Fact checkedExpert's opinion

We believe information about products and services that could benefit people should be made available to consumers to help them make informed decisions about their health care. Therefore, we try to provide accurate and reliable information by working with different fact-checkers to review articles for factual accuracy, relevance, and timeliness. A team of qualified and experienced fact-checkers rigorously reviewed our content before publishing it on our website. At EHproject, we rely on the most current and reputable sources cited in the text and listed at the bottom of each article. Content is fact-checked after it has been edited and before publication.

How Long To Soak Chia Seeds In Yogurt, Milk & Water In 2024?

Andrew Robert Shassetz

Reviewed by Dr. Drew Sutton, MD
how long to soak chia seeds
Soak chia seeds to improve your digestive health. Photo: Nghi Tran

Each article is created without any external influence. When you use our provided links to buy products, we receive a commission as an affiliate. To understand how we generate revenue, please read our advertising disclaimer.

Chia seeds are edible seeds from a flowering plant in the mint family which is native to Mexico. Chia seeds were a staple food for Mesoamerican cultures. However, a crucial question remains: how long should chia seeds be soaked in water, milk, or yogurt? This article delves into this process, providing step-by-step guidance for optimal results.

Our goal? To empower you with a holistic understanding of these nutritional powerhouses and their influence on overall well-being.

In previous articles, we’ve explored the potential health benefits these seeds offer and the side effects to be mindful of. We didn’t just stop at chia seeds. We also delved into nootropics with a comprehensive review of Qualia Mind, a renowned supplement.

How Long To Soak Chia Seeds?

Understanding the optimal soaking time for chia seeds can unlock their nutritional powerhouse. Generally, these seeds must be soaked for 20 minutes overnight for maximum benefits. 

Soaking in water, milk, or yogurt[1] softens their texture and enhances their digestibility and nutrient absorption. The experience is highly subjective, but it is all about finding the balance that best fits your taste buds while promoting your health. Be sure to review the potential side effects of chia seeds before adding them to your diet.

Benefits Of Soaking Chia Seeds

how long to soak chia seeds
Don’t underestimate the power of tiny chia seeds. Photo: Makistock/Shutterstock

Embarking on a quest to better health? Don’t underestimate the power of tiny chia seeds. Enhancing digestibility, promoting hydration, providing protein, and supporting gut health, are nutrient-dense allies in your health journey. Let’s discover how these small seeds make a significant impact on wellness.

Improved Digestibility

One of the top benefits of soaking chia seeds is enhanced digestibility. Soaking them before consumption can make them easier to digest, allowing your body to access the nutrients more effectively.

Promotion Of Hydration

The benefits of chia seeds in water extend beyond mere convenience. Chia seeds absorb up to 12 times their weight in water, becoming gel-like. This property helps maintain body hydration, which is essential for various bodily functions, including regulating body temperature and promoting cardiovascular health.

Rich In Protein

Eating raw chia seeds is a good source of plant-based protein. Although they might not replace the best protein powder, soaking chia seeds helps unlock their protein content, making them more accessible for absorption into the body.

Enhanced Nutrient Absorption

Soaking chia seeds releases “enzyme inhibitors” in the seeds, which can block your body’s absorption of nutrients. Therefore, soaking makes it easier for your body to access nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids[2], fiber, and minerals, maximizing their health benefits.

Gut Health

When raw chia seeds are soaked, the soluble fiber in the seeds forms a gel-like substance. This fiber aids in promoting gut health by encouraging the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, leading to a healthy microbiome, which is essential for overall health.

Weight Management

Soaked chia seeds can expand to create a sense of fullness, reducing calorie intake and aiding in weight management. Their high fiber content contributes to this satiating effect.

Improved Texture

Soaking whole chia seeds gives them a pleasant, gel-like texture. This makes them a versatile ingredient, perfect for incorporating into various dishes from smoothies to chia seed pudding, providing an easy way to enrich your meals with their potent health benefits.

Can I Soak Chia Seeds Overnight?

how long to soak chia seeds
Soaking chia seeds overnight is highly recommended for maximum benefits. Photo: Africa Studio/Shutterstock

Like the ideal steep time for a cup of tea, the perfect soaking time for chia seeds is subjective and can depend on various factors, such as the recipe in use or your preference. Typically, chia seeds need about 20 minutes to 2 hours of soaking to fully absorb liquid and morph into their iconic gel-like, edible, nutritious state.

Soaking chia seeds overnight is highly recommended for those aiming to harness the maximum benefits and hydration from the chia seeds. This entails submerging your chia seeds into your liquid of choice – water, milk, yogurt, or a combination thereof – and then allowing them to sit in your refrigerator as you sleep. 

Come morning, you’ll find your chia seeds perfectly plumped up and ready to infuse your breakfast smoothie, porridge, or yogurt with a boost of nutrition.

The ideal ratio of chia seeds to liquid is 1:10, roughly 1.5 tablespoons of chia seeds to 1 cup of liquid. However, keep tweaking this ratio to land on the texture and consistency that most tantalize your taste buds. After all, the appeal of chia seeds extends beyond their nutritional value to their culinary versatility.

In Water

Soaking chia seeds in water is the most common method. The recommended ratio is 1:10, i.e., for every tablespoon of chia seeds, you should use ten tablespoons (or about half a cup) of water. Soak the chia seeds in water for about 15-20 minutes. You’ll know they’re ready when they achieve a gel-like consistency and there’s no longer any visible liquid.

In Milk

You can soak chia seeds in milk for a creamier texture and added flavor. This is often done when making chia pudding or smoothies. The ratio remains the same for water, 1:10. However, due to milk’s denser consistency, you might need to soak the seeds a bit longer. Allow them to soak in milk for about 30-40 minutes. or until they have absorbed it and achieved the desired gel-like consistency.

In Yogurt

Soaking chia seeds in yogurt can provide a thicker, more substantial texture, ideal for breakfast bowls or a filling snack. The ratio for soaking in yogurt can vary based on personal preference and the thickness of the yogurt. Still, a good starting point is 1:8. 

Given yogurt’s thickness; soaking can take up to 60 minutes or overnight for a richer texture. Be sure to stir the mixture occasionally to help the seeds absorb the yogurt evenly.

Tips To Soak Chia Seeds

how long to soak chia seeds
A general guideline is using 1 part chia seeds to 4-6 parts liquid. Photo: Pixel-Shot/Shutterstock

When it comes to soaking chia seeds, several tips can help you make the most of their nutritional benefits and achieve the desired texture. Let’s explore tips on how to eat chia seeds in detail:

Choose The Right Liquid

Start by selecting the liquid you choose, such as water, milk (like almond milk, or coconut milk), or yogurt. Consider your taste preferences and dietary needs when making this decision.

Maintain The Seed-To-Liquid Ratio

To achieve the desired consistency, it’s important to maintain the proper ratio of chia seeds to liquid. A general guideline is using 1 part chia seeds to 4-6 parts liquid. Adjust the ratio based on your preference for a thicker or more liquid-like texture.

Stir The Mixture Well

After combining the chia seeds and liquid, stir the mixture thoroughly to ensure the seeds are evenly distributed. This prevents clumping and allows for consistent absorption of the liquid.

Allow For Soaking Time

The soaking time can vary depending on your desired texture and the liquid used. Let the mixture sit for 15-20 minutes for a quick soak. Extend the time to several hours or overnight for a more thorough soaking. Stir the mixture occasionally during the initial soaking period to prevent clumping and promote even absorption.

Experiment With Soaking Time

Feel free to experiment with soaking time to find the most texture you enjoy. For a softer texture, consider soaking the chia seeds longer or overnight. Adjust the soaking time based on your personal preference.

Consider Grinding Chia Seeds

Some prefer grinding chia seeds before soaking them to enhance digestion and nutrient absorption. Ground chia seeds tend to absorb liquid more rapidly, so keep this in mind when determining the soaking time.

Once your chia seeds are soaked, you can incorporate them into various dishes. They work well in puddings, smoothies from fresh fruit, and yogurt bowls and can be used as a topping for salads and cereals. The versatility of soaked chia seeds allows you to enjoy their nutrient-dense goodness in numerous ways.  


Soaking chia seeds in milk, water or yogurt is a beneficial practice that enhances their digestibility, promotes hydration, and increases nutrient absorption. 

By following the recommended tips for seed-to-liquid ratio and soaking time, you can enjoy the versatility of chia seeds in various dishes while reaping their rich nutritional benefits.
Soaked chia seeds provide plant-based protein, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and essential minerals. They support gut health, aid in weight management, and add a satisfying and nutritious element to meals.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should I soak chia seeds in water? 

It is recommended to soak chia seeds in water for about 15-20 minutes. During this time, the seeds absorb the water and turn into a gel-like consistency.

Can I soak chia seeds in milk?

Yes, soaking chia seeds in milk is a popular method. You can soak them in milk for about 30-40 minutes or until they have absorbed the liquid and achieved a soft texture.

Is it possible to soak chia seeds in yogurt?

Absolutely! Soaking chia seeds in yogurt is a great option. Let them soak in yogurt for about 60 minutes or overnight for a thicker and creamier texture.

What is the recommended seed-to-liquid ratio for soaking chia seeds? 

The general guideline is to use 1 part chia seeds to 4-6 parts liquid. Adjust the ratio based on the desired consistency, whether you prefer a thicker or more liquid-like texture.

Should I stir the mixture while soaking the chia seeds?

It is recommended to stir the mixture occasionally during the initial soaking period. This helps prevent clumping and ensures even absorption of the liquid by the chia seeds.

Can I eat chia seeds without soaking them? 

Yes, you can eat chia seeds raw without soaking. However, soaking them enhances their digestibility and nutrient absorption, making them easier to incorporate into your diet.

Can I grind chia seeds before soaking them? 

Grinding chia seeds before soaking can enhance digestion and nutrient absorption. Ground chia seeds tend to absorb liquid more rapidly, so keep this in mind when determining the soaking time.

How can I incorporate soaked chia seeds into my meals? 

Soaked chia seeds can be a versatile addition to your meals. They can be added to puddings, smoothies, and yogurt bowls, used as toppings for salads and cereals, or even used in baking recipes. The possibilities are endless!

+ 2 Sources

EHproject has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We work mostly with peer-reviewed studies to ensure accurate information. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

  1. Drużyńska, B., Rafał Wołosiak, Grzebalska, M., Majewska, E., M. Ciecierska and Elwira Worobiej (2021). Comparison of the Content of Selected Bioactive Components and Antiradical Properties in Yoghurts Enriched with Chia Seeds (Salvia hispanica L.) and Chia Seeds Soaked in Apple Juice. Antioxidants, [online] 10(12), pp.1989–1989. doi:https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox10121989.
  2. Bartosz Kulczyński, Kobus-Cisowska, J., M. Taczanowski, Kmiecik, D. and Gramza-Michałowska, A. (2019). The Chemical Composition and Nutritional Value of Chia Seeds—Current State of Knowledge. Nutrients, [online] 11(6), pp.1242–1242. doi:https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11061242.


Andrew, a seasoned health coach and nutrition consultant, combines his expertise in traditional naturopathy and functional medicine with exceptional writing skills. Following a significant life change due to a car accident, he transitioned to freelance writing,… See More