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Ritual Vitamins Review: An In-Depth Look at Benefits and Drawbacks

By Markita Lewis, MS, RD

Medically Reviewed by Anthony Dugarte, MD

Last Updated on February 10, 2022

Dietitian Rating:

5.0

About This Rating
The average rating of this product is calculated based on the evaluation of the following factors:
  • Personalization:5.0
  • Ingredient Quality:5.0
  • Value for the Price:5.0
  • Brand Transparency:5.0

Ritual is a vitamin subscription service that doesn’t believe that more ingredients are better for its products. Instead, their vitamins and protein powders have targeted formulas that contain what you need to fill in gaps in your diet.

Written by
Markita Lewis, MS, RD
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
Markita Lewis is a registered dietitian with over 5 years of experience in the field of nutrition and health. Prior to her professional career, Markita completed a combined masters and dietetic internship program at the University of Georgia. She obtained her undergraduate degree at Louisiana State University in Nutrition and Foods Sciences, concentrating in dietetics with a minor in Psychology.
Medically Reviewed by
Anthony Dugarte, MD
Medical Reviewer
Anthony Dugarte, M.D., C.S.C.S. is a health and wellness writer and medical content reviewer. In addition to dedicating the last 7 years to medical research, Dr. Dugarte also has more than a decade of experience in strength and conditioning, nutrition, and rehabilitative exercise, as well as authoring and reviewing health and wellness-related content.

WellnessVerge is reader-supported. When you make a purchase through links on this page, we may earn a commission. Learn More

Ritual Vitamins Review: An In-Depth Look at Benefits and Drawbacks
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Pros

  • Products are third-party tested and protein powder is certified for sport
  • Ingredients are high-quality and made from traceable sources
  • Has clinical research showing effectiveness of multivitamin

Cons

  • Supplement recommendations are based only on basic demographics (age, gender, reproductive goals)
  • Vitamin may not be appropriate for people with significant nutrient deficiencies

What Is Ritual and How It Works

Ritual is a supplement brand focused on creating the purest, most effective formulations for everyday health.

Founder Katerina Schneider created this brand after becoming pregnant and wanting a prenatal vitamin brand that didn’t contain unwanted ingredients or fillers.

To live up to this ideal, all of Ritual’s products are made from vegan, sustainably sourced ingredients that are fully traceable to their origin.

Ritual also has a Scientific Leadership Team and Scientific Advisory Board made up of medical doctors, nutritionists, dietitians, and scientists to guide research and product development.

Ritual started as a way to reimagine the daily multivitamin for women but is currently expanding as a supplement brand.

Recently, Ritual has added plant-based protein powders to its lineup of products.

All Ritual products are formulated for different life stages, covering childhood, adolescence, prenatal, postnatal, early adulthood, and later adulthood.

These products are also formulated only to fill in nutrient gaps in the diet. This means that Ritual products include fewer vitamins to target specific nutrient needs during each life stage in adequate amounts.

Ritual falls under the category of “personalized vitamin subscriptions” but operates a bit differently from your traditional vitamin personalization.

The primary supplement personalization is based on your age, gender, and reproductive status. It does not consider any additional lifestyle factors such as diet, stress, or environment.

Are Ritual Vitamins Effective?

Ritual is one of the few vitamin brands that have clinical research backing up its effectiveness.

A 2020 clinical study sponsored by Ritual examined the nutritional impact of Ritual’s Essential Multivitamin for Women 18+.

In this trial, 94 pre-menopausal women between the ages of 21–40 years took the Ritual multivitamin or a placebo for 12 weeks.

By the end of the trial, serum vitamin D levels significantly increased by 43%, and the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency was decreased amongst the women.

In the same trial, Ritual Essential for Women 18+ significantly increased the omega-3 fatty acid content of red blood cells. (1)

More research needs to be done, but supplementation with Ritual vitamins may also improve HDL levels.

According to the company, benefits from taking Ritual vitamins like improved mood and energy may take as little as 1–2 weeks to experience.

Users of Ritual vitamins may need to supplement for up to 3–4 months to experience the health benefits fully.

Evaluation of Multivitamins

Essential for Women Multivitamin 18+

The Essential for Women Multivitamin 18+ is formulated with nine main ingredients to help women ages 18–49 fill nutrient gaps in their diet.

The Essential for Women 18+ contains:

  • Omega-3 DHA and methylated B12 for brain health
  • Vitamin D, magnesium, and boron for bone health
  • Chelated iron and methylated folate for red blood cell formation
  • Vitamin E for antioxidant support against free radicals

As the current research shows, Ritual Essential for Women can help improve blood omega-3 levels and vitamin D levels in the body.

Iron deficiency is the most common nutrient deficiency amongst women worldwide, in part related to regular menstrual bleeding and dietary choices. Therefore, iron is an essential ingredient in a supplement for women’s health. (2)

Summary

Ritual’s Essential for Women is clinically shown to improve nutrient levels and has ingredients to address the most common nutrient deficiencies.

Essential for Women Multivitamin 50+

The Essential for Women Multivitamin 50+ has eight ingredients for women who are post-menopausal to support healthy aging.

The Essential for Women 50+ multivitamin contains:

  • Vitamin D3 for immune support
  • Omega-3 DHA for heart health
  • Vitamins D3 and K2, magnesium, and boron for bone health
  • Vitamin D3 and magnesium to support muscle function

During older adulthood, changes in metabolism, inflammation, and hormones occur.

Decreases in hormones after menopause can increase the risk of heart disease, increase muscle loss, and decrease bone density. (3, 4, 5)

Vitamin D deficiencies can increase the risk of disease due to its role in maintaining immune function. (6)

Summary

The ingredients included in the Essential for Women 50+ are included and clinically-studied doses to support heart health, bone health, immunity, and muscle function.

Essential for Women Prenatal Multivitamin

The Essential for Women Prenatal Multivitamin is formulated with 12 nutrients to support health before and during pregnancy.

Ritual’s Prenatal vitamin contains:

  • Folate and choline for neural tube development
  • Omega-3 DHA, choline, and folate for fetal brain development
  • Vitamins D3 and K2, magnesium, and boron for bone health
  • Iron, folate, and vitamin B12 for red blood cell formation

Studies show that pregnant women could experience nutrient deficiencies in iron, folate, vitamin D, and calcium without the proper diet. (7)

Deficiencies could negatively affect the development of the baby as well as the health of the birthing parent.

Calcium demands are increased during pregnancy due to fetal bone development and later on for breastmilk composition.

If calcium intake is inadequate during pregnancy or lactation, this can lead to temporary frailty of bones and potential fractures. (8)

Summary

Ritual Prenatal Multivitamin contains nutrients that are at risk for deficiency during pregnancy to support proper fetal development and bone health.

Essential for Women Postnatal Multivitamin

The Essential for Women Postnatal Multivitamin has 15 ingredients to help address increased nutrient needs for six months postpartum and through lactation.

The Postnatal multivitamin contains:

  • Vitamins A, C, D3, and zinc for immune function
  • Iodine, biotin, and choline for generally increased nutrient needs during lactation
  • Choline, omega-3 DHA, and vitamin B12 for brain health
  • Omega-3 DHA to supports the fatty acid profile of breast milk

Nutrient needs during lactation are still increased, and continued vitamin supplementation is recommended for several vitamins and minerals. (9)

Taking a supplement that also contains DHA and choline together may help improve infant brain and eye development. (10)

Supplementation in the absence of breastfeeding can be beneficial to postpartum maternal health.

Significant nutrient depletion can occur in the last trimester of pregnancy as the fetus goes through its most rapid growth period.

Supplementation can help prevent deficiencies postpartum and may also have an effect on postpartum depression. (11)

Summary

Ritual’s Essential for Women Postnatal Multivitamin has the necessary vitamins for postpartum recovery and meets lactation nutrition needs.

Essential for Men Multivitamin 18+

The Essential for Men Multivitamin 18+ is formulated with ten main ingredients to help men ages 18–49 fill nutrient gaps in their diet.

The Essential for Men 18+ contains:

  • Vitamin K2 and omega-3 DHA for heart health
  • Chelated zinc, vitamin A and vitamin D3 for immune function
  • Chelated magnesium and vitamin D3 for muscle function
  • Omega-3 DHA to support brain health

Many adults in the United States do not meet their total dietary intake of fruits, vegetables, dairy, and whole grains. (12)

As a result, the nutrient intake needed for continued brain development, muscle mass, normal immune function, and early heart health may not be enough.

Summary

Ritual’s Essential for Men 18+ contains many nutrients that help with early preventative health and help with optimizing growth in early adulthood.

Related: Best Multivitamins for Men of 2022, According to Dietitians

Essential for Men Multivitamin 50+

The Essential for Men Multivitamin 50+ is formulated with ten main ingredients to help men over 50 fill nutrient gaps in their diet.

The Men’s 50+ multivitamin contains:

  • Vitamins D3 and K2, magnesium, and boron for bone health
  • Vitamin D3 and chelated magnesium to support muscle function
  • Vitamins A and D3 with chelated zinc to support immune function

A multivitamin becomes more critical when considering decreases in nutrient absorption and potentially smaller appetites limiting the ability to eat well.

A 2019 review found that adults ages 51 years and older who use multivitamin/multimineral supplements had increased overall nutrient intake, decreased nutrient inadequacies, reduced clinical deficiencies of multiple vitamins. (13)

Summary

Ritual contains ingredients that meet the needs of an aging adult to support bone health, immune function, and bone function.

Essential for Teens Multivitamin for Her

The Essential for Teens Multivitamin for Her is designed for girls 13–17 years to help fill nutrient gaps.

The Essential for Teens Multivitamin for Her includes:

  • Zinc, vitamin D3, and vitamin A for immune function
  • Iron and folate for red blood cell formation
  • Vitamins D3 and K2, magnesium, and boron for bone development
  • Omega-3 DHA and vitamin B12 for brain health

Growth is significantly increased during puberty – teen girls experience not only physical development but experience menarche and an ongoing menstrual cycle that increases nutrient needs. (14)

During adolescence, brain maturation and cognitive function continue to develop. Vitamin B12 is essential for brain health and getting enough oxygen to the blood, and DHA helps with brain development and behavior. (15, 16)

Summary

Ritual’s Essential for Teens Multivitamin for Her contains ingredients needed for continued brain development, increased growth, and increased needs due to menstruation.

Essential for Teens Multivitamin for Him

The Essential for Teens Multivitamin for Him is designed for teen boys 13–17 years to help fill nutrient gaps.

The Essentials for Teens Multivitamin for Him contains:

  • Zinc, vitamin D3, and vitamin A for immune function
  • Vitamins D3 and K2, magnesium, and boron for bone development
  • Omega-3 DHA and vitamin B12 for brain health
  • Vitamin D3 and magnesium to support muscle function.

Adolescent boys also experience significant growth during puberty, so support for bone development and muscle function is important. (14)

Vitamin B12 and omega-3 DHA continue to be essential for brain health and behavior in adolescent boys. (15, 16)

Summary

Ritual’s Essential for Teens Multivitamin for Him contains vitamins needed for adolescent male physical and mental development and growth stages.

Essential for Kids Multivitamin 4+

The Essential for Kids Multivitamin 4+ is designed to help fill nutrient gaps and support foundational health in kids.

The Essential for Kids Multivitamin 4+ contains:

  • Zinc, vitamins D3, and C for immune support
  • Choline and omega-3 DHA to support brain function
  • Vitamin D3, zinc, and vitamin K2 for bone health
  • A fiber and prebiotic blend for digestive health

Summary

Ritual’s Essential for Kids Multivitamin 4+ has nutrients that are essential for supporting healthy growth and development for children.

Evaluation of Protein Powders

A new addition to Ritual’s line of products is their Essential Protein plant-based shake powders.

Ritual has three protein powders: Daily Shake 18+, Daily Shake 50+, and Daily Shake Pregnancy & Postpartum.

Each protein powder features organic pea protein, choline, and L-Methionine in amounts appropriate for each life stage.

Daily Shake 18+

The Essential Protein Daily Shake 18+ was designed to support satiety and build muscle mass.

A serving of Daily Shake 18+ provides 115 kcals, 2 g fat, 3 g carbohydrates, 20 g protein, 3 mg iron, 120 mg calcium, 150 mg choline, and 493 mg of L-Methionine.

Protein, 20 g

Protein is needed in all biological processes, including muscle mass, tissue development and repair, hormone function, metabolism, and more. (17)

Deficiencies in overall protein intake or certain amino acids can result in undernutrition and have a detrimental effect on the body.

High protein intake may increase satiety at meals and help with weight management. (18)

Choline, 150 mg

Low levels of choline may be associated with increased disease risk and suboptimal organ function. In a 2019 review, it is suggested that choline may help improve memory, reduce cardiovascular risk, and reduce inflammatory markers. (19)

L-methionine, 493 mg

Studies find methionine to be important to metabolism regulation and immune function. However, more research needs to be done on the optimal dosage of methionine and its benefits for health. (20)

Summary

Ritual’s Essential Protein Daily Shake 18+ is formulated for normal growth and development, proper organ function, potentially decreased disease risk, and increased satiety.

Daily Shake 50+

The Essential Protein Daily Shake 50+ was formulated for adults 50+ to support the maintenance of muscle mass while aging.

A serving of Daily Shake 50+ provides 120 kcals, 2 g fat, 5 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 20 g protein, 200 mg choline, 370 mg calcium, 3 mg iron, 1.5 g calcium beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB), and 493 mg of L-methionine.

Protein, 20 g

Age-related muscle loss, also known as sarcopenia, is common with age. On average, adults can lose between 3–8% of muscle per decade after 30.

Protein intake is essential for maintaining muscle mass and increasing strength in order adults. Studies find that inadequate protein intake is associated with losses in lean mass and frailty. (21)

Calcium Beta-Hydroxy-Beta-Methylbutyrate (HMB), 1.5 g

HMB is a metabolite of the amino acid leucine. A 2019 review of studies found that supplementation with 2–3 g of HMB daily can support protein synthesis in older adults. (22)

L-methionine, 493 mg

A 2019 review on protein, amino acids, and longevity discussed the impact of methionine on aging. Unfortunately, the research on its benefits is mixed.

The research has found that excessive methionine intake may speed up aging. But methionine supplementation may also increase insulin sensitivity, increase fat metabolism, and decrease inflammation.

At this time, there isn’t enough evidence to make specific recommendations on dosages.

Summary

Essential Protein Daily Shake 50+ has protein, L-methionine, and HMB, which can help increase protein synthesis in older adults.

Daily Shake Pregnancy & Postpartum

The Essential Protein Daily Shake Pregnancy & Postpartum is formulated with plant-based protein and choline to support elevated nutrient needs during pregnancy and lactation.

A single serving of Daily Shake Pregnancy & Postpartum provides 115 kcals, 2 g fat, 4 g carbohydrates, 3 g of fiber, 20 g protein, 3 mg iron, 120 mg calcium, 250 mg choline, and 493 mg of L-Methionine.

Protein, 20 g

Protein needs are increased during pregnancy and lactation to support fetal growth and development, protein maintenance, and maintain the composition of breastmilk. (23)

Needs for certain amino acids such as lysine, isoleucine, threonine, and tryptophan increase during the later stages of pregnancy.

Choline, 250 mg

According to current research, choline is an important nutrient during pregnancy, lactation, and the first 1,000 days of life.

A 2020 review on the effects of choline during the first 1,000 days of life found that in both human and animal studies, choline was beneficial. (24)

Choline supplementation helps with normal brain development, neural and metabolic disorders (such as fetal alcohol syndrome) and improves cognitive functioning.

L-methionine, 493 mg

During pregnancy, moderate supplementation with methionine may help support the balance of amino acids.

In animal studies, L-methionine may provide essential elements to support the synthesis of other amino acids. (25)

Summary

Essential Protein Daily Shake Pregnancy & Postpartum has ingredients that support fetal growth, healthy brain development, and amino acid balance during pregnancy and lactation.

Side Effects, Safety, and Dosage

Ritual Essential Vitamins

To take Ritual vitamin supplements, take two capsules daily with water. Because these vitamins are designed with a delayed-release capsule, you can take them with or without food.

The serving size for Ritual’s Essential for Kids Multivitamins is three gummies per day.

Multivitamins are generally safe and can be taken long-term. However, mild side effects from taking a multivitamin may include nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain, rash, and loss of appetite. (26)

Some multivitamins with mega-doses of nutrients can increase the risk of exceeding the upper limits for daily vitamins. (27)

Ritual is specifically formulated to not significantly exceed nutrient needs, so the risk for excessive vitamin intake is low.

Ritual Essential Vitamins are made with traceable ingredients, USP Verified, Non-GMO Certified, vegan, do not contain artificial or synthetic flavors, and are free of major allergens.

Ritual Essential Protein Daily Shakes

To use the Essential Protein Daily Shakes, start with 8–12 oz of any cold liquid, add one serving of powder, and mix using a shaker bottle or blender.

Users of the Daily Shake 50+ should be aware that a serving consists of 2 scoops of powder instead of 1 scoop of powder.

Ritual’s Essential Protein shake powers are made with traceable ingredients, gluten-free, free of major allergens, non-GMO, and are certified by Informed Sport.

Pea protein allergies are possible, though less common than peanut and soybean allergies.

Symptoms that may indicate a pea protein allergy include dermatitis, itchy skin, hives, redness, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and asthma. (28)

Before trying any of the products from the Ritual line, speak with your doctor to make sure that it is right for you.

Cost and Where to Buy

You can only purchase Ritual directly through their official website as a monthly subscription.

Ritual’s Essential Vitamins are between $30–35 per month, with the Men and Women’s 50+, Prenatal, and Postnatal being the most expensive vitamins.

All of Ritual’s Essential Protein shake powders cost a flat $40 per bag.

Ritual offers several pre-made vitamin bundles that can be for you or your household:

  • The Essential Duo: Includes one of Ritual’s Essential multivitamins and a lifecycle-appropriate plant-based protein powder. Duos are available for Women 18+, Men 18+, Women 50+, Men 50+, Pregnancy, and Postpartum vitamins.
  • The Co-Habit: Includes the Women 18+ and Men 18+ vitamins to support foundational health.
  • The Life Partner: Includes two bottles of Women 50+ vitamins.
  • The Labor of Love: Includes the Prenatal and Men 18+ vitamins to support nutrition for fertility.

If none of these bundles fit your needs, you can take a short quiz and create your own bundle. All Ritual bundles come with a savings of $10 per month.

If you’re not satisfied with your results, Ritual offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on their products.

The cost of Ritual’s products is justified through using high-quality ingredients and third-party testing.

How Ritual Compares to Alternatives

Ritual is a unique supplement service that focuses on high-quality ingredients and provides formulas for all stages of life.

All of the ingredients used in Ritual are in highly bioavailable forms, traceable to their source and manufacturing, and quality-tested by third-party organizations.

Ritual also takes care to provide individualized formulas from kids to older adults. It is an excellent service that allows you to get high-quality vitamins and protein powders for the entire family in one place.

Ritual also has supporting research showing its efficacy in improving nutrient status, which many other brands lack.

While Ritual may have these benefits, it does lack in a few features.

First, there is minimal customization of products beyond the demographics.

Brands such as Care/of and Persona offer online quizzes that consider your lifestyle to provide personalized vitamin recommendations.

Care/of has quiz-based recommendations that consider current supplement intake, personal health goals, and medical history.

Persona takes this a step further by not only offering an in-depth quiz but having a Registered Dietitian available for consumer support.

Baze is another alternative brand that utilizes an FDA-approved at-home blood nutrient test to provide unique recommendations for vitamins and supplements.

One of the most significant drawbacks for all of these brands is that several supplements may be recommended at once.

This could mean taking a burdensome number of pills and having astronomical monthly supplement costs.

Second, Ritual is somewhat expensive, especially when considering their line of vitamins.

If you’re looking for a cheaper yet quality vitamin, Olly is a good brand that is available at many retailers and has vitamins for different lifecycle stages. In addition, many Olly vitamins are also NSF Certified.

Related: The 7 Best Vitamin Subscription Services of 2022 Compared

Frequently Asked Questions About Ritual

Who is Ritual for?

Ritual makes vitamins and supplements to cover all life stages – childhood, adolescence, prenatal, postnatal, early adulthood, and later adulthood.

How long does it take for Ritual Multivitamins to work?

Some benefits from taking Ritual Multivitamins may appear in as little as 1–2 weeks, but it’s recommended to take the multivitamins for up to 3–4 months to experience all the health benefits fully.

Do Ritual supplements have any allergens?

The multivitamin line does not have any major allergens, but the Essential Protein Daily Shakes contain pea protein, which is a potential allergen.

Are Ritual products vegan-friendly?

Ritual products are vegan-friendly. The omega-3 DHA and vitamin D are from vegan sources, and the protein powders use pea protein.

Are Ritual products safe for athletes?

Ritual Essential Protein Daily Shakes are rigorously tested by third-party organization Informed Sport, meaning that they are free of over 250 banned substances in sport.

Can I take the Ritual multivitamin and protein together?

It is safe to take the Ritual daily multivitamins and the Essential Protein Daily Shakes together.

The Bottom Line

Ritual is a company that provides multivitamins and protein powders with targeted formulas to help with optimal health.

Ritual vitamins are for individuals who generally have healthy diets but may want to fill in the gaps for certain nutrients. Also, because their vitamins are completely vegan, they are great for vegetarians and vegans needing to get certain nutrients.

These vitamins are not for people on a budget, individuals with significant nutrient deficiencies, or people looking for in-depth vitamin personalization.

I appreciate Ritual’s attention to having high-quality ingredients and being a source where people can get high-quality supplements for the entire family.

Before starting a new vitamin or protein supplement, I recommend speaking with your doctor first to see if it is appropriate for your needs.

A Word from Our RD

As Ritual likes to mention in its marketing, supplements and vitamins are only there to fill in the gaps.

For most people, multivitamins may not have that much of a benefit. However, the people who benefit from vitamins the most may have dietary restrictions, be dealing with old age, or conditions that increase their nutrition needs.

The best place to start getting your vitamins, minerals, and protein is directly from the foods that you eat.

Focusing on a whole-food diet filled with a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean protein can get you much of the nutrition you need.

If you need a little more help filling in the gaps with your nutrition, speak with a dietitian or your doctor to get individualized recommendations based on your personal health needs.

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At WellnessVerge, we only use primary references for our articles, including peer reviewed medical journals or well-respected academic institutions.

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