Cherry Lime Chia Fresca


Why is Hydration So Important?

Water is an often over-looked nutrient. When we consider that water is utilized in 98% of all processes that occur within the body, we realize that depriving the body of this essential and major constituent of life can have grave consequences. Water is imperative to the production of energy, the regulation of body temperature, and to the ridding the body of waste.

Signs of Dehydration

So, how can we tell if we’re adequately hydrated? Let’s consider the signs of dehydration. You could be moderately dehydrated if you have a dry, sticky mouth, are fatigued, are thirsty (no brainer), have dry skin, headaches, constipation, body aches or experience lightheadedness. You could be extremely dehydrated if you are irritable, confused, don’t sweat, have little to no urination, if you have low blood pressure, a rapid heartbeat, rapid breathing or no tears.

Unfortunately, thirst isn’t always a reliable gauge of the body’s need for water, especially in children and older adults, so one of the better indicators of hydration is the color of your urine; clear or light-colored urine means you’re well hydrated. Unless attributed to certain supplements you are taking, strong smelling, dark yellow or amber colored urine is almost always a telltale sign of dehydration.

Favorite Hydration Tips

Proper hydration requires a little discipline and personally, discipline is something I don’t have a lot of, LOL. Here are tips that have helped me:

  • Estimate Your Daily Requirement. Calculate the ounces of water you should drink in a day with this simple equation: Divide your body weight by 2. The resulting number represents the number of ounces of water you should aim to drink in a day. So, if you weigh 160 pounds, your goal is 80 ounces of water per day. That said, hydration is a balance. Body weight, activity level, age, health and other factors influence the quantity of water the body requires. Find what works for you—that which maintains body and fluid balance. It’s important to note that there is such a thing as drinking too much water? You can read about that here.
  • Use a Dedicated Water Bottle. Pick up an attractive water bottle, note the ounces it holds and calculate how many of those bottles you need to drink in a day (see tip above). This is my favorite water bottle. The ounces are marked on the side, and it is glass—versus plastic or stainless—with a protective silicon sleeve. I take it with me wherever I go.
  • Schedule Water Breaks. Aim to consume half of your daily requirement of water in the morning (some right after you awake) and half in the afternoon. Make up a schedule that works for you.
  • Water Before Coffee. Drink a glass of water before enjoying your morning cup of coffee. For every cup of coffee you drink, drink an additional glass of water.
  • Jazz It Up. Your best bet is to stick with pure water. However if that gets boring, infuse water with fruit (lemons, limes, cucumbers, berries), spike it with a little of your favorite juice, or try one of the beverage recipes at the end of this post. Just don’t sweeten with artificial sweeteners, please! Stevia is a much healthier, natural, zero-calorie alternative.

Recently I have been adding an extra boost to my beverages in the form of chia seeds. For more about chia, read this post. Down Mexico way, chia fresca is a pretty common beverage—a spoonful of chia seeds stirred into a mixture of water, lime juice, and sweetener. When chia seeds come into contact with liquid, they soak up 10-12 times their own weight in water! So you always want to consume them with plenty of liquid. When soaked, they become gelatinous and promote hydration and endurance. My husband got me hooked on chia after reading Christopher McDougall’s book Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Super Athletes and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen. In his book, McDougall tells of a tribe of endurance runners—the Tarahumara of Northern Mexico—sustaining themselves with chia while running 100-mile ultra marathons.

With hydration and endurance in mind, today I have a spin-off of chia fresca to share with you. When you were a kid, did you ever sneak off to the fridge to slurp down a half-set bowlful of cherry Jell-O. I did and that’s what came to mind the first time I drank a bottle of Cherry Lime Mamma Chia. My sister introduced me to Mamma Chia, and Mamma Mia, Mamma Chia is good—strange good! And much like me, my sister felt compelled to make her own Mamma Chia at home. This recipe is hers. My son calls it booger juice. I call it bug juice. Whatever you want to call it, it’s oddly addicting. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Cherry Limeade Chia Fresca

Gluten-Free | Casein-Free | Corn-Free | Dairy-Free | Egg-Free | Fish-Free | Nightshade-Free | Peanut-Free | Potato-Free | Rice-Free | Shellfish-Free | Soy-Free | Tree Nut-Free | Wheat-Free | Grain-Free | Sesame-Free | Yeast-free | GFCF | Vegetarian | Easily Vegan


1/2 cup no sugar added tart CHERRY JUICE (like R.W. Knudsen)
1 cup WATER
3 tablespoons white CHIA SEED
2 tablespoon liquefied HONEY
2 tablespoons fresh LIME JUICE


Mix all ingredients in a Mason jar and refrigerate overnight.


  • Honey may be substituted with your sweetener of choice. I use a bit of honey and a bit of zero-calorie liquid stevia concentrate. Sometimes I just use stevia.
  • Though R.W. Knudsen Just Tart Cherry has no added sugar, it still packs 24g of sugar per 8 fluid ounces. Feel free to experiment with watering this recipe down. For each additional 1/2 cup of water, I’ve been adding an additional tablespoon of chia seed and a couple more drops of liquid stevia.
  • This beverage is not intended to be a sole source of hydration. Look at it as a fun drink to add to your day. 2-3 tablespoons of chia a day make a nutritious addition to most diets. More than that probably wouldn’t hurt you. But as with any food, practice moderation. And, chia has that lovely ability of keeping you “regular” … too much and well, we won’t go there. 🙂

Other Hydrating Beverages

Apricot Spritzer here at Lexie’s Kitchen
Sugar-Free “Apple Cider” here at Lexie’s Kitchen
Ginger Lime Mocktail over at Elana’s Pantry

More Good Stuff


glutenfreeforgood January 26, 2012 - 1:08 pm

I love lime infused water. Tart cherry is sooo healthy, so your combination is awesome. Great idea and one I will definitely be trying. Good "recovery" drink. =)

Hannah January 26, 2012 - 3:52 pm

Awsome!! Ive gotta work on the water before coffee thing, its gonna be tough. So many helpful ideas, and knowing that weight affects your water intake makes more since than an all around 2liters for all women.

Wendy @ Celiacs in the House January 26, 2012 - 4:22 pm

Interesting. I've only used chia in baking and raw power balls. I know hydration is a biggie for me and I've promised myself to work on it this year. I'm still drinking your hot apple cider almost every day.

Kalinda January 26, 2012 - 4:47 pm

I just got my first bag of chia seeds last week. I completely agree with your "strange good" assessment. I love the cherry lime flavor, I'll have to go hunting for cherry juice.

Maggie January 26, 2012 - 6:11 pm

This is so cool Lexie. Honestly, I love your creative recipes. I might have to test this one out, not sure if I can do the whole chia seed thing. Mind you I said that about adding greens to my smoothies a long time ago 🙂

Kim(Cook It Allergy Free) January 26, 2012 - 6:46 pm

Oh WOW! I would have never ever thought of this. But now I am totally wanting some. What an awesome idea (and a totally gorgeous pictures, per usual)!!


Ricki January 26, 2012 - 11:10 pm

Sort of reminds me of Bubble Tea, with the chia seeds! Thanks for all the great info–so much to know about water! 🙂

Shirley @ gfe January 27, 2012 - 11:55 am

Hey Lexie!

First, this drink reminds me so much of an orange drink that Son used to love growing up. It had particles suspended in it and I now wonder if they were chia seeds! I used to always buy exotic, but healthier drinks for him at the upscale grocery store. Your version looks amazing! Love the flavors of cherry and lime together. 🙂 Strange good is the perfect description of anything where chia makes its presence known I think. I just love it when we find out that something super healthy tastes strange good and becomes oddly addicting, and it happens often, but we have to open ourselves to it!

Isn't it funny how much overlap there is in all our hydration posts yet we all wrote them independently? I just love that!


Alta January 27, 2012 - 2:31 pm

Ooh, I have some of that juice in my fridge! And a lime, even. I am so making this. Your photo is so pretty!

Carol January 27, 2012 - 4:16 pm

Love it and so pretty!

Jeanette January 27, 2012 - 10:14 pm

Lexie – this sounds so interesting and refreshing. I've made chia pudding and put chia seeds in smoothies, but never thought to make a fresca with it.

Shonnie January 27, 2012 - 10:45 pm

I wanted to say that I applaud your efforts to make your son's life as livable as possible. I have a 16 year son who is Autistic. There was no diet to follow … they told me basically to institutionalize him because he was non-functional. I couldn't deal with that. I sought other options. Found a few to try and today: I have a son who is amazing–he drives–he is in school (regular/normal~whatever that means)–he is so smart it isn't funny. Oh … and he talks now and there will never be a need for an institution.

WTG Mom for doing everything in your power for your child. Life is not often perfect, but it can be truly AMAZING.

Shonnie 😀

Cassie Q February 2, 2012 - 1:22 am

I was so excited to see this post, Lex! The picture is great, and I love that it reminds the boys of buggers! XOXO Cassie

Infused Waters June 15, 2012 - 8:32 pm

Love the chia seed idea – they look so cool!

Buffy RipHagen March 17, 2015 - 2:05 am

I just tried Mama Chia’s Cherry Like last week and haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since! But $3+ a bottle is a bit expensive for as often as I want to drink it so I’m SO STOKED for this recipe!!! THANK YOU!

Lexie March 20, 2015 - 8:40 pm

Hi Buffy, and the great thing about making your own is you control the amount and kind of sweetener. Bonus! xoLexie

Sandra Cisneros May 5, 2015 - 10:23 pm

I made this today,,, I used agave nectar.. I will find out tomorrow if it turned out good. I had some mama chia bottles in my recycling, I took them out and washed them out and this recipe was perfect for the bottles. I made 3 bottles of this and it cost less than one bottle at the store..

Lexie May 18, 2015 - 1:19 am

Sandra, how did it turn out? And thanks for the cost savings calculation! Very helpful … and eye-opening. xoLexie


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