Prof Tim Noakes – Author, Emeritus Professor, Athlete and LCHF Proponent

Prof Noakes was born in Harare, Zimbabwe in 1949. As a youngster, he had a keen interest in sport and attended Diocesan College in Cape Town. Following this, he studied at the University of Cape Town (UCT) and obtained an MBChB degree in 1974, an MD in 1981 and a DSc (Med) in Exercise Science in 2002. In the early 90s, Noakes teamed up with Morné du Plessis to drive the founding of the Sports Science Institute of South Africa (SSISA). The Institute was built to provide a facility that would primarily fund research in sports performance. The application of this research would provide sports personnel of all disciplines with the means to improve. Noakes and du Plessis also wanted to use it as a platform to build public interest in the country’s top sports people and build state pride.

Prof Noakes has published more than 750 scientific books and articles. He has been cited more than 16.000 times in scientific literature, has an H-index of 71 and has been rated an A1 scientist by the National Research Foundation of South Africa for a second 5-year term.  He has been physically active all his life and has run more than 70 marathons and ultra-marathons, including seven Comrades Marathons. Now well into his sixties, he still runs 21km races regularly. He has won numerous awards over the years and made himself available on many editorial boards, some of them below:

  • Cannes Grand Prix Award – 2002: In 2002, Prof Noakes was awarded the International Cannes Grand Prix Award for Research in Medicine and Water for his work on exercise-associated hyponatraemia (EAH). This work is considered one of the 40 most important “persons or events” in the sport of running in the past four decades.
  • Honorary Fellowships: In 2008, he was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Faculty of Sports and Exercise Medicine (UK), the first foreigner recognised as such. In 2015 he was made an Honorary Fellow of the Faculty of Sports and Exercise Medicine, Royal College of Physicians of Ireland in recognition of his involvement in the field of Sports and Exercise Medicine. In 2011 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the Vrije University in Amsterdam. This was in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the field of exercise physiology and sports medicine.
  • Order of Mapungubwe, Silver: In 2008 he also received the Order of Mapungubwe, Silver, from the President of South Africa for his “excellent contribution in the field of sports and the science of physical exercise”.
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: In 2012, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Research Foundation for his contribution to sports science research. In 2014 he was honoured to receive the Southern African Association for the Advancement of Science (S2A3) Gold Medal.

He has written several books detailing his research in sports science and nutrition. A selected bibliography is given below:

  • Lore of Running (1986)
  • Running Injuries: How to Prevent and Overcome Them (1990)
  • Bob Woolmer’s Art and Science of Cricket (2008)
  • Challenging Beliefs: Memoirs of a Career (2012)
  • Waterlogged: The Serious Problem of Overhydration in Endurance Sports (2012)
  • The Real Meal Revolution (2014)
  • Raising Superheroes (2015)
  • Lore of Nutrition (2017)

Prof most recent book “Lore Of Nutrition” is co-authored by himself and journalist Marika Sboros. In the preface, Professor Noakes summarizes his background as a doctor and scientist. He describes his “Damascene moment”: “It happened after I came face to face with compellingly robust evidence that contradicted everything I believed was true about optimum nutrition to treat and prevent serious diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.” The book has three main parts; the first part is about the low-carb revolution in South Africa and his first experience with a low-carb, high fat (LCHF) diet. It covers, among other things, the 2015 Low-Carb Summit in Cape Town, the so-called UCT Professor’s letter, The Naudé Review, and “The Banting for Babies Tweet” which sparked the now famous Noakes Trial. The second part covers the trial that was spread over three years, the hearing, the closing arguments and the verdict. Finally, the third part summarizes essential scientific evidence supporting the low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) dietary plan.

Prof now claims the evidence for the LCHF dietary model is the “best evidence-based model of modern human nutrition. Conversely, the low-fat, high-carb (LFHC) “prudent”, “balanced” diet promoted by most health authorities, and religiously taught at all South African medical schools is at best not evidence-based, at worst completely wrong and extremely harmful because it has caused the obesity and type-2 diabetes epidemic.”

Tomorrow Prof Noakes will be discussing the future of modern medicine alongside Dr Neville Wellington and Dr Hassina Kajee. Book your tickets to our event in Cape Town on the 7th of December here:

If you are a medical professional you may be interested in attending our 2 Day Professional Training in LCHF / Ketogenic Patient Treatment taking place in Cape Town on the 9th & 10th of February 2018 – please email if you would like more information.





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