the benefits. That’s good news for preggo ladies and anyone looking to boost brain and heart health on the reg.
Besides getting it from the sun, Vitamin D is usually delivered in some seriously unappetizing packages (when’s the last time you saw sheep’s wool or fish liver oil on a menu?). Ritual keeps it vegan by sourcing vitamin D from lichen found in the UK—and all you have to do is pop the pill.
You already try to seek out healthy fatty acids in your food—but according to Schneider’s research, more than 70 percent of women don’t get enough omega-3s in their diet. Ritual again went vegan by sourcing omega-3s from American algal oil rather than fish. And we could all do without our vitamin giving us fish-breath, right?
This mineral helps reduce the need for calcium (one of the commonly taken but unnecessary supplements, according to Ritual) for bone, joint, and heart health. It’s naturally found in raisins, prunes, and almonds…but who wants to drink that much prune juice?
If you’ve shied away from iron supplements because they’re hard on your stomach, chill. Ritual employs an American form of the mineral that’s been shown to be more easily digested—so instead of nausea you could get increased energy and brain function. (Talk about trading up.)
This one’s basically the avocado of the mineral world. “Magnesium is good at everything,” Dr. Bucci says. To name a few reported benefits: helping to curb anxiety, support immunity, and promote a healthy heart and bones. #Multi-tasker.
Oh hey, boundless energy. Well, maybe not boundless, but upping your B12 intake could help you skip that afternoon cup of coffee (it’s known for upping energy levels and promoting healthy nerve function).
On top of it’s skin-boosting benefits, vitamin E’s anti-oxidizing properties are reported to help detoxify the body from inside out—which is especially important if you live in a pollution-heavy environment like a big city. Sourced from Argentina, Ritual’s vitamin E is the same form found in antioxidant-rich foods.
Ritual recommends getting calcium from your food sources, rather than your multivitamin—and employs this nutrient from Norway to ensure that it’s sufficiently absorbed by your body.
“Vitamin K2 promotes bone and heart health like nothing else,” Dr. Bucci says. Plus, Ritual uses a pure, non-soy version of K2 that’s said to stay in the body longer to boost its strengthening properties. Just consider it your secret superpower.