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Refreshing Chia Fresca (Isikiate) Drink Recipe

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Looking for an ultra-healthy refreshment to fuel your run? Made with a handful of ingredients, a chia fresca / iskiate energy drink is just what you need. Try this all-natural, five-minute beverage today!

A glass of chia fresca (iskiate) placed on a white towel is seen with a slice of lime on its rim. Two other glasses and lime slices are in the distance | Hurry The Food Up

“Unlike any other organism in history, humans have a mind-body conflict: we have a body built for performance, but a brain that’s always looking for efficiency.” – Dr. Bramble ‘Born to Run’.

I was a bit late to the party in picking up the fantastic book – ‘Born to Run’, but no matter.

If you have just the slightest interest in running or fitness, this book is more than worth taking a look at.

It’s a great read, super insightful too, exploring problems and solutions relating to the human physique.

It touched me so I decided to do a lot of soul-searching, amending my practices and techniques to make running, freeletics – heck, exercise overall a much more fruitful and accomplishing experience. 

One of the things I learnt from the book that really changed the game for me was this natural but incredibly powerful energising drink. 

For an energised and exercise-ready day, start off your morning with this iskiate!

It’s been used by the Mexican Tarahumara Indians – ‘the world’s greatest distance runners’(1) for thousands of years (they call it ‘Iskiate’) and provides your body with a huge amount of endurance energy.

The first time I drank it, I headed out for an 8-mile run where I smashed my previous best time and still had enough energy to continue for another five, and I’m not even kidding.

‘Twas about half a marathon in the end and I’m not one to toot my own horn but I’ve gotta say, that ain’t bad for an easy Sunday morning run.

Ever since then, this beast of a drink has become my go-to before any sort of athletic activity. be it working out at the gym or any kind of sport. 

The best part about it is how quick and easy it is to make, especially since you’ll just need four ingredients. Have a look at the ones I used below.

Two glasses of chia fresca are seen with several lime slices, a jar and tablespoon of chia seeds with a white tablecloth | Hurry The Food Up


Sweetener and Citrus

An energy drink is basically just fancy plain water without a sweetener so, I used just a single tablespoon of honey to add some pizzaz to our iskiate.

If you’re vegan, some agave or maple syrup would do just as fine and if you haven’t got any, just throw in your favourite sweetener.

The lime juice adds that much-needed touch of sweet and sour acidity to give this healthy beverage more depth in flavour.

Switch your own chia fresca up a bit by using a different citrus juice like lemon juice (for a lemon chia fresca) or orange juice instead! 

Some fresh mint would also be a great addition, giving it a nice aroma to make your refreshing drink all the more cooling, plus, minty water is great for weight loss too.

Just by subbing one ingredient for another, you can make a variety of chia drinks. So, give it a go, try out a different fruit juice and sweetener every time you make an iskiate to find what fits you!

Chia Seeds and, of course, Water

The black chia seeds, being the star of the show, are essential for this recipe and the water’s what ties all the ingredients together. 

Instead of making your chia water at room temperature with regular water, try using 2 cups of cold water. You could even try making this into a coconut chia fresca (by using coconut water) for an even more refreshing and tasty drink! 

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How many calories are in this chia fresca recipe?

This homemade energy drink contains just 142 calories and 3.5g protein per serving.

One portion of our chia fresca will boost you with:

  • kcal 142kcal
  • Carbs 30g
  • Fat 5g
  • Protein 3.5g

Being low-calorie and high-fibre, this popular drink makes for the perfect pre or post-workout sip on a hot sunny day. 

Health Benefits – Chia Fresca / Iskiate – A Natural Chia Seed Energy Drink

The main and most important ingredient here is by far the chia seeds.

They’re nice and easy to get hold of these days (you can find them in most good supermarkets/health food stores, or on Amazon too) and are a nutrition powerhouse.

Chia seeds are stacked with omega-3 fatty acids (more than salmon, gram for gram, though plant-based is harder for us to absorb), high-quality protein and dietary fiber – not to mention calcium, magnesium, manganese and a whole host of other nutrients.

There’s also a wide range of health benefits chia seeds provide like helping improve blood sugar levels and heart health and when it comes to water, the benefits are nearly endless.

Citrus fruits aren’t just tart and colourful fruits bursting with flavour, they’re loaded with vitamin c and fibre too while sweeteners, when consumed in moderation (obvi), will do most people no harm.

The water, citrus, chia seeds and sweeteners (depending on your choice of sweetening agent) that make up this natural energy drink are all vegan-friendly and that’s another thing I love about this refreshment. 

Speaking of vegan-friendly, if you’re looking for more easy and nutrient-packed dishes filled with plant-based ingredients, be sure to grab this free 7-day vegan meal plan for the best inspo!

A glass of chia fresca (iskiate) is placed on a table with a slice of lime on its rim and by its side | Hurry The Food Up

How to make the best chia fresca / iskiate energy drink

  • Measure all your ingredients and set them aside. Make sure you’ve juiced the lime (or lemon) too.
  • Grab a jar, a bowl, or heck, even a freaking sports bottle if you’re in a rush and give all your ingredients a nice mix in it. If you’re using warm water, throw it in the fridge to let it cool for a few.

And you’re all done! 

Chia Fresca / Iskiate FAQs

Is chia fresca good for you?

A chia fresca is a dairy, gluten and egg-free Mexican Lemonade drink that’s incredibly healthy and great for you. 

Those canned energy drinks filled with sickly amounts of sugar will do you no good in the long run. Ditch the little bastards and opt for this simple homemade choice instead!

When should I drink Iskiate?

I’d say at least an hour or two before exercise. I personally like to start off new day by chugging down a big ol’ glass of chia fresca, but hours before an intensive workout sesh would do. Carry it along with you on a run for some hydration too!

What is Chia Fresca made of?

A traditional chia fresca is a Mexican Lemonade made from water, a citrus fruit (usually lime or lemon) and a natural sweetener with the addition of chia seeds. It’s traditionally known as Iskiate and it’s used as a natural energy drink. 

More Chia Recipes

Kick off exercise on the right foot with a chia fresca / iskiate that’s sure to keep you energised and hydrated throughout your session. I live for the comments so if you’ve got anything to add or testimonies to share, drop them in the section below!

Enjoy! 🙂

Refreshing Chia Fresca (Isikiate) Drink Recipe
4.73 from 33 votes
Looking for a healthy refreshment to fuel your run? Perfected by the Tarahumara Indians, this chia fresca/iskiate is just what you’ll need!
Diet: dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, vegan
Prep Time:3 minutes
Total Time:3 minutes


  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 lime (juiced)
  • 1 tbsp honey (or maple/agave syrup/favourite sweetener. Honey is non-vegan)


  • Mix all the ingredients together in a suitable container (large cup or sports bottle) and let cool in fridge for minimum 2-3 hours.
    2 tbsp chia seeds, 2 cups water, 1 lime, 1 tbsp honey
  • Optional: Make double the amount and drink half before sports, and take the other half as your main refreshment. F**k Gatorade.
  • Drink, and feeeeellll the poowwwwwwwwwwwwweeeeeer!! 😉
    Chia Fresca drink | Hurry The Food Up
  • PS: It’s ok that the chia seeds end up looking like frog spawn…


IF YOU LIKED THIS RECIPE: Then you definitely need to check out this Fitness Mega Smoothie by extreme endurance athlete Ben Greenfield. If you look for a quick snack that boosts your energy, you can’t go wrong with these Banana Egg Pancakes!


Nutrition Facts
Refreshing Chia Fresca (Isikiate) Drink Recipe
Serving Size
577 g
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Your comments make our day. Thank you! If you have a question, please skim the comments section – you might find an immediate answer there. If you made the recipe, please choose a star rating, too.

Recipe Rating

  1. I’m growing chia in my garden this year(it’s really beautiful and apparently quite easy to grow) and so I’m keen to try this(I’m also in the this- texture- is- killing- me camp). Just wanted to mention that the only source seen citing that black chia is the best is also the company that sells it, sooo… maybe don’t fuss about the colour.

    1. First off, good luck with growing chia in your garden! Would be cool, if it works out!! 🙂
      Thanks for the info regarding the study, good to know!

  2. 5 stars
    If you enjoyed that book check out eat and run. It has plenty of food ideas for runners and smoothie ideas too.

    1. Thank you, Anne! Just looking it up 🙂
      Glad you liked the drink!

  3. Would the chia seed actually be bio available if it just swished down in a drink? I’m thinking crushing and soaking might be the best option?

    1. Good question! So, here is what I found out: grinding chia seeds helps for better bio availability. Then you wouldn’t need to soak them anymore. That being said, whole soaked chia seeds also increase bio availability. I can’t tell you how ground chia vs whole soaked chia performs. But know, both is better than just eating them whole and dry 🙂

  4. 4 stars
    Ooh how great yummy i need to make this for my energy levels !!it should be a big help for us thankyou xx

    1. Yeah it’s worth a try! Let us know what you think!

  5. Reading the book now (where have I been?!) and keen to try the chia super drink to help my sluggish running days! How soon before you run do you consume the drink? Thanks

    1. Hi Eli! Glad you found your answers. Happy running!

  6. Could I use this in my weight loss plan?

    1. Yes, absolutely! I’m sure this would work very well as a snack in the weight loss plan 🙂