Full disclosure: I'm not big on supplements. My experience with vitamins pretty much ended after my mom stopped giving me Flintstones chewables with my oatmeal every morning. I also know it's ideal to absorb nutrients from a food source, not a pill, which is why I've never really cared to add just another step to my routine by taking any supplements.
But there is (as I'm sure you saw coming) one caveat: Many supplement companies are one-size-fits-all, meaning you may be taking something you don't really need—and therefore shouldn't be shelling out part of your paycheck every month for. So when I heard about a new vitamin company that utilized DNA testing as a method for creating highly personalized vitamins, I was intrigued.
But it wasn't until I saw them that I knew I had to try them immediately.
I'm not trying to be cute, but these quite literally are not your mother's vitamins. They don't look, feel, or taste like any supplements I've ever seen. Instead of the expected pill format, your daily dose comes in a packet filled with teeny-tiny micro-beads. A description from the brand's website explains: "Our slow-release micro-beads deliver a customized dosage of vitamins into your bloodstream throughout the day and mimic the absorption of real food." My number one reason for avoiding vitamins? Refuted. And with that, this vitamin skeptic decided to give Rootine a go.
First things first: I had to take a lifestyle questionaire, which is basically like a personality quiz for your health. It asked my questions like what sort of diet I follow (if any), what kinds of foods I eat, how my period cycle is, my level of fatigue, and so on. Overall, it was really simple and didn't take me more than a few minutes.
After that test came the next one: DNA. Sounds scary, but it was nothing more than you'd probably do when trying to look up your ancestry. I collected a few swabs of DNA from my mouth and then sent it back to the lab for analysis.
A few weeks later, my vitamins arrived at my front door (personalized with my name and everything), and I started incorporating them into my routine. Being the nosy person that I am, I eagerly read up on the results of my DNA test online so I could learn exactly what my specially curated dose looked like.
What was even more interesting was that my report explained what the results of my lifestyle quiz say I should be taking versus what my actual genetics say I need. It was a small but important detail; a lot of companies lure you in by offering a simple and almost "fun" quiz that will tell you exactly what you need and why. But considering that each and every one of our bodies is completely unique, quizzes can be so subjective (case in point, I spent several more minutes deciding how tired and stressed I am than I probably should have—isn't every day different?), which is why it amazed me to see that my DNA test was sometimes drastically different than what my quiz results told me.
I will admit, the process did take a bit for me to get used to. Not only because I wasn't used to having to take anything on a daily basis (I don't even take birth control pills anymore, now that I have an IUD), but the method of taking them is, well, quite unique. Like I mentioned before, these vitamins come in bead-form, so you can't really just throw one back with a glass of water and be done with it. The instructions mention that you can mix it into a smoothie or food, but I found it easier to pour a bit into my mouth in increments, usually taking about three swallows. It doesn't taste like anything, which is nice, but it can take some practice to not spill it all over yourself.
About a week in, I finally got a hang of it. The instructions recommend taking the vitamins in the morning, so I got into a routine of taking them daily as soon as I got to the office. One aspect I really enjoyed, however, was that each dose comes in a packet you can easily bring with you anywhere. That really came in handy during those times I was running out of the house on my way to brunch; I could just toss them in my purse for the car ride.
The verdict? After 30 days of taking Rootine, I have to admit I don't feel very different. But don't stop reading quite yet: Keep in mind that I'm (luckily) in very good health and maintain a consistent diet that allows me to get most essential vitamins from the food that I eat. You can also upload results of a recent blood test to supplement your results, which I hadn't done, and that could've perhaps provided more insight.
Lastly, just because I don't necessarily feel any different doesn't mean the vitamins didn't improve the status of my health. We don't need supplements to survive, but they can be a great addition to any dietary routine, and may improve your lifestyle in small but effective ways. If you do find yourself lacking certain nutrients and struggling to get necessary vitamins and minerals from food alone, I strongly recommend trying your hand at a vitamin that actually curates to what you need—like Rootine. And per usual, it's always worth chatting with your doctor about these things too.
Next: 8 of the Best Vitamins for Energy, Revealed