Ritual Vitamins Review: Best Vitamins for Women?

Ritual Vitamins Review: Best Vitamins for Women?


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Disclaimer: None of the information in this article constitutes medical advice, and is just the opinion of the writer(s). We recommend that patients follow their doctor’s guidance in regard to multivitamin use, especially for women seeking prenatal vitamins.

Ritual is a supplement brand primarily focused on women's health that claims to have "studied diets and genetics to make daily essentials based on what we need." The company has beautiful branding and is one of the more popular women's health brands, becoming famous for their multivitamins.

But are Ritual vitamins clinically proven to work? Do the brand's supplements contain research-backed ingredients at effective doses, or are they a waste of money? Do they contain any questionable additive ingredients? And how do real users rate and describe the effects of Ritual vitamins?

In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more as we review the clinical trial on Ritual's multivitamin to determine if the supplement is proven to work.

We'll also analyze the ingredients in three of Ritual's most popular supplements (Women's Multivitamin, Prenatal Multivitamin and Essential Protein) based on medical studies to give our take on whether these supplements are likely to be effective or if they're a waste of money.

Finally, we'll feature real, unsponsored user reviews of Ritual vitamins and provide a cost breakdown to show which retailer sells Ritual for the best price.

Are Ritual Vitamins Proven to Work?

Ritual clinical claims

Ritual funded a legitimate clinical trial on their multivitamin for women that was published in the Frontiers in Nutrition journal.

It’s a sign of a high-quality brand to fund research that's published in peer-reviewed medical journals, as this is the gold standard of product research.

Ritual's multivitamin was clinically shown to improve nutrient levels in women, and specifically to increase omega-3 DHA levels by 41% and vitamin D levels by 43%.

While it's a good thing that Ritual's multivitamin can improve levels of certain nutrients, we don't find this information particularly useful to consumers because it's well-established in clinical research that vitamin supplementation increases blood levels of that vitamin.

As one example, a 2013 clinical trial found that vitamin D supplementation increased vitamin D levels in the blood.

What would have been more convincing, in our opinion, is a study proving Ritual's multivitamin to have some positive outcome, such as reduced mortality or improved cholesterol levels. This study doesn't really differentiate the potential health effects of Ritual's multivitamin from any other multivitamin.

We haven't come across much convincing clinical evidence that multivitamin use improves health. A medical review published in the International Journal of Preventative Medicine did not report any population-level health benefits to multivitamin supplementation, and even found that multivitamins may increase the risk of some types of cancer.

Ritual Women’s Multivitamin Review

Ritual Women's Multivitamin 18+ ingredients

The ingredients in Ritual Women's Multivitamin 18+ are shown above.

Vitamin D3 is the best form of supplemental vitamin D, but it may be unsafe to take 250% of the Daily Value (DV) for extended periods of time. We'd recommend speaking to a doctor first.

Methylcobalamin is the best-absorbed form of vitamin B12 according to a 2017 medical review.

Dimagnesium malate is a chelated form of magnesium used by Ritual, and chelated magnesium is more bioavailable than cheaper forms like magnesium oxide, which is why we recommended magnesium malate in our review of the best magnesium supplements.

We believe Ritual could use a higher dose here: 30 milligrams (mg) of magnesium is somewhat low. Most multivitamins that we've reviewed provide at least 100 mg of magnesium per serving.

Folate is used as the vitamin B9 source instead of the cheaper folic acid. This is a good choice, as the synthetic folic acid was shown in a clinical trial published in the Cancer Prevention Research journal to potentially increase cancer risk.

Overall we find this to be a very well-formulated multivitamin. Every active ingredient appears to be the best-absorbed format, which indicates that Ritual is serious about the science backing their products and has educated researchers on their team.

All of the inactive ingredients are safe and non-toxic as well.

A YouTube creator named "Oak Abode" reviewed Ritual's multivitamin supplement in an unsponsored video with over 100,000 views:

Ritual Prenatal Multivitamin Review

Ritual Prenatal Multivitamin ingredients

The ingredients in Ritual Prenatal Multivitamin are shown above.

Whether or not prenatal vitamins are beneficial for ensuring the health of the newborn is still up for debate in the scientific community. An extensive meta-analysis published in the Nutrients journal found the benefits to outweigh any risks for women in low-and-middle-income countries where nutrient deficiencies may be more common.

Vitamin D3 is typically recommended as a supplement to pregnant women because at certain latitudes it’s impossible to synthesize from the sun in the winter. 33% of pregnant women in the U.S. are vitamin D deficient, and upwards of 80% of women in Northern Europe are, according to a medical review on supplementation during pregnancy.

Magnesium can also be an effective supplement for pregnant women, as it’s proven to minimize risk of preeclampsia and can improve glucose and insulin control based on the findings from the previously-linked research review. However the effective magnesium dose for pregnant women described in the research review was 250 mg per day, while Ritual only provides 32 mg per serving.

DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid that was shown in the above-linked research review to reduce risk of early birth, reduce risk of postpartum depression, and improve the newborn's immune health.

Another interesting medical review published in the JAMA Psychiatry journal found that maternal vitamin supplementation during pregnancy may reduce risk of autism disorder in offspring.

Because optimal pregnancy nutrition depends on individualized factors like diet, genetics and bloodwork, we would recommend that pregnant women speak with their doctor or nutritionist prior to taking any prenatal supplement. We do consider Ritual Prenatal Multivitamin to be effectively formulated and free of any questionable inactive ingredients, but it may not be necessary for all pregnant women.

Future Kind sells a Vegan Prenatal Vitamin that is free of questionable additive ingredients and contains effective doses of nutrients like Ritual. However, it's significantly cheaper at only $23.99 for a subscription and $29.99 for a one-time purchase.

This vitamin contains a lower dose of omega-3 fatty acids than Ritual, so Ritual may be a better option for women who don't regularly consume fish. Interested consumers can check out Future Kind Vegan Prenatal Vitamin at this link to the product page on the brand's official website.

A YouTube creator named "Nanny Joanne" reviewed Ritual's Prenatal Mutlvitamin while she was pregnant:

Ritual Protein Review

Ritual Protein ingredients

The ingredients in Ritual Essential Protein Daily Shake 18+ are shown above.

Pea protein is an effective vegan form of protein as it’s a complete protein containing all essential amino acids, as we documented in our article on is Beyond Meat healthy.

However, the protein dose in Ritual of only 20 grams (g) may be slightly underdosed for a workout aid. A 2013 medical review suggests that protein doses around 25 g maximize post-workout muscle recovery. 

We do not understand the need for minerals like calcium and iron in a protein supplement, and Ritual does not cite any clinical trials suggesting these ingredients are healthy or effective in this type of product.

There is one inactive ingredient that we consider questionable from a health perspective.

Natural flavor is a broad descriptor that fails to document the specific flavoring agents used. A medical review published in the Toxicology Research journal found that some food flavoring substances may have toxic effects.

All of Ritual's protein supplements are Informed Sport Certified, which is a certification that ensures the product has no harmful banned substances. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has documented how many workout supplements are tainted with illicit chemical compounds, so the Informed Sport Certification is definitely a net positive for consumers, and further signals Ritual’s commitment to high-quality products.

Overall we consider this to be the worst formulation of the three Ritual supplements reviewed in this article, and we don't recommend it due to all of the additive ingredients that we deem unnecessary for a protein supplement.

We recommend Bulletproof Collagen Protein as our top protein supplement.

Bulletproof's protein powder only contains one single ingredient: collagen protein sourced from grass-fed animals. No questionable additives at all.

As the core structural protein in skin, supplemental collagen is clinically shown to reduce visible signs of skin aging like wrinkles, which is a secondary benefit not offered by other types of protein like pea protein.

Interested consumers can check out Bulletproof Collagen Protein at this link to the product page on the brand's official website.

A TikTok creator named "kniajanay" reviewed Ritual protein powder and shared her thoughts on the taste:

@kniajanay im a protein powder newbie, and Ritual’s Essential Protein powder really came thru! @Ritual 💛 excited to add this into my routine🏋🏾‍♀️#proteinpowder #gains #fitness #ritualvitamins ♬ Midnight Pretenders - Tomoko Aran

Where to Buy Ritual for the Best Price

Ritual's supplements are sold at a variety of online retailers. Here's a price breakdown at the time of updating this article for the three products reviewed:

Ritual Women's Multivitamin 18+

Target: $34.99 (plus shipping)

Amazon: $34.99 (free shipping depending on plan link to official Amazon listing)

Brand website: $33 (free shipping, monthly subscription required – link)

Ritual Prenatal Multivitamin

Target: $39.99 (free shipping)

Amazon: $39.99 (free shipping, link to official Amazon listing)

Brand website: $39 (free shipping, monthly subscription required, link)

Ritual Protein Shake

Amazon: $44.50 (free shipping, link to official Amazon listing)

Brand website: $40 (free shipping, monthly subscription required, link)

Ritual's official website offers the best prices on their supplements, but a recurring subscription is required. For consumers just looking to try the products once, Amazon is the best option.

Real Customers Review Ritual

Amazon is a better resource for honest customer reviews than a brand's website in our opinion.

Ritual's most-reviewed supplement on Amazon is the brand's Multivitamin for Women 18+, which we reviewed earlier in this article.

This supplement has been reviewed over 1,100 times on Amazon with an average review rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars.

The top positive review from a verified purchaser is written by a user named "DC" who claims that the supplement improved energy levels:

"I had been using Centrum one-a-day for about 4 months but was struggling with lethargy and overall feeling well, people were even commenting on it. I switched to these (without changing anything else with diet and exercise) and have noticed a huge difference in about three weeks. And those same people have noticed that I seem back to myself."

The top negative review from a verified purchaser comes from a user named "Nancy" who dislikes the taste:

"Like I'm sorry I don't mean to hate on the brand but holy hell, the taste of this literally makes me want to vomit and I really don't distaste anything at all other than like the taste of cherry, grape & orange cough medicine and crawfish and this bottle of fishy bait literally is like gargling minty crawfish."

Ritual has an average review rating of 1.72 out of 5 stars on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website, but the brand responds to nearly every customer complaint in an attempt to resolve the situation, which is a sign of a high-quality brand.

Pros and Cons of Ritual

Here are the pros and cons of Ritual as a brand in our opinion:

Pros:

  • Multivitamin clinically shown to increase nutrient levels
  • Vitamin supplements free of unhealthy additives
  • Beautiful branding
  • Optimal nutrient formats for absorption

Cons:

  • Health benefits of regular multivitamin use are questionable
  • Protein supplement may be underdosed
  • Protein supplement contains flavoring agents
  • Website doesn't offer one-time purchase option
Stay up-to-date on our research reviews

Conclusion

Ritual is one of the higher-quality vitamin brands that we've reviewed to date on Illuminate Health. The company not only funded a clinical trial showing that their multivitamin improved nutrient levels, but their vitamin formulations are entirely free of unhealthy additives.

We consider Ritual Multivitamin and Ritual Prenatal Vitamin to be some of the highest-quality vitamin supplements on the market.

The brand also uses highly absorbable types of vitamins such as methylated folate instead of the cheaper folic acid, and chelated magnesium instead of the cheaper magnesium oxide.

We're unimpressed with Ritual's protein supplement formulation because it only provides 20 g of protein per serving, contains a number of active ingredients we consider unnecessary for a protein supplement and also contains added flavors.

Customer reviews of Ritual that we came across while researching this article are mostly favorable.

Ritual's website offers the cheapest prices on their supplements but only offers subscription pricing, so for customers who want to make a one-time order, Amazon may be the best option.