100 World Class South Africans: Tim Noakes

2013-08-15 12:00

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Taking sport to another level

Tim Noakes is famous for a lot of things.

His running tally of 70 marathons; his runners’ bible The Lore of Running; his long-standing suspicion of Lance Armstrong; last year’s controversial low-carb, high-fat diet that was an about-turn on his belief in carbo-loading (‘Tear out that chapter in my book. I was wrong.’)

Outspoken, often contentious, the UCT professor founded and heads up the research arm of the world renowned Sports Science Institute of SA, which produces ground-breaking findings in exercise physiology and works with the world’s top athletes.

As the title of his autobiography Challenging Beliefs suggests, Noakes is a contester of convention. Due to (and despite) this, he’s considered a global authority in sports science.

His 1985 academic paper on fluid intake during exercise heavily criticised sports-drink companies.

This research won him the International Cannes Grand Prix award and formed the basis for Waterlogged, his book exposing the flawed science behind popular guidelines for hydration.

Over 30 years, Noakes has published some 450 scientific articles, co-authored several books and advised publications around the world.

He’s also one of the 22 founding members of the Olympic Science Academy.

In a sporting world where money and fame are increasingly dangerous factors, Noakes is a daring voice of scientific reason.

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