Refreshing Lemonade Recipe (With Probiotics)

Katie Wells Avatar

Reading Time: 3 minutes

This post contains affiliate links.

Read my affiliate policy.

Probiotic lemonade recipe
Wellness Mama » Blog » Recipes » Drink Recipes » Refreshing Lemonade Recipe (With Probiotics)

Lemonade is the classic drink for a hot summer day, but the usual recipes are super sweetened and involve a lot of sugar! I love the flavor and effervescence of other fermented drinks, so why not probiotic lemonade? I looked it up to find it was a thing and decided to give it a try.

The result was wonderful, and thanks to the benefits of fermentation this lemonade contains little sugar and lots of healthy bacteria that is good for gut health.

Real Lemonade… With Probiotics!

I’m a big fan of water kefir and kombucha for their probiotics and beneficial enzymes. They do require specific cultures though, so if you don’t happen to have a SCOBY sitting around your kitchen, you are pretty much out of luck.

Luckily, there is an easy lacto-fermented drink that you can make with basic ingredients from your grocery store, and your kids will probably even drink it!

This probiotic lemonade is very easy to make and is ready in just a couple of days. As I mentioned, you don’t need any special ingredients like kefir grains or kombucha starter to make it (just the liquid from some strained yogurt).

As for the flavor, we all loved it (even the kids) and now keep a batch going through most of the summer months.

Probiotic Lemonade Recipe

What Makes Probiotic Lemonade?

Full disclosure: this recipe does call for whey, which is basically the liquid drained off of yogurt. It’s packed with probiotics and easy to make if you start the night before. The recipe is here.

I get lots of requests for a dairy-free option for this recipe (or a way to make it if you just don’t have whey around). I haven’t tried to make a dairy-free version myself yet (will update when I do), but there are dairy-free yogurts or yogurt starters that may work. I’ve also heard of using kombucha or a ginger bug as a starter. Let me know if you try it!

Probiotic lemonade recipe

Probiotic Lemonade Recipe

A fizzy and tangy fermented lemonade that has a boost of probiotics.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 2 days 5 minutes
Calories 13kcal
Author Katie Wells


12 cups



  • In a gallon size glass jar, stir together sugar and just enough hot water to dissolve the sugar.
  • Add the lemon juice and fill the jar about ¾ full with filtered water.
  • Make sure the liquid is at room temperature and then add the whey.
  • Cover tightly and let sit on the counter for 2-3 days. 
  • After 2-3 days, keep the lemonade in the refrigerator and drink 4-6 ounces per day. The flavor will continue to develop.
  • Since the sugar ferments out, it is rather tart. Add a couple drops of stevia if it is too tart for you!


Nutrition Facts
Probiotic Lemonade Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 13 Calories from Fat 1
% Daily Value*
Fat 0.1g0%
Saturated Fat 0.1g1%
Sodium 10mg0%
Carbohydrates 2.8g1%
Sugar 2.8g3%
Protein 0.2g0%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


You can add about 1 teaspoon of molasses to the sugar before dissolving to add extra minerals and a bit more sweetness. 
Blending the final product with ice cubes will make a delicious slushie (or margarita if you’re using limes!).

Like this recipe? Check out my new cookbook, or get all my recipes (over 500!) in a personalized weekly meal planner here!

Feeling adventurous? Will you try this healthy drink? Tell me below!

This simple probiotic lemonade uses natural fermentation to reduce the sugar content and add probiotics to this delicious drink.

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


206 responses to “Refreshing Lemonade Recipe (With Probiotics)”

  1. Sarah Mae Avatar
    Sarah Mae

    Can you also use water kefir grains for this recipe instead of whey? Would you add lemons before or after first ferment?

    1. Kay Avatar

      I believe you would add the lemon after the first fermentation. You’d probably have to add more sugar for the second fermentation along with the lemon. I am going to make some soon. We really love it with the whey, but the lemon will be really tasty, too. Both ways work well. Yum!

  2. Kelly Avatar

    If all of the “good stuff” is taken out in the whey, is there anything beneficial left in the “cream cheese”?I tried this last night, added whey to a smoothie this morning and am loving the “cream cheese”, but didn’t know what is beneficial that’s left…

  3. Cindy Avatar

    What can I use the yogurt for after I have taken the whey out if it? I don’t want to throw it out. But it’s just a kinda dry clump.

    1. Kay Avatar

      5 stars
      That is the curd. It is similar to cream cheese. You can use it as such, either plain, or put onion and garlic powder, different spices also works. I’m sure there are a million different things you could put in it and make it tasty. Enjoy! Hint: I put it in chili, on spaghetti sauce, etc.

  4. Jennifer Jaeger Avatar
    Jennifer Jaeger

    5 stars
    I’m new to the probiotic world and have just started making some of your fermented recipes, including this one! Is it OK to mix this with home-brewed Kombucha? To make a probiotic Arnold Palmer? 🙂 Or is it best to keep all these things separated? Thank you so much for all you do!

  5. Kay Avatar

    5 stars
    I just tried my first batch today…after sitting on the counter for 2 days. Yum!
    I used Coconut Palm Sugar… I am going to pass this along…and it is so easy to make. I made a double recipe and used extra glass jars from Tazo tea and glass bottles from fruit juice. It has just the right tartness and sweetness! Perfect! Thank you for the recipe.

  6. Lori Avatar

    katie sorry i answered the last couple of questions, though you were probably busy. Just didn’t know about the dairy part in the whey. I was going to comment as well, I had mine stored in the refrigerator for awhile, and am used to ferments that last once you put them in, it was fine but had a mess as it was very fizzy when i took off the lid.

  7. Danielle Avatar

    Which is more beneficial or are they about the same between kombucha, water Kiefer and lacto fermented sodas?

    1. Lori Avatar

      From what i’m learning they all have different beneficial yeasts, but i’ve heard that only WK, and lacto-ferments have beneficial bacterias, but Kombucha doesn’t, that’s what I’ve read of late, I’d suggest doing your own research.

  8. rachel Avatar

    I made cheese with rennet. Would the whey from that be okay to use in this lemonade?

    1. Lori Avatar

      I think it should be ok if it was strained from yogurt or cheese, just giving my thoughts as I saw your question unanswered, I hate that myself.

    1. Lori Avatar

      Any kind I will work, but most natural sugars have minerals left in them, but are more expensive, I use half and half most of the time, since it’s food for the bacterias.

  9. Nickolas Avatar

    I’m currently on the Candida diet, so no dairy or sugar (at least trying no dairy or sugar), so my questions are whether the probiotic nature of this drink out”wheys” the dairy and sugar content?

    1. Lori Avatar

      I can’t say about the dairy factor, but usually most of the sugar is “eaten” as food for the bacteria’s, although there are many other drinks out there such a Water kefir, or kvass which doesn’t need whey to start.

  10. Kaiya Avatar

    Hi i’ve read all the comments and it looks like a lot of people would like to know how to do this with kombucha as you suggested, I would like to know too, please let us know, thanks!

  11. Jane Avatar

    Thanks for the recipe, it tastes absolutely delicious! However, it did not get fizzy at all. I left it out for 2 days in 80f plus heat. What affects the level of fizziness in the end product? If it is not fizzy does that mean it did not ferment?

      1. Jane Avatar

        5 stars
        Yes. I put an airtight cap on while it was fermenting on the counter for 2 days and left it in that container with the airtight cap on when I put it in the refrigerator.

        1. Cindy Avatar

          Wondering if you ever got an answer. Mine is not fizzy at all either. I am following the recipe – so I have a cap on while its fermenting, but no fizz. Not sure if that means it didn’t ferment. I’m also making the Wellness Mama beet kvass with the same whey and no fizz in that either.

          1. Kay Avatar

            5 stars
            While it is fermenting, use a coffee filter with a rubber band over the top of the jar. Do Not Cap It. Once the 2 days of fermentation is over, then you can cap it and put in the fridge. Well worth the 2-days wait.

  12. Sarah Avatar

    I’m new to all of this…. Is a fermented drink like this safe while pregnant? It sounds really good…..

  13. Lori Avatar

    I was finally able to make some, (I needed something to make it in), I got 3 gallon sun tea jars on sale for half price this weekend when I went shopping, there were a little less that 4 bucks a piece, I’m thinking will test tomorrow, I added turbinado sugar as it has minerals left in it, it seems like less refined succulent, as I have both now as I finally found the succulent, they both look and taste alike except the turbinado sugar is like crystals and the succulent has much finer grains, does anyone know about the differences besides these.

  14. Angela Avatar

    How long does it last in the fridge? I made some about a month ago and was wondering if it’s still good.

  15. John MacDowall Avatar
    John MacDowall

    I’ve been making lots of kombucha and have started looking at herbal sodas. But most of the recipes call for 1-2 cups of sugar per gallon!!! Yipe! That’s 20g – 40g per 12 oz serving. Hire’s and Coke have 30g – 35g, respectively. Can I use Stevia for sweetener and then a little sugar for bottling with the yeast? I remember a brewer friend that used to put a teaspoon of white sugar in every bottle before he capped them. Would that work for a lacto-fermented soda?

  16. Jessica Avatar

    How should this look after it ferments? Mine looks kind of chunky, like maybe I didn’t get the whey mixed in enough.

  17. Nickolas Avatar

    5 stars
    I have made this recipe once already and it worked fine, but this time it doesn’t seem to be fermenting, even though I am sure I have done the same thing. What could be stopping it fermenting? Too much water? Too much sugar? It’s frothy on top but that’s it. Or am I just being impatient?

  18. Katie Avatar

    5 stars
    Can you add pureed strawberries to this during the fermentation to make a fermented strawberry lemonade?

  19. Shari Avatar

    To make the second batch, do you need to start with new whey? Or can you start with a cup of the previous batch?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating