From HQ

Introducing Essential for Men

5 min read
Introducing Essential for Men 18+ and Essential for Men 50+—our multivitamins formulated to fill the gaps in men's diets.
Introducing Essential for Men 18+ and Essential for Men 50+—our multivitamins formulated to fill the gaps in men's diets.

Article Content

It’s always been our goal to help bridge nutrient gaps commonly found in people’s diets, throughout different stages of life. That journey began with women—and now, it’s time to officially welcome guys into our fam. Say hello to Essential for Men.*

While a one-size-fits-all multivitamin is a nice thought, the truth is that men and women have slightly different nutrient needs—and those needs will likely evolve throughout life. Like our other multivitamins, Essential for Men isn’t just scientifically formulated to help fill gaps in men’s diets—we also designed it with considerations like age, genetic variations, and dietary considerations in mind. Based on all this, we ultimately landed on 10 key nutrients, as well as two formulas: Essential for Men 18+, and Essential for Men 50+.*

For starters, men’s diets may be falling behind.

Some of us may have blind spots when it comes to our nutrition. But according to the Healthy Eating Index—a national scoring system that monitors American dietary patterns over time—men are consistently scoring lower than women when it comes to things like fruit, vegetable, and whole grain intake. (1)*

Why is that important? Because like many experts, we believe in a “food-first” approach—that is, aiming to meet most of your nutrient needs through a balanced, well-varied diet. Focusing on that healthy foundation is a crucial first step. It’s also why our science team examines the eating habits for different age, sex, and dietary preferences when formulating our multivitamins—all the better to zero in on the most common nutrient gaps, even for those who consider themselves pretty healthy.*

Men need more of certain nutrients than women, and less of others.

Consider magnesium, which plays an important role in supporting vitamin D metabolism as well as muscle protein synthesis. The recommended daily intake of magnesium is slightly higher for men than women, and both men and women are falling slightly short of their RDA for magnesium when it comes to their diets.* (2)

Then there’s zinc, which helps support normal immune function, bone health, and vision health. Women have a lower RDA, so it might be easier to meet their daily needs through diet alone. On the flip side, women have higher iron needs than men.*

More isn’t always more when it comes to nutrient intake—overdoing it on one nutrient can impact another. That’s why we skip iron in our Men’s multivitamins, but include zinc and magnesium—and do the opposite for Essential for Women 18+*.

And there are other nutrient gaps that may be more difficult to bridge through diet alone.

Look—we kind of wish multivitamins didn’t need to exist. (True story: Our founder and CEO never consistently took vitamins before launching Ritual, and most of our customers are reformed vitamin skeptics, too.) But while we wish we could consistently meet all of our nutritional needs through a healthy diet, that can also be really tricky. And that’s why common dietary gaps are just one part of the equation when we’re formulating our multivitamins. (3)

You may have a genetic variation that impacts your ability to efficiently utilize folic acid, for example, or you’re a vegetarian (or vegan) and can therefore have a trickier time getting enough vitamin B12. Or, you may be one of the 75% of Americans who run low on vitamin D. The bottom line is that there are a lot of factors that can ultimately have an impact on your nutrient intake—which is where a multivitamin can come in handy. (4)*

A multivitamin (and now, protein!) created with different life stages in mind.

Basically, we want everyone to feel empowered to support an active lifestyle and their overall wellbeing as they age—and part of that means addressing changing nutrient needs. While Essential for Men 50+ contains the same nutrient lineup as Essential for Men 18+, we upped the levels for certain nutrients where gaps might be more likely for those over 50—such as magnesium, vitamin B12, and vitamin E. It’s all about supporting that foundation, so you can keep doing life as you see fit.*

While we're on the topic of evolving micronutrient needs, we'd be remiss not to underscore the importance of minding your macronutrient levels, too—like when it comes to protein. That was a big reason behind why we launched Essential Protein: to accommodate these life stage-specific needs.

Let’s help bridge nutrition gaps in our community, together.

If it’s truly our mission to address common nutrient gaps found in people’s diets, we can’t ignore the fact that for many, the true gap is access to healthy food altogether. As we continue to expand our product family, we’re committing to making an impact on the issue of nutrition inequality—starting with food insecurity, which affects 1 in 9 families in the US. (5)

This year, we will donate on behalf of every new Ritual subscription to Food Forward, a non-profit organization that fights hunger and prevents food waste by rescuing fresh surplus produce, connecting this abundance with people in need in Southern California. That means that for each order, 10 pounds of fresh, healthy produce will be distributed to food insecure communities. We’re committing to donating a minimum of $100,000 through the rest of 2020, which will help rescue 1 million pounds of healthy produce for the people who need it most.

Together, we’ll help close the food access gap and continue working towards a future where an equitable food system is possible for all.


  1. Reedy J, Lerman JL, Krebs-Smith SM, et al. Evaluation of the Healthy Eating Index-2015. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2018;118(9):1622‐1633.
  2. Office of Dietary Supplements - Magnesium. (n.d.). Retrieved from National Institutes of Health
  3. Ritual Brand Sentiment Survey, 2019-2020
  4. Ginde, A. A., Liu, M. C., & Camargo, C. A. (2009). Demographic Differences and Trends of Vitamin the US Population, 1988-2004. Archives of Internal Medicine, 169(6), 626. doi: 10.1001/archinternmed.2008.604
  5. Food Security and Nutrition Assistance. (n.d.). Retrieved June 17, 2020, from the USDA


Shop Multivitamin


Shop Protein


Shop Pregnancy


Shop Bundles
Save $10