Sometimes, swallowing a vitamin pill feels like such a chore — which is only compounded if you’re also taking a probiotic, and a vitamin D softgel, and a… you get the idea. Not to mention, they can sometimes make you feel a little nauseous.
But GEM is here with a solution for all that. They make chewable, food-based vitamins that provide some of the basics (like vitamin D and magnesium) along with some extras (like probiotics and ashwagandha).
Want to know more? Let’s hit the GEM.
Let’s run down some essential details about GEM vitamins.
What are they?
GEM vitamins are the vitamins to take if you don’t like vitamins. See, they’re actually totally food based — so much so that they’re classified as a food rather than a dietary supplement. (How can you tell? They have a Nutrition Facts label, rather than a Supplement Facts label.)
They are small bites made out of real foods and nutrient dense ingredients. They provide an easy-to-ingest dose of vitamins, minerals, probiotics, and antioxidants.
GEM vitamins are made in the US, however, they actually don’t have any certifications that you may expect from a typical vitamin because they aren’t technically a dietary supplement.
How much do they cost?
GEM vitamins cost $60 for a 30-day supply. GEM operates as a subscription service, so you’ll receive a monthly shipment of your GEM vitamins until you cancel or pause your subscription. Shipping is free.
Who are they for?
GEM vitamins are designed for adult women who aren’t pregnant or breastfeeding, but they say that they have plenty of male customers too (with the caveat that GEM may be missing some nutrients that men need more of every day, like zinc).
It’s a particularly good fit for people who dislike regular vitamins, or who get an upset stomach when taking them. Because GEM is made from whole food ingredients, it may be a bit easier to digest than some supplements.
GEM offers two base products: Daily Essentials and Sleep Essentials.
Daily Essentials is GEM’s take on a multivitamin. It comes in three regular flavors (cacao, lemon, and peppermint) and seasonal citrus ginger.
Each bite provides:
- Vitamin D: 100% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Biotin: 100% of the DV
- Vitamin B12: 70% of the DV
- Pantothenic acid: 50% of the DV
- Riboflavin: 40% of the DV
- Thiamin: 35% of the DV
- Magnesium: 50% of the DV
- Niacin: 35% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 30% of the DV
- Folate: 30% of the DV
- Iron: 10% of the DV
- Potassium: 2% of the DV
In addition, each bite contains some additional potentially helpful ingredients, like:
- Spirulina: Spirulina is an algae that serves as a good source of plant-based vitamin B12 (s/o to all the vegans in the house), as well as several other vitamins and minerals.
- Chlorella: Another algae, chlorella contains some amino acids and omega-3 fatty acids and potentially offers some antioxidant benefits too.
- Probiotics: Probiotics are live, beneficial bacteria that can colonize in your large intestine. These bacteria can help optimize your digestion, immune health, and brain function.
- Ashwagandha: Ashwagandha is an herb that may provide anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. It’s also considered an adaptogen, because it may help you *adapt* better to stress and feel more relaxed and energetic.
- Curry tree leaf extract: Curry leaf extract has some antioxidant properties that may help to prevent free radical damage to your cells. Forget “good for the soul,” it’s good for the cells.
- Vitamin K2: Vitamin K2 is a type of vitamin K often found in fermented foods and cheese. It may help improve bone health and reduce inflammation.
- Astaxanthin: Astaxanthin is a carotenoid, a type of antioxidant found in red and orange produce. It has some potential anti-inflammatory and immune strengthening effects. And it kinda sounds like it could be a villain in Sailor Moon, tbh.
Reviewers say that the taste and texture can be… a challenge, but that many note that they got used to it after a while. Most customers also say that they prefer either the citrus ginger, cacao, or lemon flavor. No peppermint stans here.
Several reviewers report feeling more energetic after being consistent with GEMs, while others say they didn’t really feel much of a difference.
The Sleep Essentials GEM is designed to help whisk you sweetly off to dreamland. It’s available in one flavor: chocolate cherry. (YUM!)
There are lots of great reviews about the taste of the Sleep Essentials, and several reviewers even said that it’s like a tiny, portion-controlled dessert. Many reviewers also say that these bites really do help them to fall asleep easier and stay asleep longer.
GEM is a subscription service, so when you place your first order you’re agreeing to recurring monthly shipments. They make it really easy to cancel or pause your subscription online, though.
Shipping is free, and you purchase optional shipping insurance through Route. GEM is currently only available in the U.S.
Unfortunately, GEM doesn’t offer any kind of money-back or satisfaction guarantee — so if you dislike the vitamins you won’t have a way to get your money back.
There are very few negative reviews regarding GEM online, but most of them are about their subscription model. Of note, it looks like GEM has responded to every complaint with attempts to resolve the issue.
You can purchase GEM vitamins online at the GEM website. It doesn’t look like they’re available through any other online retailer atm.
Note: when you purchase GEMs, you’re agreeing to receive a monthly shipment. So, be prepared to cancel if needed before your next ship date if you don’t want to keep getting mail-order GEMs.
According to GEM, your Daily Essential can be taken in the morning or in the afternoon.
If you’re prone to getting nauseous after taking supplements, you may want to take your GEM with food. Although it’s food-based, it’s still a highly concentrated little bite that may be difficult on your stomach taken all by itself.
You should take your Sleep Essential one hour before bed, so that the ingredients have time to kick in before you lay down.
How to use them safely
GEM states that you shouldn’t take more than three pieces per day because of the amount of nutrients they provide.
Otherwise, GEM vitamins are safe for most people. They are gluten, soy and dairy-free and suitable for people on a vegan diet. However, it’s mentioned on the product website that it’s processed in a facility that also processes allergens like nut and wheat, so there’s the possibility of cross contamination.
If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, you should talk to your doctor before you take them. FYI, these bites are NOT a suitable alternative to a prenatal vitamin.
Additionally, since these vite bites are made with various real food ingredients, you should carefully review the label for ingredients you may be allergic or sensitive to.
And if you have any concerns, be sure to have a chat with your healthcare provider before you start taking them.
Here’s how GEM measures up against some of its main competitors in the multivitamin arena:
Is GEM really good for you?
Yes, GEM vitamins are pretty nutritious — especially considering that they’re so tiny. Unless you have allergies or sensitivities to some of the ingredients in GEM vitamins, they can be used to offer a little extra nutrition boost.
Are GEM vitamins FDA approved?
GEM vitamins are regulated as a food, rather than a supplement. Because they are made from food ingredients that are all Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) by the FDA, the product itself actually isn’t required to attain FDA approval. However, it’s still subject to regulation by and audits from the FDA.
Is GEM a good product?
This is totally subjective, but we can say that GEM has excellent reviews, provides a concentrated dose of food-based nutrients and phytochemicals, and is made with high-quality ingredients. However, at $60 per month it’s pretty steeply priced.
What is in GEM vitamins?
GEM vitamins are made with whole food ingredients like dates, pumpkin seeds, quinoa, oats, vanilla, and pink sea salt. Depending on the flavor and if you chose a Daily Essential or a Sleep Essential, your GEM will contain added herbs or extracts, probiotics, and whole food flavor ingredients (like Montmorency cherry in the chocolate cherry Sleep Essential).
What do GEM vitamins taste like?
GEM Daily Essentials are available in four flavors (lemon, cacao, citrus ginger, and peppermint) and the Sleep Essential is available in chocolate cherry.
They are sweetened with dates, and their flavors come from real food ingredients (ex, cocoa powder in the cacao-flavored Daily Essential).
Are GEM vitamins organic?
GEM vitamins contain some organic ingredients, but they’re not completely organic.
GEMs are real food alternatives to conventional multivitamins that contain a base of whole food ingredients alongside probiotics and herbal ingredients. They deliver a nutrient and antioxidant boost in a convenient chewable bite.
GEM offers a sleep supplement too. Despite their utility bill kinda price ($60/month), they’re a great alternative if you prefer a food-based product or if regular vitamins don’t sit well with you.