Close-up of glass filled with chia seed drink and glass straw and fresh lemons.

I truly believe in food medicine. I don’t believe it replaces the very ground-breaking, life-saving technologies that we have thanks to modern medicine. But I do think that nourishing our bodies with foods that make us feel great can go a long way towards making sure we live fulfilling, healthy lives—and it makes it a lot easier for those modern medicine technologies to do their job.

So is this chia seed drink a magic cure-all that is going to make you run marathons until you’re 120 years old? Nope, probably not. In fact, we’d rather you drink this chia water because it brings you joy, not out of any particular health obligation. But I will tell you that I’ve personally felt the benefits of this glorious food medicine in my own body. Not only do I love the taste of this tangy chia seed drink, but I also love how my body thanks me for taking the time to sip on something so nourishing. My skin glows, my digestive issues are better, and it’s a way to kick-off the day with a victory for self-care! Let me show you how I make my favorite chia drink.

Overhead of chia seeds and a measuring spoon in a tall glass with fresh juices lemon halves.

What’s in this drink?

Here’s what you’ll need to get going on this chia seed drink:

  • Apple Cider Vinegar: You’re looking for raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar. I use Bragg’s because it’s readily available—they sell it at my regular grocery store in the salad dressing/vinegar aisle. You want to avoid using the regular apple cider vinegar that has been filtered and pasteurized (the clear stuff). The healthy enzymes and bacteria from fermentation are good for you, and filtering and pasteurizing the vinegar removes those.
  • Lemons: I choose to use organic lemons, because I figure that if I’m drinking something for my health, avoiding as many pesticides as possible is a good idea. I use half of a lemon in the morning in my elixir, and then I usually squeeze the other half over a salad at lunch.
  • Chia Seeds: One of the great things about chia seeds being so popular—you can get them almost anywhere now! You want whole chia seeds, and either white or black will work.
  • Water: If you’re really anti-added chemicals, you’ll want to use purified or filtered water. I personally filter my water using a Berkey. There are lots of different articles out there about the temperature of water you should drink, and it seems there are advantages and disadvantages to just about every temp range. I personally use warm water, because I’m almost always chilled when I get out of my warm bed and head to the cold kitchen!

Ingredients needed to make chia seed drink including apple cider vinegar, fresh lemon juice and chia seeds.

Why should I make this chia seed drink?

If nothing else, taking a moment to make yourself a cup of something nourishing in the mornings is a great self care habit to get into! And don’t we all need a little extra self care nowadays? Beyond that, there are so many health benefits of chia seeds and the other ingredients, including:

  • Chia seeds are packed with omega-3 fatty acids (particularly ALAs, or alpha-linolenic acid) and antioxidants.
  • It may improve your digestion, serving to both lower heartburn and ease bowel movements.
  • Rehydrating after a long night’s sleep is a great morning habit to get into. Sure, you can do it with a regular glass of water, but this is a nice way to add some variety.
  • Chia seeds are a good source of magnesium, calcium, manganese, soluble fiber, and phosphorus.
  • It can kickstart your metabolism and jumpstart your system after an evening of rest.
  • It will get you glowing. The hydrating power of the water combined with the natural antiseptic properties of lemon will leave you with healthier skin, hair, and nails.

Okay, so how do I make it?

It honestly doesn’t get much easier than this chia seed drink. Just stir everything together, and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Those few minutes will give the chia seeds time to form a gel. Drink up!

Can I sweeten this chia seed drink?

This is definitely an acquired taste. If you often drink kombucha, you probably won’t mind the tart flavor of the drink, but if you don’t, it might take some getting used to. I often add raw honey to mine, but a small amount of maple syrup would also work. My healthcare professional recommended this to help with chronic constipation, and not only does it work, but it makes the drink a SUPER delicious way to start the day.

A woman leaning in to take a sip of chia seed morning elixir.

How often should I drink it?

Everything in this drink is generally considered safe to drink daily in typical food dosages, but if you are planning on consuming large amounts or are on any medications, it doesn’t hurt to check with a healthcare professional.

Now I have a big bag of chia seeds in my kitchen—how long will they last?

We recommend keeping your chia seeds in the refrigerator in an airtight container, where they will last up to 3-4 years. If they start to taste bitter, they have probably started to break down—they are likely still safe to eat, but you won’t get the same health benefits out of them.

How else can I use these chia seeds?

There are so many great uses for chia seeds:

  • As an egg replacement. If you’re baking and are out of eggs or are looking to make something vegan or egg-free, you can use a chia egg as a substitute. For each egg, just mix 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 3 tablespoons water, and let sit on the counter for 5 minutes to gel up before using.
  • In warm lemon water. I typically drink this chia seed drink in the summer, and switch to the hot lemon water version in the winter.
  • As a smoothie booster. Add some omega-3s to any smoothie by adding some chia seeds. As a bonus, they will help thicken up your smoothies!
  • In overnight oats. I always include chia seeds in my overnight oats, because they make the end result so much creamier and thicker!
  • Make chia seed pudding. Chia seeds can make a thick and creamy chia pudding that is perfect for snack time or dessert.
  • In strawberry rhubarb pie squares. These squares are essentially my favorite spring pie in the form of bars, and they use chia seeds in both the crust and the filling!


A tall glass with chia seeds floating in water mixed with apple cider vinegar and lemon juice.

Chia Seed Water Recipe (Morning Elixir)

Yield: 1 serving
Prep Time: 1 minute
Total Time: 1 minute

This apple cider vinegar and chia seed drink is a great way to start the morning! This morning elixir is delicious, nourishing, and refreshing.


  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon (about 2 tablespoons lemon juice)
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (raw, unfiltered)
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water


  1. Mix all the ingredients together. Let rest for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the chia seeds have formed a gel. Drink up!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 74Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 18mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 5gSugar: 1gProtein: 2g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

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    1. Hi, Susan! Nope, we’ve never heard of it! But we’re off to go learn more about it. Thank you for sharing =)

  1. What is this! An ad in the ingredient list and ad in the directions. What the heck! I’m never using your website again.

  2. Hello Cassie
    Like minded, about healthy delectable or medicine, not even for toothache the prescribed Tylenol, 32 years none for type 2 diabetes. Reversing diabetes project starting 2021 1st quarter, at 75+ enough time to controlled lifestyle experiment.

    I googled a question “What is the reaction between Chia Seeds & Lemon Juice?” and stopped by your link.
    When I mix the 2 with hot water at 160°F, I do not get chia seeds gel as compared to if I do not use lemon. In the later case the gel is suspended in the whole glass, the one with the lemon, does not suspend and sits at bottom of the glass.
    I will add ACV like in your elixir.

    Few notes:
    Honey is not a sweetener for people with DIABETESE. It increases A1C.
    I have found HILL LEMON (Indian Gal-gal) makes the body more alkaline compared to other smaller lemons.
    I have been heating water to 160°F, after mixing let it naturally cool down lightly, not to burn the throat.
    Sometimes, I add a teaspoon of chopped ginger, pour water @212°F, add chia seeds & lemon, steep for 15 minutes and drink. This one controls inflammation as well as diabetes, that’s my experience.

    Best Wishes

    1. I love this idea and I’m looking forward to trying it! I am curious about the nutrition facts you’ve included though…as they do not seem accurate to me. What are your thoughts?

      Tbs Chia: Fat 2.25g Carbs: 3.5g Fiber 3g Protein 1.5g

        1. Thanks so much for bringing this back to our attention! These numbers are automatically calculated in our system and the count for this one does appear to be incorrect. We’re looking into it to see if we can get it to display correctly. Apologies for the inconvenience! In the meantime, using a free nutrition calculator should give you more accurate results.

  3. can i leave my mixture overnight and drink it as soon as i wake up?

    also besides from drinking this, is there any specific dietary plans that i should make?

  4. Hi, Thanks for sharing this. I’m keen to give it a try. I was wondering if this can be prepared the night before?
    Or does is have to be freshly prepared.
    I leave for work at 5.30am so preparing the night before would make my life easier 🙂