Drinking Water


Your body comprises of more than two thirds water. Water is uses to process waste, regulate body temperature, lubricate and cushion the joints. It is lost through breathing sweating and digestion. The Institute of Medicine recommends that men drink 13 cups (3 liters) of total beverages a day and women drink 9 cups (2.2 liters) of total beverages a day.

What is the optimal time to drink water?

1) In the morning

It is advisable to drink two glasses of water upon waking to re-hydrate.

2) Before a meal
Drink one glass of water 30 minutes before a meal to help digestion.  Drinking too much water with your meal will dilute the digestive juices. If you do drink at meal time only drink a small amount and make sure it's room temperature. Leave an hour after a meal before you drink again (Pitchford, 2002).

3) Before sleep
Drink one glass of water an hour before bedtime will help you to stay hydrated.

The American Heart Association says "Keeping the body hydrated helps the heart more easily pump blood through the blood vessels to the muscles. And, it helps the muscles remove waste so that they can work efficiently."

“If you’re well hydrated, your heart doesn't have to work as hard,”  says John Batson, M.D, a sports medicine physician.



Diet in Chinese Medicine


A good nutritious diet is high in fiber, minerals and vitamins, moderate in unsaturated fat and low in saturated fat. People who eat these diets live longer and are less prone to cancer and heart disease. According to Healing with Whole Foods (Pitchford) it should contain the following proportions:

35-60% Grains such as whole grains and cereals

20-25% Vegetables starchy and non starchy, seaweeds, microalgi

5-15% Legumes: including beans, peas and lentils

5-15% Fruits, nuts and seeds

0-10% Animal Products: meat, dairy, eggs and fish


There is a saying "Breakfast like a King, Lunch like a Prince, and Dine like a Pauper..." and another saying "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day." This makes sense in terms of Chinese Medicine. The digestive system is strongest between 7 and 9am and between 7 and 9pm. So breakfast is the best time to eat a hearty meal and we should be eating sparingly in the evening. In the West this advice is not always followed. Many people skip breakfast and eat a sandwich in front of their computer. 

Fiber and protein slow the transfer of sugar into the blood and should definitely be included at breakfast time. Oats are a good food for a slow release of energy throughout the day. The setting for meals is just as important as the food itself. "When eating just eat" is a good saying. Your body's energies should be concentrated on digesting your food. Rather than rushing your breakfast or arguing with your family take the time to chew your food so that it is digested properly and avoid distractions like mobile phones and TV when you are eating.


 Often we must eat lunch at work. Take this time to eat and socialize rather than hunching over your computer, laptop or mobile phone. A warm meal works wonders in Autumn and Winter. If your work offers warm meals you should take advantage of them. In summer months a salad makes more sense.


     The evening meal should be more simple. There is little point preparing a full meal if your body does not have the energy to digest one.  Soup fits the bill nicely. After 9pm we should avoid eating. If we must snack then fruit is a good choice as it is easy to digest. We should avoid caffeine or alcohol if we wish to have a good nights sleep.


Hicks, Hicks and Mole, 2004, Five Element Constitutional Acupuncture, Churchill Livingstone