Low Carb High Fat Nutrition for Athletes with Professor Tim Noakes

Prof. Tim Noakes – Low Carb, High Fat Nutrition for Athletes

Today’s guest is the well-known and highly acclaimed scientist, doctor, ultra-marathoner, educator, author, and controversial high fat / low carbohydrate advocate, Professor Tim Noakes.

Professor Tim Noakes

Retired professor of exercise and sport science at the Univ of Cape Town in South Africa. Has run over 70 marathons and ultra marathons, author of several exercise and diet books over the past 40 years, including: The Lore of Running, The Real Meal Revolution, Waterlogged, The Lore of Nutrition, and Challenging Beliefs.

Low carb high fat can be beneficial for athletes

In this episode, we learn how Low Carb, High Fat nutrition can be beneficial for athletes and about the controversy and legal challenges Tim experienced with his nutrition beliefs, including a  4.5 year trial successfully defending himself from charges of “Unprofessional Conduct”. He explains the significance of HbA1C Value, or glycated hemoglobin, why he believes diabetes is not only a ‘disease of choice’, but is also reversible and how it can be reversed.

Insulin resistance, pre-diabetes

He discusses how pre-diabetics can adjust their diets to avoid crossing the diabetic-threshold, why he says we don’t even
carbohydrates in our diets because our body produces all the glucose and carbs that it needs from fats and proteins.

Among other groundbreaking research Tim has been involved in, we learn about the dangers of taking in too much hydration during a race.

Listen to Your Body

This episode is quite dense with nutritional information, historical information and may put some of our deepest held nutritional beliefs to the test. But as Tim says, the most important thing is that we listen to our own bodies and not necessarily any ‘experts’ (including
) to determine our optimal nutrition.

Questions Tim is asked:

3:14 First Four:

  1. How old are you?
  2. Where were you born?
  3. Where do you live now?
  4. What is your favorite race distance or type of race?

4:18 Are you running mostly on trails now?

4:55 What is your background and how did you come to your current position on nutrition?

8:29 How many runners are dealing with “insulin resistance” and what changes can they make?

9:14 What is “insulin resistance”?

10:46 How do we as runners test that we may be insulin resistant?

11:55 How can young athletes confirm if they’re insulin resistant?

14:51 How many calories is 50 grams of carbohydrates?

15:21 How important is the quality of carbohydrate?

16:16 What do you eat on a typical workout day?

17:25 Is diabetes reversible?

19:19 What are the consequences of eating a high fat, high protein diet?

21:45 Does this type of diet meant you’re just eating fried chicken?

22:38 How important is the quality of fats and proteins that you eat?

23:41 What do you eat during the day to control your diabetes?

25:10 How do you balance your blood sugar?

25:48 As an athlete what levels of carbohydrates are we able to take in and not develop Type-2 diabetes?

27:23 How do runners avoid fatigue in the marathon without fueling via carbohydrates?

33:17 Can you elaborate on your statement that ‘there is no essential requirement for carbohydrates’?

35:01 Does your liver still produce sufficient glucose even in a marathon?

36:09 How do you believe hydration factors in?

40:57 What is the connection between sodium and micronutrients as hydration aids with a Low Carb, High Fat diet?

46:39 What about autoimmune diseases and gluten intolerances?

50:35 When did you start speaking out on the Low Carb, High Fat diet?

51:53 What is The Noakes Foundation?

55:51 How can people afford to eat healthy?

57:15 What is ‘Awful’?

58:21 Any additional thoughts?

1:02:29 Final Kick Round:

  1. What is your favorite local training run (location, starting point, parking, distance, terrain and safety issues)?
  2. Favorite running book(s)?
  3. Words of Wisdom or Humor?
  4. Who or what would you like to have featured on the Run To The Top podcast?

Quotes by Tim:

“All the chronic diseases that we face today, from high blood pressure to gout to diabetes to heart disease, are all part of Insulin Resistance Syndrome. Even Osteoarthritis and Osteoporosis, in other words, weakening of the bones, are all linked to insulin resistance and high carbohydrate diets.”

“I’m so carbohydrate resistant, having a few grams extra puts my glucose control out for two days.”

“You wouldn’t want to eat what The Heart Foundation of America wants you to eat; you want to eat fats that appear in animals and in nature and in plants. Those are the fats you want to eat.”

“Running is all self-experimentation. Don’t do the same thing repeatedly. Don’t be scared to experiment.”

“The reason why this diet catches on is because within 2 or 3 weeks, you know it’s for you or it’s not. You don’t have to try it for 10 years to find out.”

Take a Listen on Your Next Run

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Mentioned in this podcast:

Run To The Top Winners Circle Facebook Community

RunnersConnect Facebook page

Book: New Atkins for a New You

Boston.com – Researchers solve mystery of 2002 Marathoner’s death

Book: Grain Brain

The Noakes Foundation

Two Oceans Marathon

Comrades Marathon

Tim Noakes’ Amazon Author Page (Kindle)

Follow Tim on:


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