I am new to use chia seeds. I soaked them in water for about an hour and there was no significant difference in the size.

As per websites it could grow like 12 times the original size.

How much time does it need to be at its maximum size?

  • 2
    From my experience, they can gel 12 times their volume of water, but the seeds themselves don't actually expand much. The water they're in just gets goopy.
    – SourDoh
    Jan 10, 2014 at 15:51

2 Answers 2


I usually let it soak overnight, though it isn't necessary to soak that long. You should soak it till it forms a paste/gel like consistency and it would take at least 2-3 hours, though this website claims under ten minutes (time might vary depending on the batch of the seeds). You could also soak it in any juice or fruit extract as well.

Additionally, you can also use it in its raw form without soaking, the way one would use poppy/sesame seeds.

  • 2
    So...be very careful when using raw chia. They can cause blockages that can be very dangerous. I was adding a scoop to my shakes 2x's a day for a week and ended up in the ER. I had a small intestine obstruction and was at risk of rupture. I was just released yesterday after 4 days in the hospital. The Dr. Let me know that this wasn't the 1st case he has dealt with a chia blockage. I will still use them, just right way next time.
    – user33761
    Feb 23, 2015 at 21:47
  • Scarifying the seeds before soaking should give a more uniform swelling time: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scarification_%28botany%29 I use a rock tumbler with 1/2" pebbles overnight, but there are plenty of ways to do it. Jan 16, 2016 at 0:24

From my personal usage I have experienced that chia seeds works well with warm water. Warm water helps & triggers the surface of chia seeds to open-up absorbing water faster. 35C - 45C is the average permissible temperature to soak chia seeds.

It has also been observed that ceramic vessels or glasswares have good insulation property they maintain the temperature, thus giving chia seeds a favourable environment.

When it comes to time, 15-20 minutes in warm water is enough for chia seeds to increase their size. Although size depends on the type of chia seeds, because not all type chia seeds grow about 9-15 times! Water:chia seeds ratio of 5:1 should be at-least maintained for a good result.

  • 1
    Hello Vikram, and welcome! Our style is to always answer questions very literally. Your post got flagged, so I removed the part which had general advice about where to use chia seeds (which was not asked in the question) and left the part which is related to soaking. Also I changed your capitalization, as in an English text, words only get a capital letter at the beginning of a sentence or if they are the name of a person or a geographic location. It is hard to read when multiple words are started with a capital letter. Thank you for sharing your experience, I found your answer useful.
    – rumtscho
    Feb 25, 2015 at 15:46

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