Chia Fresca Endurance Drink

This tasty chia drink recipe uses coconut water and chia seeds to make a power-packed energy drink. Perfect for a long, hot day or workout.

DIY chia fresca drink recipe

This chia fresca is truly a natural energy drink if there ever was one! Coconut water is hydrating as well as full of electrolytes. The chia seeds add protein for a burst of energy, but also aid in digestion. Give this chia drink recipe a quick stir before drinking to distribute the seeds, or drink through a straw and enjoy the little “pop” from the chia seeds.

What is chia fresca?

I first learned about this powerful natural energy drink from one of my favorite books, Born to Run. The Tarahumara use chia fresca for fuel when traveling far distances through the Copper Canyons of Mexico. This book is SUPER inspiring and is actually the reason I ran my first 50k trail run.

This chia fresca recipe has gotten me through some loooong hot runs out here in Florida— you should try it! I love that it’s created with plant-powered ingredients, rather than formulated in a lab.

When I’m using it for a running fuel, I don’t add in the chopped fruits. Yet if I’m serving it at a party, I like to dress it up with some fruits to add color. Make it your own!

Hydrating coconut water

High in electrolytes, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and antioxidants, and low in carbs + no sugar. Need I say more?! Seriously, coconut water can go toe to toe with your fav sports drink any day. It’s a completely natural way to replenish the body after a workout. If the taste is a little strong for you in the chia fresca, then try half coconut water and half regular water.

Refreshing chia fresca recipe for endurance


Is drinking chia seeds in water good for you?

Yes! Chia seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are great for heart health.

Do chia seeds burn belly fat?

Chia seeds have both protein and healthy fat, which are needed to break down carbs. So while it seems counter productive to eat fat to burn fat, your body does need good fat to turn food into useable energy.

Has anyone lost weight with chia seeds?

While chia seeds on their own are unlikely to cause weight loss, incorporating them into a healthy diet can help you stay full longer, as well as process carbs better.

Natural energy drinks

After learning about coconut water, my eyes were opened to the world of replacing many of my old workout beverages with more natural options, like this chia fresca. If you’re looking for a plant based approach to physical performance, then I’ve got several recipes for you:

Hopefully you can find a recipe or several that can help you maximize your workout. Powered with a protein-filled smoothie and a chia drink recipe, you’ll ROCK that next run or gym session!

Chia drink recipe

As I said above, all you really need for a refreshing chia fresca is coconut water + chia seeds. Yet dressing it up with fruits as well as maple syrup adds more flavor and flare.

When making this recipe, I refrigerate the coconut water the night before. This is purely because I live in Florida, and am always in search for something cold after working hard.

Feel free to switch up the fruit to fit your preferences. If berries are more your jam, then raspberries are a delicious addition. Of you just want the citrus, then leave out the peaches and strawberries. Watermelon is also a great addition.

No matter how you make this, give it a try for your next day in the yard or yoga session, and let me know how you liked it!

Chia Fresca Drink

Try this refreshing chia fresca drink if you're spending a long time outside doing strenuous work. I like to pack it when I'm on a long trail run, doing a day in my garden or hiking the Grand Canyon.
5 from 4 votes
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Course: Beverage
Cuisine: Plant-Based
Servings: 1
Calories: 121kcal
Author: Jen Hansard


  • 1 cup coconut water, unsweetened
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • ½ tsp maple syrup, to sweeten
  • ¼ cup peaches, optional
  • ¼ cup strawberries, optional


  • Combine all of the ingredients in a glass or jar.
  • Let stand for 5-10 minutes to allow the chia seeds to absorb some of the liquid.
  • Refrigerate until ready to drink.


  • This can be made ahead of time and will last an entire week if properly refrigerated. Add the fruit a few hours before serving. The flavors will infuse nicely, but it won’t spoil in the week’s whole batch.
  • Filtered water can be used in place of the coconut water.
  • Maple water is another great, hydrating alternative.


Calories: 121kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 255mg | Potassium: 692mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 21IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 141mg | Iron: 2mg
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About Jen Hansard

Mom of 2, ran across the Grand Canyon and lover of smoothies, coffee & tacos. I transformed my family's health with a realistic plant-based diet. I also found myself again along the way.

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Ratings & Comments

  1. Tara H says:

    I read Born to Run too and loved it! This drink sounds even better than the one they made with all the fresh fruit. Can’t wait to try it.

  2. Kim says:

    This is the perfect mid-afternoon treat. Thanks for the delicious recipe! Making this again today. 🙂

  3. Miriam says:

    I love Chia and your reveries are amazing


    Yummy and very refreshing…. It’s been raining here for weeks without any sun. Even though we haven’t had much sunshine it is still hot hot hot. Very nice cooler!

    • SGS Rawkstar Carissa says:

      Hey Sheila,

      Thanks for letting us know you love this recipe! I hope it cools down for you too. I live in Florida and it’s horribly hot too.

  5. Daphne says:

    I haven’t found my love of chia seeds like so many others. Is there anything I can use to replace them? I often use The Natural Citizen protein. Loving the runner tips (my longest is a half marathon), also a slow and steady!!!!!

  6. Sylvia says:

    Question. Could you mix the Chia Fresca drink in a Nutribullet?

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Sylvia,

      While we haven’t tried it, you definitely could. And I bet it would be delicious!

  7. Abby says:

    Can this be used on thrive without the maple syrup for a pre-workout drink still?

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Abby,

      Of course! This recipe was actually initially included in Thrive, and we removed it at the last minute. So it’s actually the perfect addition!

      Cheers 🙂

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