It is recommended within the theory of TCM to avoid consuming stimulants, including coffee,
caffeinated teas, energy drinks, etc., between the hours of 11am and 1pm. Here’s why:
There are 12 main Channels that circulate Qi throughout the body. There is a specific order in
which these Channels flow from one into the other in a continuous fashion. One theory
considers that each of the 12 main Channels has a 2-hour block within a 24-hour clock during
which it is most replete with Qi.

As you can see from the diagram above, the hours in which the Heart Channel is most replete
with Qi is between 11am-1pm. The Heart is the Fire organ and tends to generate fire when over-
stimulated. The emotion that relates to the Heart when in a balanced state is that of joy.
Excessive Qi in the Heart Channel can create excessive joy, or mania. Another manifestation of
too much Qi in the Heart Channel is anxiety.

Stimulants consumed during the Heart hours are thought to add Fire to the organ that already
tends to Fire. This can result in a state of anxiety. If one already tends to be anxious, one can
imagine the effect of a cup of coffee during that time of day.

People who drink a lot of coffee often will reach a point where they remark on their own that
they feel anxious or ‘jittery’. When it is one’s desire to cut back on coffee consumption for this
reason, it is advisable to start by removing any coffee or other caffeinated beverage during the
Heart hours.

If you’re a coffee lover like myself, you might be interested in watching this short video
summary of studies done on its consumption.

Bottom line? There is overall a slight benefit to longevity with coffee consumption. Tea is even better. Coffee time!

If you would like to book our licensed and experienced acupuncturist and doctor of TCM Dr. Peter Wood at Evolve, please email

DISCLAIMER: These posts should not be used to self-diagnose or self-treat any health, medical, physical or psychiatric condition. Information shared via posts does not replace professional healthcare advice specific to your condition and needs. If you are unsure whether you would benefit from implementing tools discussed in these posts, please contact your healthcare provider.