Tim Noakes: "If you've got Lore of Running, tear out the section on nutrition"

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I'm slowly working my way through Phil Maffetone's The Big Book of Endurance Training and Racing and I must say it's quite a varied read. One topic I've just finished reading is about carbohydrate intolerance. Carbohydrate Intolerance and the Two-Week Test gives a good idea what the chapter is about, though this post doesn't go into the performance affecting aspects like the book does.

I've read on numerous occasions, and with ever increasing regularity now, about how maybe we've got it all wrong and we really shouldn't be consuming anywhere near the level of carbs that we do, but this is the first time I've actually seen anyone correlate common aches and pains with our carbohydrate rich diets. This is quite an interesting topic, which I'm eager to test, especially if it'll have a positive impact on my overall health and running performance.


A couple of days after reading this chapter, I happened to notice a few people mention Tim Noakes and his new low-carb diet on Twitter. Apparently Tim has been talking quite a bit about his new found confidence in high protein and fat diets. Recently, he's given a talk for Runner's World ZA, written articles for numerous publications (Discovery Newsletter and Modern Athlete and Southern Suburbs Tatler - I can't find this article, but it's discussed here) and was also interviewed on a top talk show station in South Africa: Radio 702 (listen to it here) in which he puts his hands up and says he got it wrong all those years ago. After some self-experimentation, he now believes we really should not be consuming anywhere near as many carbs as we've previously been advised by him and many other scientists, and instead we should be consuming high levels of protein and fat. In other words, there's some truth to the apparent madness that is the Atkins Diet. He even goes on to say "If you've got Lore of Running, tear out the section on nutrition" because he no longer believes this information is correct.

The second edition of his autobiography, Challenging Beliefs: Memoirs of a Career, due out in May, will go into more detail about his change of view. I've added it to my Kindle wishlist and will definitely be purchasing this when the 2nd edition becomes available. Until then, Tim recommends people read Gary Taubes’s books: Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health, Why We Get Fat: And What to Do about It (Vintage) and The Dukan Diet.

I've always admired Tim Noakes for his expertise and now even more so. It takes a certain kind of person to put their hands up and say they got it wrong on a topic they've been promoting for years. You've really got to admire Tim Noakes for this.

Time to dig out that old copy of the Atkins Diet sitting on our bookcase.

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