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Chances are that you have not given much thought to what time of the day is the best time to eat. Most people make an attempt simply to eat when they are hungry and stop when they are full.


Have you ever considered whether or not the time you eat may have an effect on your health and wellness? It is possible that you are not eating at a time that is best for you and your body. Read on to learn more about the best time to eat according to Traditional Chinese Medicine.

The Chinese Body Clock

Practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) have pinpointed times of day that the various organs of the body are functioning at their best or functioning to a lesser degree. Armed with this knowledge, Chinese medicinal theory can help you to make the most of your body’s energy by using your organs at the times when they are at their peak. During a given 24-hour period, the body’s qi, or energy, moves throughout the systems of the body in two-hour intervals. At rest, the body will pull that qi inward in an effort to restore your systems. The details of those times are as follows:

best time to eat
In traditional Chinese Medicine, the energy is found in cycles, cycling from Yin to Yang and vice versa. By use the Chinese body clock to help determine where imbalances may lie for regulate our body energy flow better.

3–5 a.m. Lung: When the lungs are at their peak, it is a great time to engage in exercise.

5–7 a.m. Large intestine: As the large intestine reaches its peak, it is the best time to allow for proper elimination of waste.

9–11 a.m. Spleen: The spleen is linked to the stomach which digests food and drink. The stomach’s qi is propelled upward by the spleen during this time.

11–1 p.m. Heart: When the heart is at its peak, it is the best time to practice peacefulness.

1–3 p.m. Small Intestine: When at its peak, the small intestine takes care of nutrient absorption.

3–5 p.m. Bladder and kidney: The kidneys are said to contain the qi and are connected to the bladder. They are at their peak just when most people have dinner.

7–9 p.m. Pericardium: The pericardium protects the heart and hits its peak in the evening.

9–11 p.m. Triple burner: This concept refers to all of the body’s organs. It is at this time that they create the most amount of heat.

1–3 a.m. Liver: As the liver begins to peak, TCM recommends giving it plenty of time to rest. This means eating an early evening meal before bed and keeping that meal on the lighter side.

How to Use the Chinese Body Clock to Benefit Your Health

Since the body clock has a such close relationship with our organs, the body clock can help you to plan both meals and daily activities based on specific times so that they, and you in return, can achieve optimal performance. Ensuring that your daily actions are in sync with your organs’ most energetic times will help you to improve your health in many ways. It will lead to improved rest which is essential for stress management. Adhering to the body clock will improve your balance which may reduce injury during tough workouts. It also aids in recovery so that your body can build and repair as you sleep. Below are a few suggestions for how you can use the body clock and understand the best time to eat.

Breakfast 7a.m.-9a.m.

At this time, the large intestine has worked to eliminate waste, and the spleen and stomach are ready to begin digesting.  It is also the best time to eat.  You will want to ensure that your breakfast is neither too sweet nor too salty. Consider trying a breakfast of oatmeal with handful of berries.

9a.m. to 11.a.m.

After breakfast, spleen energy is high. It is working to digest the foods eaten for breakfast. It is at this time that you should attempt to tackle tasks that require critical thinking.

Lunch 11a.m-1p.m

Around lunchtime, yang energy is dominant and the heart’s energy is at its peak. Since this is the best time to eat, consider including pungent and hot foods alongside whole grains and steamed vegetables.


As the small intestine is absorbing nutrients, consider doing a low energy task or possibly napping if your schedule allows for it.


Before dinner, the bladder will be at its peak working on waste elimination through the filtration system of the kidneys. Try treating yourself to a warm mug of herbal tea at this time.

Dinner 5p.m.-7p.m

When dinnertime rolls around, the body’s yin is dominant making this the best time to eat. Kidney energy is at its peak. For dinner, consider items such as roasted meats, beans, fish, and cooked vegetables.


As the day winds down, pericardium energy is dominant. It is at this time that you will want to participate in some more peaceful activities. Consider doing some light reading or indulging in a little bit of self-care so that you can bring happiness to your heart and its support system.  Bubble baths and meditation are great ways to give the systems of your body – and yourself – some self-love.


Now that you understand how the body’s clock works according to TCM, you can use this information to help you determine what is the best time to eat so that your body utilises nutrient intake in the optimal way. Following the body clock routine means you can be in the greatest of health and perform daily routines to a high level. Certain organs function at their peak during certain times of the day, so consider planning your day based on when performance will be optimized. The types of foods you choose matter as well, so be sure to include foods that also encourage the organs to do their best. In addition to choosing the right foods, make sure to incorporate exercise and self-care.

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* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We can’t guarantee the treatment result, as the symptoms of conditions are unpredictable and vary greatly from person to person. The treatment length and recovery time also varies for individual. Please visit our clinics website: GinSen where a specialists will discuss your care and provide a consultation, and the treatment will be designed to meet your individual needs.

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