Lemon Chia Fresca


Sip on this lemon chia fresca, a refreshing lemonade-like drink with chia seeds that’s great for energy and boosting your metabolism. 

Lemon Chia Fresca in a clear mason jar with a slice of lemon.

While staying in Tulum I quickly noticed that every restaurant had some sort of aqua fresca and/or fresh juice on the menu. Laurel and I took advantage of this and tried a ton of unique combinations. I think one of my favorites was a tamarindo drink with habanero that I ordered at Restaurare one evening. It was sweet, spicy and so refreshing after a day in the sun!

Overhead shot of Lemon Chia Fresca in clear mason jar with lemon slices and yellow flowers.

Back at home I’ve been missing those fun drink options so I started playing around with infusing water and even got some tamarindo from nuts.com to try making agua de tamarindo. I haven’t experimented with it yet, but I’m excited to try my hand at it.

Anyhow, all of these new drink ideas inspired me to try making a chia fresca. If you’re unfamiliar, a chia fresca is simply water and/or juice mixed with chia seeds. The idea originated in Mexico as Ancient Aztec warriors and long-distance runners would use chia seeds to provide sustained energy for long periods of activity. Mixing the seeds with water is like making a homemade energy drink!

Lemon Chia Fresca in a clear mason jar with a slice of lemon.

Today people use chia frescas to stay fueled and hydrated for exercise, but also as a replacement for plain water, tea or coffee. So instead of opting for a cold brew to get you through your afternoon energy slump, you can sip the refreshing lemon chia fresca I’m sharing today.

Not only does the chia fresca have a delicious sweet lemon favor (without any actual sugar), it’s super hydrating and the cayenne pepper gives your metabolism a little boost. Of course, you’re also getting all the health benefits of the chia seeds. The healthy fat, protein and fiber not only give you sustained energy, but they help to stabilize blood sugar levels and give you that full feeling. No more raiding your snack drawer all afternoon!

Hand stirring a spoon into a clear mason jar of Lemon Chia Fresca.

This basic lemon chia fresca recipe was actually inspired by Suja’s Lemon Love juice with lemon, stevia and cayenne pepper. It’s like a healthy lemonade and one of my favorite treats to buy at my local health food store. I’m hooked on this combo, but I have a feeling I’ll be experimenting more this summer with different chia fresca flavors, too. There are endless variations to play around with!

If you make this lemon chia fresca, please be sure to leave a comment and star rating below. Your feedback is super helpful for the EBF team and other readers who are thinking about making the recipe. 

No Sugar Lemon Chia Fresca

5 from 20 votes
Sip on this lemon chia fresca, a refreshing lemonade-like drink with chia seeds that's great for energy and boosting your metabolism. 
Mason jar of lemon chia fresca with a lemon garnish.
Prep Time 3 minutes
Servings 1 serving


  • 12 ounces of cold water*
  • 2 Tablespoons - 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2-3 teaspoons chia seeds
  • 5-6 drops liquid stevia, or 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • pinch of cayenne pepper


  • Combine all ingredients in a glass and let sit for about 15 minutes in the fridge so the chia seeds have a chance to absorb some of the liquid and “gel” up. Enjoy immediately or save for later. Can be made ahead of time as the mixture should last at least 2-3 days in the fridge.


*You can also use coconut water which is rich in potassium and magnesium.


Serving: 1 Calories: 53kcal Carbohydrates: 8g Protein: 2g Fat: 2g Fiber: 4g Sugar: 2g
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: lemon chia fresca


Please leave a comment and star rating on this post and share on social media using the hashtag #eatingbirdfood. I love seeing your recipe shares!

If you’re not a fan of drinking chia seeds because of the texture, you can always use them in other ways! Maybe try these chia breakfast cookies, chia pudding or chia jam!

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Recipe Rating

    1. chris g tucker
      July 4, 2022 AT 1:28 am

      5 stars
      I just had surgery here in Tampa, and used this recipe as a drink before surgery.
      It worked great for me, especially because I am diabetic, and no way can I go w/o any food all day!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        July 4, 2022 AT 12:09 pm

        Hi Chris, I’m so glad this worked out for you! Thank you for taking the time to leave me a comment and review, I so appreciate it!

    2. DD
      May 1, 2022 AT 4:24 am

      5 stars
      I loved it! I was a little skeptical about the texture of this drink from the mention of, “gel up” but it was great. Very refreshing. Will definitely add this to my morning regimen. Thank you.😊

      1. Brittany Mullins
        May 2, 2022 AT 7:50 am

        Woo! Thank you for the review, DD. I really appreciate it.

    3. Emery szabo
      April 27, 2022 AT 4:03 pm

      Outstanding way to enjoy
      A fun drink I realy like and have made the resepi
      Ladies are so smart thanks for the idea.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        April 28, 2022 AT 7:28 am

        I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it, Emery! Thank you 🙂

    4. sophia
      August 30, 2021 AT 2:57 am

      4 stars
      Hi! Is it okay to make the No sugar Lemon fresca even if i dont have liquid stevia and mapple syrup to put on?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        August 30, 2021 AT 10:26 am

        Hey Sophia- You can definitely still make it. It just wont have any natural sweetness added to it so the taste will be slightly different.

    5. Kathy
      July 12, 2021 AT 1:00 pm

      The nutrition states ‘Serving: 1g’
      I want to verify all the nutrition info is for a single serving?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        July 12, 2021 AT 11:56 pm

        Hey Kathy – It shows 1 serving on my end. This drink serves 1 🙂

Parchment paper lined with protein balls.


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