Your multivitamin just got a makeover.
There’s nothing wrong with taking a few dietary supplements daily in order to maintain health. For many people, that includes a cocktail of vitamin C, zinc, a multivitamin, and maybe another pill or two that’s for more specific ailments, like vitamin E to help with vision or calcium to help build stronger bones.
The supplement industry hasn’t changed much in the past thirty years—people were pretty much expected to pick their own supplements at will, without really knowing how certain “stacks” of supplements worked together. And it definitely doesn’t help that the literature on vitamins and minerals seems to constantly be changing; one week it’s beneficial to take biotin for hair growth, the next it’s been deemed more helpful to supplement with collagen instead.
For the average consumer, it’s all pretty confusing. Plus, this semi-random way of deciding which vitamins and minerals to take means that many people could be getting too much of a certain nutrient, but not enough of another. So when a recent wave of pre-packaged, customizable vitamin companies emerged that promised to formulate the perfect vitamin for each individual, it was pretty groundbreaking. We tried a few of the standout options—here’s what we found.
Ritual pegs itself to be a new kind of multivitamin—one that’s made specifically for the modern millennial woman, that contains only the highest quality ingredients. Interestingly enough, the pill contains eight compounds meant to improve health—but not common vitamins like vitamin C, calcium, and some B vitamins. And it all comes in a super cute, on-trend package.
After taking Ritual for a few weeks, I noticed a difference in my hair, skin, and nails. The only thing I didn’t love about the pill? It smells a tiny bit fishy (less than a fish oil pill, but more than the rest of the vitamins on this list.) Other than that, I’m pretty sure that Ritual is my favorite of all the options—yes, it’s more of a broad spectrum multivitamin than the others, but I felt like it was probably doing me the most good on a day to day basis.
From the queen of health herself, Gwyneth Paltrow’s line of goop Wellness vitamin stacks sport names like, “Balls in the Air,” “High School Genes,” and “Why Am I So Effing Tired?” Each of the four formulas is meant to supplement for specific wellness concerns with a handful of vitamins and supplements. They come individually prepackaged, so you don’t have to worry about organizing the right combination of pills every morning before you leave for the office.
Because I have a lot on my plate right now—and definitely don’t have time to feel run down or get sick—I started taking “Balls in the Air,” the stack that’s designed to boost immunity and increase overall energy levels. The packet has six different pills, and they’re kind of big—way larger than Ritual’s daily multi. But “Balls in the Air” contains a whole host of ingredients that Ritual’s multivitamin does not—so many, in fact, that I can’t even list half of them here. If you have a hard time taking pills, goop Wellness might not be for you; other than that, the only downside of taking “Balls in the Air” was that it made my pee bright yellow … A small price to pay for health!
Care/Of definitely offers the most customized option for vitamin-seekers. Take a quick quiz on the website, and Care/Of will create a stack of supplements for you based on your physical and mental symptoms. After filling in my answers, the quiz determined that I needed a heavy dose of vitamin D, some digestive enzymes, and a few ancient Traditional Chinese Medicinal herbs like Rhodiola.
A week after taking the test, you’ll get a month-long supply of personalized Care/Of vitamins, complete with your name on the package! While I loved Care/Of’s design and experience, I didn’t feel like the stack was something I should take for an extended period of time—they seemed more like supplements I should take only when I need them, not every day.