Chocolate Chia Recovery Drink

Jump to Recipe
Two homemade recovery drinks surrounded by hemp seeds, chia seeds, banana and a spoonful peanut butter

Let’s say you take a long, schwetty bike ride.
Or you finally do that Zumba class in all its awkward, pelvic thrusting glory.
Or you complete a half mary.
Or you lift weights like your name’s Xena.
Or you pedal that elliptical so fast it’s like “dance like nobody’s watching,” but you’re at the gym so, clearly, everyone’s watching. (Do work, Rhonda. Do work.)

Then what?

I’ll tell you what. You need a post-workout recovery drink, sister. And today, that’s just what I’ve got.

Coconut water and other ingredients for making a homemade chocolate coconut water drink

This workout drink is inspired by ZICO’s Chocolate Coconut Water. I know: Chocolate coconut water? Sounds weird. But NO, it’s not. It’s perhaps my best beverage discovery of late.

What’s it taste like? Just like the creamy, rich, sweet chocolate milk of your childhood with a slight hint of coconut. Every time I drink it I wish I had a giant maple long john in hand, just like my former 8-year old self would’ve done. Those were the days.

Blender of Chocolate Coconut Recovery Drink topped with chia seeds

Thankfully, even though this coconut water tastes like pure chocolate milk, it’s dairy free and makes the perfect base for a post workout recovery shake with antioxidant-rich cocoa powder, electrolyte-containing coconut water, and a hint of coconut cream for that rich, creamy texture every smoothie needs.

It’s also loaded with:

  • healthy fats and fiber from chia, flax and hemp seeds;
  • protein from peanut butter;
  • and potassium from banana

Friends, this shake is what dreams are made of.

Pouring Chocolate Coconut Chia Smoothie into a glass

I found this the perfect recovery drink after my recent rock climbing adventure. Remember that everyday life list I shared last month? Yeah, it’s coming right along.

In addition to indoor rock climbing, I’ve also been consistent with my morning meditation and planning intentional dates with John. In August we went on two movie and dinner dates, which made me realize how refreshing it is to get out and do things outside of our normal routine.

Two glasses of our Chocolate Coconut Chia Recovery Drink

Whether you’re looking for a post-workout recovery drink, healthy breakfast or snack, this is the shake for you. It’s:

Mega chocolaty
Perfectly sweet
Loaded with protein, fiber and healthy fats
Vegan and gluten-free
& Seriously delicious

Glasses of vegan Chocolate Chia Recovery Drink surrounded by ingredients used to make it

If you give this recipe a try, let us know! Leave a comment or take a picture and tag it #minimalistbaker on Instagram. And if you tackle an item on your everyday life list, take a picture and tag it #CrackLifeOpen on Instagram or Twitter so we can be adventurous life-doers together. Cheers, friends!

Holding a glass of Chocolate Coconut Chia Recovery Drink topped with toasted coconut

Chocolate Chia Recovery Drink

A creamy, rich chocolate protein shake that’s perfect for post-workout recovery. Loaded with natural electrolytes, healthy fats, fiber and tons of protein.
Author Minimalist Baker
Pouring a glass of our Chocolate Chia Recovery Drink recipe from a blender
4.70 from 13 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 2
Course Beverage, Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 Month (as popsicles)
Does it keep? In Freezer.


  • 14 ounces ZICO Chocolate Coconut Water Beverage*
  • 1/2 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 frozen ripe banana (previously peeled, sliced, and frozen)
  • 1/4 cup ice
  • 2 Tbsp salted peanut or almond butter
  • 1 Tbsp hemp seeds
  • 1/2 Tbsp flaxseed meal


  • Add chocolate coconut water and chia seeds to a blender and let rest for 10 minutes so the chia seeds can activate.
  • Add remaining ingredients and blend. For a thicker shake, add more ice and/or frozen banana.
  • Divide between two glasses (as original recipe is written) and serve immediately. Freeze leftovers into healthy popsicles!


*If you can’t find chocolate coconut water, sub coconut water + 2 Tbsp cocoa powder. Or non-dairy milk + 2 pitted dates + 2 Tbsp cocoa powder.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.

Nutrition (1 of 2 servings)

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 277 Carbohydrates: 32 g Protein: 8.6 g Fat: 13 g Saturated Fat: 3 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 145 mg Fiber: 6 g Sugar: 19 g

*This post was sponsored by ZICO Premium Coconut Water and ZICO’s newest campaign “Crack Life Open.” As always, all opinions are our own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Minimalist Baker.

Did You Make This Recipe?

Tag @minimalistbaker on Instagram and hashtag it #minimalistbaker so we can see all the deliciousness!

If you love this recipe...

Get Our Fan Favorites eBook Here!

Reader Interactions

Leave a Comment & Rating!

Have a question? Use ctrl+f or ⌘+f on your computer or the "find on page" function on your phone browser to search existing comments! Need help? Check out this tutorial!

My Rating:

  1. Christin says

    I made this today & it was fabulous! I used coconut water & cacao powder versus the Zico product. Other than that, I made as written using almond butter. Thank you for another phenomenal recipe!

  2. Eduardo says

    I had this smoothie after my morning long ride and it was spot on. Great recovery smoothie! I used cashew butter instead of almond/peanut butter and added cacao nibs as topping. I will definitely have this smoothie over and over again! Thanks 😊

  3. Lynda says

    Thank You for this delicious recipe. I also added 1/2-3/4 tsp. organic stevia along with 1/2 tablespoon honey to it and it was a lip smacking one. I have tried your CASHEW-LESS VEGAN QUESO recipe, and it was too good. I make it often, as my son Ryan loves it.

  4. Janet says

    This smoothie is beyond decadent! Used coconut water & cocoa powder rather than the Zico product. Otherwise, made as written. Lightly crushed several whole almonds for the topping. Amazing.

  5. Yvonne says

    Hello ?
    I do home exercises after I out my 4mo bug to sleep. We live in a small apartment and my kitchen is unfortunately next to her room! Can I make this earlier in the day and drink a couple of hours later?

    Love the chocolate chia seed pudding, by the way!

  6. John Marris says

    In this recipe coconut water has been used.I am glad to visit here because i am wonderful and this water has amazed me the reason is a lot of uses of the water.I think you made a lovely and tasty recipe.I love your post.

  7. Kiersten says

    This looks phenomenal! BUT I’m unfortunately allergic to coconut (it’s as miserable as it sounds). Would water and a bit of cocoa powder be a good substitute?


  8. Justin Chang says

    Tempora culpa est voluptatem, nisi molestiae ut aut atque asperiores nisi quaerat et iusto a eum enim dolores distinctio.

  9. Philip Laws says

    hi Dana,

    awesome post. my little daughter loves chocolate too much, now i should try myself for my lovely daughter. as you are food stylist, could i get any suggestion about diet control?

  10. Tanik says

    Pretty One! Chocolate coconut water :D It looks very delicious and I’m in a hurry to try it myself, but I’ve no experience about Chia seeds. whatever, I’ll share my experience after making it and I hope my this should be healthy and tasty.

  11. Debbie Hirsch says

    I made your Chocolate Chia Recovery Drink this morning for my husband so he would have it after his 20 mile run. He really liked it! I did taste it and it was delicious. I was more excited about finding the Ziko Chocolate Coconut Water at Publix! So I will make this again and drink myself after a hard workout! Thanks for all your wonderful recipes. I love ready the blogs on each one!

  12. She Rocks Fitness says

    WOW this looks so delicious and the perfect recovery drink after a sweaty Texas workout…I will have to try this after one of my humid, hot, and sticky RUNS. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Marion says


    i am from Germany and i love your recipies.
    Unfortunately in Germany i can’t get the ZICO Chocolate Coconut Water Beverage – do you have an idea how to make it with the normal coconut Water?

    Thanks a lot!!!
    Greetings from Germany

  14. Deb says

    I was looking around for something to help my evening sweet tooth when I came across this recipe. I didn’t have that drink, but I had everything else. So, I subbed drinkable kefir yogurt and added a little bit of cocoa powder. Very satisfying, thanks for the recipe.

  15. Moriah says

    I just made this drink to recover after a heated yoga class and I must say I was skeptical at first. But this is the!!! I will be making one after each class and even thinking of new ways to switch it up. (Strawberry & Chocolate, Vanilla & Blueberry). Thank you!

  16. Judy says

    Found your blog recently & am loving it! My17 year old son is trying to train for a grueling adventure (Bataan Memorial Death March) after serious knee surgery & long physical therapy. I’m looking for foods to help sustain him & give him energy as he gets his strength back – so I love your recipes that I’m finding! I really want to try this recipe for him – and myself also, I love chia and chocolate! Only thing is I just can’t eat flax, what would you suggest as a substitute? Is it in there as an oil, thickener, nutrient, what? I was thinking more chia seeds or coconut oil. Thanks!

  17. Beth @ says

    OMG I love your blog! Your pictures are seriously gorgeous and I need to go make this right now after I comment haha. I love that it high in protein, healthy fats, & is dairy free! I try to cut most dairy out of my diet and it has helped me SO much. I actually just wrote a blog post about dairy and all the icky stuff in it

    I’m definitly going to keep checking out your blog and testing out your recipes!

  18. Ashley says

    I made this tonight for a post boot camp beverage, and it really hit the spot. I chose to use plan ol’ coconut water, and add in some cocoa powder. I forgot to freeze a banana earlier so I used a room temperature one and it worked just fine. The drink wasn’t super thick, but I loved it the way it was. A+

  19. maureen says

    I made this today and added cacao powder and it was delicious. I will make again.
    thanks!! love your recipes. so good and simple to boot!

  20. Lana says

    This looks relish but I would probably sub coconut water for chocolate almond milk…. I can taste coconut water a mile away, no matter what else is in there to disguise the taste

  21. Karen says

    I am doing my first half marathon on October 19th, it is around 1 hour from home. If hubby brings this for me in storage container how do you think it would store? Would the chia seeds expand to much? Should I add them right before I drink it and give a quick shake?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I think the longer it sits the thicker it will become, but that’s not a bad thing in my opinion! Just keep it chilled if possible. Good luck on your run, Karen! Half marathons are no joke. Tag us on Instagram with a photo (#minimalistbaker) so we can see you at the finish line!

  22. Cheryl Bailey says

    I found your blog a few days ago and I am SSSOOOO HOOOOOKED! I want to try everything! This is a killer delightful pick me up…keep up the creative work so happy I found you. I am currently down sizing to a much smaller house and my husband and I are working on what basics we need. your blog will help us stock the panty.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Ah, thanks Cheryl! We keep meaning to add a pantry essentials post but haven’t yet. Glad we could still be a resource/inspiration in the meantime!

  23. Chanelle says

    Sounds really great as a post workout :) I have read that carrageenan is not good for you. It’s one the ingredients in the chocolate coconut water. Have you read about it before?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Based on my research it’s a natural preservative. I haven’t read much conclusive evidence on whether or not it’s good for you. I do feel better about it than preservatives in some products. But of course, if you feel uncomfortable with it, look for products without it!

      • Hiroshi says

        It’s not a preservative; it’s a natural emulsifier, like lecithin, that is vegan and made out of sea moss. Carrageenan is similar to guar or xanthan gum in its thickening properties.

  24. Jessica says

    I love the Xena reference… my dad loved her and my sister and I always thought it was a disturbing show. Anyway, this looks fantastic and an excellent little beverage for not only recovery but pregnancy! Thanks for sharing :) :)

  25. Lauren says

    I never thought about using chocolate coconut water! I usually make shakes like this with almond milk thanks for the great idea!

  26. Michelle says

    WOWOWOW!!! I knew this was a winner as soon as I read my email this morning. Just whirled it up in the blender and I was not wrong. Delicious! Thank you! (2/3 for me… 1/3 for the husband… sorry, husband!)

  27. The Blonde Chef says

    This recipe includes so many of my favorite things! Chocolate recovery smoothies are ALWAYS a good idea, and I love that you threw in some hemp and flax seed to up the “staying power”! Good thing I have all of these on hand… to the vitamix!

  28. Sam @ PancakeWarriors says

    I became obsessed with coconut water when I was training for my half marathon. I’m saving this for my post workout drink for Saturday when I teach spin! The ingredient list here screams healthy! If I can get healthy but tastes like chocolate milk, well just sign me up :) Thanks for sharing :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Ooh, this would be an excellent post-spin drink. I used to do spin three days a week and I’ve never experienced a more intense workout. I always walked away drenched!

  29. Danielle @ Chits and Chats and Chocolate says

    Yum! I just got hooked on coconut water, so I will definitely be wanting this after my run this morning!