Is Instagram’s Favorite Vitamin Really Worth the Hype?

I think I speak for most women when I say that I am completely and utterly overwhelmed by the vitamin aisle. Sure, I know that taking a multivitamin sounds like something I should do, but so does loading my matcha latte with a collagen booster and dabbling with ashwagandha. And because I can’t ever decide where to focus my health efforts… I, unfortunately, tend to opt out of doing anything. That is, until Ritual came into the picture.

Ritual is the brand that’s reinventing the basic act of taking a supplement. The capsules are more than multivitamins—which are historically full of guesswork and pseudoscience—so Ritual wants you to forget everything you thought you knew about them. In an effort to cure my jaded skepticism, I affixed the handy “Take Your Vitamins” sticker to my laptop and started taking two of the little guys once a day. Although it’s hard to review vitamins (because most of the benefits focus on long-term health), here’s everything I liked about Ritual and answers to all the questions I’m sure you have.

So How Are They Different From Anything Off the Shelf?

Well, for starters, they are the chicest little vitamins you’ll ever take and they’re made especially for women. Founded by Katerina Schneider—who realized while she was pregnant that traditional multivitamins had a lot of unnecessary fillers, questionable ingredients and forms of nutrients that didn’t even work—Ritual contains nine essential ingredients that most women don’t get enough of from their diet alone: vitamin B12 (as methylcobalamin), activated folate, vegan D3, vitamin K2, vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids, boron, chelated iron and a proprietary form of magnesium. Ritual supplies them in forms that are easily absorbed and utilized, and all the capsules are vegan, gluten-free and non-GMO.

How Do I Know That’s Exactly What I’m Getting?

One of the cool things about Ritual is their transparency. Not just with the clear capsules themselves (the packaging is on point), but also with the story behind all of their ingredients. Their concern for their ingredients is basically on par with a Michelin-starred chef. Just visit their website and you’ll learn everything from why each ingredient is beneficial to where it’s sourced. (Hint: Ritual went vegan by sourcing omega-3s from American algal oil rather than fish, and they’re even used in research projects for NASA.) The more you know.

But Can’t I Just Buy All Those Vitamins?

Sure you can. But according to Schneider (and Amazon—I checked), if you were to buy the individual ingredients, it would cost you upwards of $200. Ritual comes with 60 capsules (you take two a day) and costs $30 per month. It’s also a subscription service, so every month they just show up at your door. You’ll never have to worry about placing an order or heading to the store when you run low. They also make it clear that you can modify your shipping schedule or cancel your membership with just a few clicks, which makes this subscription truly stress-free.

Did You Notice a Difference When Taking Them?

Honestly, I didn’t really expect to because doctors say it’s not about the immediate results, but rather the long-term benefits of better nutrition over time. However, after just one week, I did have some worthwhile takeaways. First, I didn’t feel nauseated if I took them on an empty stomach. In the past, most vitamins made me feel queasy if I tried to sneak them in before a meal. Also, there were no fishy burps (the vitamins are mint-scented) or bright-yellow pee. That neon color always made me feel like my vitamins were not being absorbed, but I didn’t have the problem with Ritual. (Sorry, TMI?)

Finally, I actually did feel like my energy was up. I tend to suffer from a strong 3 p.m. slump most days, especially in wintertime. However, when I started taking Ritual, that slump didn’t hit as hard. I’m not sure if it was the magnesium helping me to sleep more soundly at night or maybe the vitamin B12 kicking in? Whatever it was, I did notice.

Will You Keep It Up?

Here’s where I think the idea of Ritual really sinks in. (In fact, Ritual dives into these long-term benefits on their site.) Sure, one month was great. But improving my health over time is really the goal. And to do it with a vitamin that I’m not skeptical about? All the better.

Product available solely on the Ritual website. Oh yeah, and if you aren’t totally jazzed after your first bottle, Ritual will pick up the tab.