Prof Tim Noakes

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 21 000 times in scientific literature and has an H-index of 77. He has won numerous awards over the years and made himself available on many editorial boards. For the final 15 years of his academic career he was rated an A1 scientist – the highest possible rating indicating a world-leading scientist – by the South African National Research Foundation.

Tim is the co-founder and Chief Medical Director of the Nutrition Network and devotes the majority of his time to promoting the low carbohydrate high fat diet (LCHF) , especially for those with insulin resistance (IR), raising funds and doing research through The Noakes Foundation (TNF) and supporting Eat Better South Africa (EBSA).

He is highly acclaimed in his field and, now in his 70s, is still physically active doing CrossFit twice a week and competing in the CrossFit Open. He is a devoted husband, father, and grandfather and now, in his retirement, is enjoying spending more time with his family.

Tim’s book, Lore of Running, is considered the “bible of the sport”. Among his other published works are: Rugby without Risk; Bob Woolmer’s Art and Science of Cricket co-written with the late Bob Woolmer; his scientific autobiography, Challenging Beliefs; Waterlogged: The Serious Problem of Overhydration in Endurance Sports; Real Meal Revolution; Raising Superheroes (overseas title: Super Food for Superchildren); The Banting Pocket Guide, Lore of Nutrition/Real Food on Trial, The Eat Right Revolution and the first of its kind co-authored Ketogenic, The science of therapeutic carbohydrate restriction in human health.

The Start of a Revolution

After coming across research which denounced current international dietary guidelines as fallacy, Prof Noakes started researching the effects of carbohydrates, proteins and fats on the human race. 

Following the publication of the best-selling book, The Real Meal Revolution, he founded The Noakes Foundation in 2014 to to raise funding to support high quality nutrition research.

The Noakes Foundation is the catalyst for this change. After being left frustrated by a decline in his personal health, Prof Noakes has made it his mission to reverse this global trend. It seeks to reveal what genuine healthy nutrition looks like and, in doing so, make a difference in the lives of millions of people.

Questioning the Science

Prof Noakes has left an indelible mark on the scientific community by challenging conventional beliefs and encouraging critical thinking throughout his career. His unwavering commitment to questioning established norms has paved the way for ground-breaking discoveries and a paradigm shift in how we approach nutrition and health.

Prof Noakes has courageously weathered the storm of criticism, facing intense scrutiny and even legal battles, all in pursuit of advancing scientific understanding and empowering individuals with accurate information.

The Legacy of Prof Noakes

Prof Noakes retired as the Professor and Director of the Research Unit of Exercise Science and Sports Medicine at the University of Cape Town (UCT) in 2014 and is now an Adjunct Professor at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT). While his career has seen him involved in some controversial circumstances, love him or hate him, his contributions to scientific research are undeniable.

Join us in embracing the legacy of Prof Noakes as we navigate the ever-evolving landscape of science, questioning the status quo, and empowering individuals to make informed decisions about their health and well-being. Together, we can challenge the boundaries of knowledge and inspire positive change for future generations.

Scientific Ranking

In 2023, ranked Prof Noakes #3 in South Africa and #1430 best scientist in the world in the field of Medicine.

In 2020 Prof Noakes was ranked 2028 (all citations) and 1696 (self-citations excluded) out of 100,000 top-cited scientists across all disciplines according to PLoS Biology. He was ranked 3rd in Sports Science globally, and 1st in Sports Scientists whose first publication was in 1973, or later.

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