Dr Tim Noakes challenges the myths of health and sports performance
through his career as scientist and medical researcher. Common
misconceptions (or once common beliefs) Dr Noakes and his team
have disproved include:
- Marathon runners cannot die of a heart attack.
- Exercisers would die if they did not drink enough.
- Exercisers should drink beyond thirst (see old and new hydration recommendations).
- Limitations of muscle physiology (ie: oxygen supply, lactic
acid, etc) determine exercise performance and motivation is irrelevant.
- It is impossible to swim a kilometer near the north pole
in nothing but Speedos.
Tim Noakes, MD, DSc, is Discovery Health professor of exercise
and sport science at the University of Cape Town in South Africa
and known throughout the academic community for the high-caliber
nature of his scientific insights and work. He is also director
of the Medical Research Council/University of Cape Town Research
Unit for Exercise Science and Sports Medicine at the Sports Science
Institute of South Africa in Newlands. Noakes was awarded a doctorate
in science (DSc) in 2002, the highest degree awarded by the University
of Cape Town. Publishing the first scientific article on exercise-associated
hyponatremia (EAH) is considered among his greatest achievements.
Noakes is a veteran of more than 70 marathons and ultra-marathons,
and his book Lore of Running (2003) is considered a classic
by serious distance runners. More recently, he published Waterlogged
where he challenges many long standing misconceptions about hydration.
In addition, Noakes is an editorial board member for many
international sport science journals and a former president of
the South African Sports Medicine Association. In 1996, he presented
the prestigious J.B. Wolffe Memorial Lecture at the American
College of Sports Medicines annual meeting. In 1999, he
was elected as one of 22 founding members of the International
Olympic Committees Olympic Science Academy. The National
Research Foundation of South Africa considers Noakes an A-rated
scientist, and in 2008 he received the Order of Mapungubwe (Silver)
from the president of South Africa.