Health, Wellness & Performance Coaching

Professor Timothy Noakes: Life of a Skeptic (Episode #162)

April 12, 2021 Professor Timothy Noakes Season 3 Episode 15
Health, Wellness & Performance Coaching
Professor Timothy Noakes: Life of a Skeptic (Episode #162)
Show Notes Transcript

Professor Timothy Noakes has gone against the grain all his life. 1st his groundbreaking book The Lore of Running... then coming out against the idea that dehydration was the most significant risk to marathoners (turns out he was right),  then the Central Governor Theory... then... well, it goes on and on. In this once in a lifetime interview opportunity, Dr. Cooper takes a deeper dive into each aspect of Professor Noakes' controversial career, what drives him and what's next!

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Speaker 1:

Why does our body tell us to stop running before we're truly at our end point? And why is it more dangerous to drink too much rather than too little during a marathon? These are just two of the groundbreaking discoveries. Today's guest professor Timothy notes has made during his illustrious often controversial career. He holds multiple degrees, including an MD has published more than 750 scientific books and articles and has been cited 19,000 times in the scientific literature, 19,000. Welcome to the latest episode of the catalyst, health, wellness, and performance coaching podcast. I'm your host, Dr. Bradford Cooper of the catalyst coaching Institute. And this is an interview we been working on since the day we started the podcast and you'll see why it was worth the wait for all of you. Who've been anxiously waiting the news. We just confirm the Rocky mountain coaching retreat and symposium will be taking place in beautiful Estes park, Colorado, September 17th, to the 19th. If you're a health and wellness coach, this one of a kind of event is the event of the year. It's your opportunity to earn MBH WC approved education credits in a setting that will reignite that internal spark [email protected] or we're happy to discuss with you. Just shoot us email [email protected] We'll set up a call now it's time to be a catalyst. As we listen in with professor Timothy Noakes on the latest episode of the catalyst, health, wellness, and performance coaching podcast. Big pleasure today to welcome professor Timothy Noakes to the show. Thanks for joining us. This is exciting.

Speaker 2:

Well, it's my privilege. Thank you so much. Thank you for inviting me

Speaker 1:

Your background. It would be hard to identify somebody who has been out front on so many issues. When you look at your background prior to all these multiple degrees and published over 750 scientific books and articles cited 19,000 plus times in the scientific literature, professor Noakes. So many things, you just go through the list and we'll hit them all lore of running an 86 that opened the door to some things, the hypo nitremia insights, central governor theory. Now the high fat, low carb dietary guidelines. What makes you tick? Like where's all this coming from.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's a great question. I think that I'm driven to the truth. I like , I like to understand how things work and when I'm not told now that work, or when it becomes obvious to me that the explanation is wrong, then I start to dig. I kind of had a premonition of what's correct. And what's not true. And then I just become driven that day and night to find out what the real truth is. And it's, it's a problem. It's a real problem because today is wrong. It's clearly wrong. And if you kind of get up out of the mainstream, you're going to put yourself, you expose yourself to real trouble, which obviously occasion. Yes, but it's just , it's in my nature. And I think that's, my father was , was pretty much the same. I think that that's, it's pretty genetic. I suspect

Speaker 1:

Let's talk about that. As a , as a young, the young Noakes, do you

Speaker 3:

Think your parents, your teachers, some of those folks, they looked at you and said, Oh, here it comes like this guys coming down, the path, things are going to be happening, or is it something that, you know , you got through med school and, you know, down the road, things started to come together.

Speaker 2:

I think you're right. You know, I was, I was a very shy child. I had a very dominant father and he's a fantastic man. I mean, I just wouldn't have changed it for anyone, but he was very dominant and he was kind of from the Victorian era and children were kind of, they were seen and not heard and you have to get on with it . And so it was a big fight for me to , to get recognition and to be not accepted. My father accepted me, but to be noticed or acknowledged, it took a lot of effort because he was a kind of giant icon in his field. And so , so I was very shy. And then I went to medical school, sorry, let me say, I went to America on an exchange program. I went to Los Angeles, California, and that was a defining year for me because I came from this small sort of insular little city in Cape town. And it was very backward. And then I was thrust into Los Angeles and it was just amazing. It was the most fantastic year. And I think that opened my eyes to two completely different way of thinking. So I think that being exposed to America in the 1960s when America was just a fabulous place. And I think that had a big , huge impact on me. And I thought, you know, there is something bigger. And then what happened was pre-visit Christian bone up performed the first human heart transplant in Cape town at my university, or what would become my university. And that inspired me because I thought, how did this guy become so successful and do something that , and beat the rest of the world? So he was special. And I think that, that kind of said, well, you know, you can make a contribution, you can make a difference.

Speaker 3:

And you ended up in LA in the early sixties. What , what was the precursor for that? Yeah .

Speaker 2:

Program called the American field service. We started in the, at the end of the first world war, the American field service was an ambulance service in, in the trenches and in the Psalm , et cetera. And after the end of the first world war, they decided, how could they help get, make a better world? And they said, what they could do would bring children from all over the world to America, for exposure to a one-year experience in America. And that , that was the program. So I was just fortunate to be on that program. It was a very active program at the time and it was just unbelievable. It was, it was just fantastic year for me.

Speaker 3:

And you were probably 18 2017,

Speaker 2:

18, 17. Wow.

Speaker 3:

That's a long way from home, my friend. So you mentioned the controversy, it follows you everywhere. No . Nobody has read up on professor Noakes without knowing what's going on here clearly about a big part of that is your willingness to be out front. That I'm going to say desire, not even willingness have the constant critiques helped fine. Your thoughts and , and how you've pulled this stuff together or does it just become white noise for you at some point?

Speaker 2:

No. I mean, I , I'm actually very sensitive to criticism, you know , that's, that's interesting. And I always look at it and I say, right, has this person got a point of view? Are they correct? And then I decide on that and if they are correct I'll and I'll take it and say, right, I've got to change. And I think that's the reality. I'm always, it's no point defending what's untrue. That's not going to help you say , if you're wrong, you better explain it. I mean, as I was wrong on that, on the high carbohydrate diet, it was just a matter of, I couldn't sustain that. And because I knew it was harming people, let me just tell you another little story, which probably you don't know. But, so I went into research in 1976 and my professor at that time, I was running marathons. And so I was interesting in marathons and, and the professors I went to study with just by chance had written a letter in the new England journal of medicine, saying that people dying of heart attacks in marathons in South Africa. And that disproved a thing called the Bassler hypothesis. God , Dr. Bezos was a fantastic, lovely guy . And he was a pathologist in California. And he said the phonic , because it's never been found that a marathon runner has died of coronary artery disease, marathon, marathon runners are immune to heart disease. And all you have to do is finish run marathon. He actually found some people who'd had heart attacks and he wrote it in the new England journal of medicine. And Bezlo wrote back and said , no , no , no , where's the data. Where's the autopsy. And he said, Oh , there was no autopsy. He said, well, then you haven't disproved. That bothers us. So when I went to work with Lionel in his laboratory, January, 1977, 1976.

Speaker 3:

So you're about 28 at this point 27.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's right. So then I, I decided rather than run , whenever it was reporting separately that a marathon runner died , I would fly to where the autopsy had been done and I'd bring the heart back to Cape town and we'd examine it. Wow. And if we hadn't found any, by the time of the New York city marathon, 1976, November, 1976 was the first time that the New York city marathon went through the six bars. And there was a medical conference. And I told Lon , I'm going to that medical conference, my professor. And he said, that's run. But what you do is take your slides. Cause we collected slides, cool marathon runners had heart attacks. And, but we hadn't got the topsy evidence yet. So I went, he said, you're going to go to the organizer. And you're going to tell him that Lionel opiod , you must be allowed to speak. So I went to the organizer, Checko pool and Melvin , and I said, Paul, my professor says, you've got alarming to speaking. You've got no problem . He was loving that . So I got to speak in the lunch break or something. And , uh , it was so funny because there was very many angry people there because we'd all run the marathon and we were all thinking it was the onset . And so eventually with this , about, about two years later, we finally found a marathon runner with heart disease. We reported in the new England journal of medicine. So , so it was kind of, you know , I just was facing the truth and it didn't matter that the people were , would be angry with me and that they'd be disappointed, but I just had to tell them what we Trump . So that that's always been my attitude.

Speaker 3:

And how do you balance that? And I'm thinking, you know, forget the , the detail stuff. Just the day-to-day you said you are sensitive, sensitive to it is the word you use sensitive to the, this type of feedback I am as well. I think a lot of us are, how are you able to balance the two of I'm sensitive, but Doug got it. It just keeps common and common and common and common. It's just this onslaught at some, at some point,

Speaker 2:

You know , um, I think I'm very fortunate to have an amazing family and my wife's astonishing and I always seem to attract the right people to support me. So if we go a bit to my trial, which was, which was absolutely evil, it was too terrible. And what went with it? I just knew I had to get through it. And I'm within moments of deep depression there, as you can imagine. And there was a bit of post-traumatic stress disorder, but I knew I just had to get through it because I knew I was telling the truth and these people were not telling the truth. So I think the fact that I'm a runner is helps because you know, what pain and discomfort is that , you know, you have to hang on and you know, it's a marathon, you know, I've run the comrades marathon, which is 90 kilometers. And , you know, from 65 kilometers, from, from 45 miles to the end is hell and you just, you just gotta hang in there and keep going. I think that's that's attitude. I just , I'm not gonna let these people win. I'm going to, I've lost them.

Speaker 3:

W we had bargain . So on the show actually last year sometime. And he said that was his, of all . I mean, you know, Bart of all the races he's done in the entire world, that was the one that he looks at as the greatest race for him, as far as enjoying the process and experience and all that it's sounds like an incredible and very special rise . Yes . Uh , so let's just run through these, let's start with hypernatremia in, in marathon in 1985, really controversial and talk about critique. You had the whole industry that , you know, the , the Gatorade type folks out there, it turned out to be a critical insight that people like, are you kidding me? Of course, but can you kind of walk us through that journey? Explain why , why you've referred to the hydration. Science is bogus. Basically just talk us through that because I think a lot of folks have no idea even now, even now, you know, how many years later, 35 years later, the same message is kind of out there. So really we get this out , uh, walk us through the journey and what you discovered and, and what it means.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, absolutely. So when I started marathon running, we weren't allowed to drink much during the races. And so I was one of the first people pushing for more fluids to be available. And I was quite vocal about that in South Africa. And in fact, in March, 1981, I wrote an article saying that you must drink as much as you can during your marathons . This is 1991. And what you can't drink, you throw over your decree yourself, come June the first, 1991. So it's two months later, I receive a letter from a lady who's run the comrades marathon. And she tells me that you went unconscious in the race and that she was unconscious for four days. And she gives me the whole story. And the sodium was very low. And she said, why was my sodium so down ? I said, I have no idea. It's never been reported before. So then I went and made calculations and looked into it and I couldn't work out what the cause was, but it seemed to me that it was sodium loss in sweat. Didn't seem to me, it seemed to me there was something else. And then I found another three cases and one or two of them I knew had drank to excess. One of them was a lady who I had anorexia and advise us on you that you weighed herself fastidiously. And she said, you know, in the iron man, I put on four kilograms. And I said, it's not possible to put on four kilograms. He said, I did. And I said, okay. And then there was another guy who said, you know, I've got this condition and it just couldn't stop urinating. The whole night I was passing urine all night. So anyway, then we made some calculations and it became very clear to me that it was watching intoxication. So you write a paper of that in 1985, and that was the paper you're referring to. And then what happened next was I was phoned the night of the comrades , literally at 12 o'clock midnight, the race is being held in another state. And I receive a crone call from the lady who was looking after the runners who are coming to the hospital. She says, doc, I've got this in the unit intensive unit. It's full of patients. Who've got low sodiums . What do I do? I said, I don't know, but just don't give them fluid. That's all you do. Don't give them, see if they can pass urine. And so I decided next year you'd have to do some studies. So we did studies the next year. And we looked at those people who had been hospitalized. And we showed that they're all fluid overloaded by between two and six liters. So someone, one of the guys passed six liters. I'm not quite sure how many pints that is, but it's a huge amount. That's, that's six kilograms of extra weight that that's 12 pounds of extra weight that he was carrying. And then I knew it was fluid overload. And so then we we'd actually approve it now. Sorry, but now just to come back, I got into Manson 1968 and 1969, a very famous paper written two South Africans comes out in this African medical journal saying the dangers of an inadequate water intake in marathon runners. Now these are two iconic scientists in exercise science in South Africa. And they saying the dangers of too little water and dehydration will kill you. And that statement would be used by Gatorade and the American college of sports medicine as the basis for their argument. So then I said, well, why don't we go and see if this is true, let's weigh people before and after marathons and see how much weight they've lost and see if the weight loss predicts the temperature and it never did. So then I knew that that was false and there was one other thing that happened. There were two other things. I was the doctor at the cross country. South African cross County championships were held just in, in spring. And it was an incredibly hot day. And these guys were running 12 kilometers mad , three cases of heat stroke. The first year , this came over the lunch collapsed with be stroke and 12 kilometers. How can you become the economic ? Right? So then I knew it's the rate at which they were running. And so that was that, that was the other side of the story. I knew that in people doing long distances, they could over-drink , but in short distances, your problem was you running too fast, that recalls his problems. And so that became the basis for , for my beliefs. And again, it was, it was two anecdotes. I just had to see the anecdote to be able to interpret it because my mind was, was ready. If you couldn't explain it this way, then that Ray's not right. You have to be able to explain it. And so I've always looked for paradoxes and these, these were paradoxes because they weren't meant to happen in that comrades. You meant a collapse from exhaustion, from dehydration and in the Mar in the short distance rice , how can you get heat stroke ? Cause you can't get Deondra to do enough

Speaker 3:

And yet, so this was 91 ish, and yet we're now 29 years later. And I'm not sure the message is out there. I mean, it is. If you really dig in, has anything changed? Have you made other discoveries over the last, let's say five, 10 years where you say, well, actually in this situation, can you kind of give us the update of, for the marathoners, the Ironman folks, the endurance athletes, the, the ultra runners, just some general guidance for those folks?

Speaker 2:

No, I think the argument is always to drink, to thirst. And as long as you do that, and , and people have never realized that in a marathon, you don't want to carry excess weight. So to lose weight, it's actually benefit. And that's why it's so difficult in science to prove it because we can't do a study on the treadmill. It's not the same as running out of doors. And because you've got to carry your weight, if you're running out of doors and that's what the benefit of losing weight is that must be a huge benefit of losing five kilograms in a marathon. The last five Ks must be a lot easier if you're five kilograms lighter, and then you've got to look at, okay, is there a physiological failure? Or because you cause you're hydrated, but, but no one's ever been able to show that. So the point is we can never prove it , that that gaining or losing weight is going to be beneficial in the real world of Olympic competition. You have to listen to the experts and see what they doing and experts. I speak to the guys who win races. So the fluid don't really make much difference. And when you watch the tour de France and you see the guys striking that the bottles are at the bottom of the elders , that tells you, they know 500 grams of water in there in their drink bottle is too much and the same worth on their bodies. Yeah .

Speaker 3:

All right. So next domino to fall 96, thanks to your research muscle fatigue. You found that muscle fatigue is, and I'm quoting here purely an emotional state made up by the brain leading to the central governor theory that many people have heard about it. Fascinating. When I did my PhD work, that was one of the things I'd love digging into. Can you walk us through at first and then how can it be utilized by athletes to enhance their training?

Speaker 2:

Okay. So this was another dogma that when we S you know , fortunately , uh , I started sports science in South Africa with nothing. I had nothing, or you had at the moment. And I read that story. I love that.

Speaker 3:

And you had to borrow the thermometer. It seems like

Speaker 2:

The moment. And we had a treadmill that got tired at eight kilometers an hour . That's all we had. So it's very difficult to do research when you don't have any facilities. Eventually we got an oxygen analyzer, but it was the old type where you had to make the calculations yourself, not the computer ones , it's sprint , sprint that everything. And so you have to work from the basics. And so we were told in those days that when you exercise at increasing intensity oxygen consumption, rises, and then it reaches a plateau , it doesn't go any higher. And that's the VO two max. And when you reach the VO two, max you muscles and arrive it . And so we're using this archaic equipment. We were looking for this thing, this planter couldn't find it. And the problem in those days was if you did a study of elite athletes, and you wanted to say what their VO two max was, you had to say that that plateau, that each of them had flattered . Otherwise it's already there. Wasn't a maximum test. So you had a choice. You either said they plateaued , or you said we couldn't get a plateau . And you told the truth. And I said, we tell the truth. We didn't get a plateau . And so we eventually got papers published in that way. And then I began to realize, if you couldn't find a platter , then it can't be an oxygen efficiency because that's the whole, the whole vet exactly what this is . So that if you're not stopping, because there's not an oxygen deficiency, why are you stopping? So, so then we started, I came up with this wrong hypothesis that something was happening to the chemicals in the muscles and neck was causing the problem independent of oxygen deficiency. So it could be the lactate was poisoning the muscles. So I came up with that theory, and then I gave a talk at the 1996 American college of sports medicine. And there, I started talking about that the, there was something that wasn't working in the muscles, they weren't being properly regulated. And so that there was some sort of peripheral fatigue was the main factor. And I said it, but it's not oxygen deficiency, but I didn't know what it was. And I didn't have a concept of how the brain was involved then to Americans , right ? The standard critique of that article saying that is, it's not a deficiency and so on. And then I went back and read the original Hill hypothesis about what was going on. And there had said to the effect that when you reach your maximum, the heart becomes a schemic . That's essentially what he said. The heart is not getting enough blood supply. And it tells the brain to stop recruiting the muscles. That was kind of the story. And I realized that's not the way it would work. It wouldn't come through the heart. It would be a whole bunch of information coming back to the brain. And the brain would say, okay, I'm not going to recruit myself because to run faster, you have to activate or recruit more muscle. And that's the key the scientists were saying to run faster, you must use more oxygen. No, no, no, no. To move faster, you must recruit more muscle. And then you need the oxygen, but the oxygen can't drive the muscle firing and recruitment. So then that was the central governor was very simple that the brain is regulating the NASA muscle that you're recruiting. So when you get tired, it's big and you can't go faster. It's because the brain says, we've got to slow down for whatever reason, there's some threat to do homeostasis. So that was that I paused. And it was so simple to crew because we just proved that when you do a maximum efforts and you think that you're giving everything, you can, you still only activated 50% of your muscle fibers. So you've got 50% remaining. Why don't you recruit them ? Because it'll kill you if you did, or your tear, the muscles or the bones or something. So it was very easy to prove that it's true.

Speaker 3:

And so on the practical side, how can an athlete listening to this and saying, well, wait a minute. So I've still got more. When my brain's telling me, my body's telling me, you got to stop, actually do have a little extra. I don't ha I mean, one of the concepts I understand about central governor is, you know, back when we were Hunter gatherers, if you didn't have that kick in, you don't get home. Like you're stuck out there with this deer. So now there's an aid station, you know, 45 yards up the road. We know that we know it's coming. Is there a way then to override that in any way?

Speaker 2:

Yeah. What we've advanced the central governor, quite unlike Andrea has been Horst , who is my PhD students , and it's just written the next iteration of the central governor. And he's a really interesting guy because it was a world-class triathlete and he's a medical doctor, and he's a brilliant scientist. And his wife is a psychologist. So he's got an incredible background about combo . He decided to come to Cape town because he'd read about the central governor . And he said, you know, when I went to my races international races, I would look at the list of people who are competing and I'd say, well, that guy's Olympic champion. I can't beat him. This guy is the , that , that, that, and that I can beat the sixth guy. So I'm going to finish 60 . See ? And he said he would finish six. And he said until one day he was convinced he was going to finish six and with 30 kilometers to go in the run on the marathon and the unmanned, he suddenly discovered that he passed the sixth , the guy who was lined with a nice line fit . And then he suddenly was fourth . And then he was third. And then he suddenly came, he was leading. And he said, it was the easiest race he ever had in his life. He said the last 10 kilometers, it was the easiest thing. And he suddenly realized there's something else going on here . Yeah . So he looked at the psychological literature and he said, how do you cope with like pain issues if you're chronically ill and on . And he said, he, the model that he developed and which he pro he proved this to be the truth. And his PhD is downloadable on the internet. By the way, he said, three things happen when you're exercising. The first is that you feel the sensations from your muscles and your heart and everything, and that's information. And that sets the kind of the sensations of effort that you're putting in. And we all know about that. And when you start the effort, it's easy. Cause you interpreted easy and you don't have any issues somewhere along the way. You start to get an emotional response to these. And you can think of you're running a marathon. Initially the sensation you're running four minutes or three minutes ago , or whatever, did the sensation easy to cope with it ? You don't even notice it, but then halfway through the race, there's something happens and you start to get emotional relationship to those feelings. And the question is, how do you feel? How do you respond? And what you notice is all the great athletes are actually, they become energized by it. And they're very, they're emotionally positive. And what he showed in our experiments that there , that those people who fall behind the emotions become negative. And the moment your emotions become negative, your physiology changes. And you , you feel more discomfort and you have reason now to start questioning why you're doing it. Then the third thing that happens is the stopping wish . And you not decide, is it worth or not? And that's the, so-called hitting the wall. We used to talk about eating the world because you run out of Lockton. It's not that at all. What happens is you say, if I run the next 10 Ks, it's gonna hurt a lot. What's it worth ? Is it worth it? And the witness says , of course, it's where I came here to do this drop . Yeah . But the guy's coming second says no, actually coming seconds . Good enough is that those are , that's how the governor theory has helped. And I think what you have to realize is that this fatigue is in the emotion that's generated by you. And it's specific to you. It's not the guy next to you is having a completely different relationship to his fatigue. And so that's very important. So you can overcome your fatigue. He might not be able to, or vice versa. Then you cannot afford negative emotions, any negative emotions that you've finished. And then finally the stopping wish that's when it's over. And so that's, that's what we try to say, that you've got to learn to control yourself, control your emotions. And you've got to understand why you're doing it because that's what comes at the stopping, which is all about why am I doing this is the gold medal. What I want, or is the silver medal . Good enough? And if a silver medal is good enough, that's all you let it get . Right. The great example is, is John Landy, who , who ran the mile in four minutes and two seconds, seven times leading up with two Bannister breaks and Adventist of rights . And Landy in that period says I've done it seven times. I don't believe I will ever run a sub four minute mile Bannister. Does it? And then Landy does it within 48 days or something. Yeah . So it had any kind of been , he ran four seconds faster, a second, a lap faster that had nothing to do with physiology. That was mental attitudes . A hundred percent,

Speaker 3:

A hundred percent. Okay. So as you're talking us through this, I'm hearing some potential application outside of sport. Yeah. It's great for the mile. It's great for the Ironman , but have you gone down that path? Have you had some, some chats about that? What about outside of sport? Cause it sounds like there's some great application for any aspect that you're going through.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, no , I work with teams and then we talk about what are their long-term goals and you have to see yourselves as winners before you even start. That's the key, my best example was my , my son-in-law is a coach of a rugby team and he coached our university rugby team and they were put in a competition that was above the level. That's what they thought. And they would tell them , listen, you're going to come out in this competition in the first year. And you're going to be relegated to the second team next year, which would have been a disaster because it would have destroyed the sport at the university. And he came to me and he said, prof, this is the situation we ranked. Number eight. If we don't do anything this season, we're going to be relegated, which is going to be a disaster. And he said, what do I do? I said, you better teach them to believe in themselves. And that's what we worked on. And I spoke to the team from day one, we worked on self-belief and I said, you've got to see yourself winning that trophy before you even go on the field before you do your first training session. And in the end, they finished the log, the first on the log and the last, the final in the extra, extra time. And when they lost the final, which was astonishing. And then eventually they went and won the competition. And then they won the combined year. They won the competition by scoring the most points in the last five minutes that were considered the greatest comeback in the history of , of rugby. So it was all about self-belief and seeing the outcome and what ha what happened in that final game was the team was completely destroyed. They w they were losing by 15 odd points with five minutes left, and the one player they, then we put on the reserve, we put all our reserve because they needed to, by chance, you know, it wasn't the win the game, right . But they didn't know that they thought they were being put on the game to win the game. And as they went on the key player on the team, call them together. He said, listen, guys, I've had the premonition. We're going to win this game. But they had to put that bed to score three touchdowns or three tries in five minutes. Now it's much more difficult to score types , three types on that five minutes. And it isn't football. If you've got a good quarterback, this is, it's a little more complex because there's so much work time, wastage and sound, and you can't stop the clock. So he says, we're going to win this game. You just got to believe it. You see? And so then we went and won the game scored , let's go the three touchdowns. And the one before that, that scored one touchdown in 75 minutes, and then let's go three and five minutes. You know , it was just astonishing. And that, that again was the , the belief systems. So we work very much on, you've got to see the outcome long before you even start. And I mean, I learnt that from American football coaches, all the great coaches, they're just stunning and the way that they understood self-belief

Speaker 3:

Well, and I'm seeing an application across any area of health and wellness. So your marriage, your school pursuits your , if someone's wanting to decrease their, their BMI or their weight by 10 pounds, whatever it is that that same thing is, is it worth it? You know, the , the emotional response, the early on diets , easy to talk about, and we're going to get into that in a minute, but if you're starting off, you're like, yeah, Nope, no problem. I can make these changes. And then, you know, 10 days in, three months in, and you're like, ah , I don't know if this is worth it. It seems to me, unless I'm hearing it wrong, the same concepts apply to any pursuit in life, relationships, food exercise. It's not just racing. Am I hearing that right?

Speaker 2:

I think you're absolutely correct. Yeah, I did . I talked to those people and they'll say, you've got to see yourself 20 kilograms or 40 pounds lighter. You have to see yourself as that and the clothes you're going to be wearing. Cause if you don't see that it's not going to happen now that vision. So I quite agree with you. You have to seek that vision to have that vision.

Speaker 3:

So let's talk about Lewis Gordon Pew in 2005, extreme, cold swimmer. He could raise his core body temp before entering the water in. And I think you coined it anticipatory thermogenesis. Was this developed or was it something genetic that he had that you don't want to have, or I don't have? What, w w what was this?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think in retrospect, it's probably something that some people can do. You know, that's a bet and monks, they talk about the debate and monks being able to warm a, if you put a wet blanket on them at night, they will be able to warm it and raise their body temperature. So I think clearly it's not unique to him, but what he did was he was able to raise its temperature about one degree, as he thought about the swim in the cold water. And that degree was absolutely crucial because that gave him about 10 more minutes in the cold we had , we had to expose him to the cold water for 20 minutes. And 10 of that extra 10 minutes was just made it a lot safer. Yeah. He , he might not have made it if he couldn't raise his temperature beforehand. And , you know, I remember the , the swim at the North pole. So we kept it going and put the thermometer in and all these sorts of things. And he was, he was undressed and the temperature was probably three or four degrees. This is outside. This is not in the water. The water was nought or below, or I said, it was minus 1.8 , but outside, he was sweating. He was actively sweating before he brought in the water. So, I mean, that's just shows, astonishing something strange happening then .

Speaker 3:

Well , I think I do the opposite with Cole . I'm like, Oh, the pool's going to be so cold today. And I probably reduce my body temperature before I even get in. Were there certain strategies he used? Was it, was it self-talk? Was it , uh , I don't know. Was there anything practical that you can share with us that maybe we could try with that or some other area?

Speaker 2:

Well, he's, he's unique in the British, because he got it with the special forces in the United Kingdom on his third effort . So he failed twice and on the third one, he got it right. And he was inaction. And he said that he could, before you got into military action, you have to prepare yourself mentally. And he said he used the same sort of techniques in the swim. So, you know, whatever they taught in the military, that's what he was using before is from

Speaker 3:

Interesting. All right. Um, let's, let's jump into your current controversial one high fat, low carb , uh, your book real meal, re revolution. Uh , can you give us a high-level overview and then we'll dig into it a little bit more?

Speaker 2:

Sure. So here's this guy who's written the law of running, which says you must eat as much carbohydrate as you possibly can, because that's good for your health and makes your own faster . So December the 12th, 2010, I've just finished writing water log. And I sent it off to the publishers. And it's, it's a massive time. The book that was actually published with only 60% of what I was saying, the other 40%, they said, you'll be a jail.

Speaker 4:

Okay. Well, we're glad you're not calling from

Speaker 2:

That's it. So I sent the book off and I hadn't run in it. You know, you talked about the frustrations, that'd be 30 years and all the frustration I had to deal with it . So I was so glad to release it. And then in the middle of the night, I woke up, my brain said, you must go for a run tomorrow morning and you mustn't stop running because I hadn't been running enough. So I went and I had the worst run of my life, and I've heard there's a little Hill outside of the house. And I came to the top and I used to be a really good deal runner . I reached the top and I felt like I was at the top of Mount Everest. Well, hothead was through the roof and it was, I was exhausted. So I got home and I said , you're not overweight by about 20 kilograms. I can't run. I'm getting old. How am I going to solve this problem out? Because I'm too old to run a hundred miles a week. I can't do that. Right ? Because that's the only way I could ever control my weight because I'm into resistance , eating a high carb diet. I had to run 90 a hundred miles a week. Then I would get to lightest weight . But at the minute I stopped, my renter just shoot up. So anyway, I get home and I open my emails and there's an advert for a book. And it just so happens. I've got that book. So the book advert says, lose six pounds in six weeks without hunger. This book actually says lose up to 15 pounds in two weeks, but it doesn't say without hunger, when I saw the, without hunger, I said, this is ridiculous. You can't lose weight without hunger. I said, who said this? And then I read Eric Westman, Steve, Jeff , Ella . I said, but they're good scientists. How can they save us ? This is crackery. This is a disgrace. And who they linked to Atkins. He tried to kill us. He told us these saturated fat, and I spent 33 years trying to get people off their fat. So I would say, this is such a disgrace . I've got to go and read the book , drive down a buck by the book. And this is the copy. And I open it. And after three hours, I said, Oh my God , I've got it wrong. And there was a statement in here . And then I went and looked at the publications. I've even underlined them. I noticed I've underlined these things. I said, but I didn't know any of these studies, how can they be true? Then I realized they were true because they published in the nutrition and metabolism and the American journal of clinical nutrition. I said, they can't be frauds . They must be telling us. Right. So I said, okay, three RS . I'm not, that's my last column . So converted to the, to the low low-carb high-fat diet. And within a day I felt better. And I , instead of losing six pounds in six weeks, I lost 11 pounds in six weeks. And so then, and then within six weeks, my running went back 20 years. Literally I was running at 60, was running as fast as I was at 40. It was like a miracle. I mean, it was astonishing. And , uh , so that, so that was, I then realized that there was there's something happening here. And that was important, but I didn't tell anyone, but they saw, cause I'd lost 40 pounds. They said, what did you do if got cancer? Then there was a Christian. So I said , no, I haven't got cancer. I'm eating the Atkins diet, the Atkins diet, what are you mad? You're going to die. Your artery is et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. So eventually I had to write about it. And then I got no . Then my profession went after me. I lost all my funding. And , and then eventually I was charged with sending , getting people to eat a diet that was going to kill them. And so we went through that. Yeah .

Speaker 3:

Well the , the natural question comes into my mind and maybe for some of the listeners too, because I know you're tracking this, you know, your, your blood levels, the lipids, all those kinds of things that people would be like, well, no, that'll cause my LDLs to go through the roof, that'll cut. Walk us through that side of the equation, just for folks that might be having that natural question.

Speaker 2:

So, so what happened was I then went on the diet and then I noticed my fasting glucose was out of that. And it was in the diabetic range. And I, you know, I'm not someone who likes to, to do things and measure things that are bad. I went through major good things. I know I'm just, that's my nature. So I left it for about a year and then I was fully tested for screen pre-diabetes and a clearly a type two diabetes. So then I spoke to people I trusted in the low-carb community and they said, you need to go into Metformin, which I did. And I strengthened up my diet. My way was I cut the carbs even to be like 25 grams. And then I as able to put myself into remission, I bought all my glucose values into the beautifully , in the normal range. So I was able to put my type two diabetes in remission. And then I began to realize reading this, that the diabetes is the killer it's. If you get heart disease, it's diabetic heart disease, MSA that we say you can have diabetic nerve damage, diabetic neuropathy. You can have kidney failure, diabetes, diabetic nephropathy, but your contact diabetes, heart disease, no that's Cornerstore cholesterol has got nothing to do with it. And how do we know that? Because if you lower your cholesterol, you almost make no difference to your heart attack risk. If, if something is causal and you treat the cause the disease must disappear. That's the definition. Of course. So if you lower your cholesterol to the range that we told is normal, and you do not reverse diabetes, I'm sorry. You don't prevent heart disease. Cholesterol is not the cause . That is the definition of course, but unfortunately epidemiologist has kind of weakened what causes, because it's associated with what's called causal. The cause of heart disease is type two diabetes, insulin resistance, high glucose, high. That's what causes heart disease. Now my values are in the normal range. So therefore I don't worry. My cholesterol is beautifully elevated. My LDL cholesterol is fantastic. And at my age , 70, the higher it is the longer you live. So that's a paradox that I could never understand. Why, why up to 65 is cholesterol, a risk factor, but after 65, it's a risk factor for short life. So it's all nonsense. It's diabetes that is causing arterial disease. And all my values are the best. So of course I'm going to die of something, but, but the beauty is I should be dead now because my dad had diabetes for 10 years and died. And it's the worst possible death I've had my diabetes for 10 years, at least. Cause I know that the diagnosis for 10 years, but there's a period where I wasn't diagnosed. It could have been two or three years. And so far, I don't have any obvious symptoms of type two diabetes or the signs of illness. So I've done pretty well for , for 10 years. It's not gonna last forever. They don't understand, but at least when I do, or if I get the conditions, whatever they are, I'll say, well , pretend years , I had a fantastic life. I had a very high quality life and I did the best I could. But some things you can't traverse.

Speaker 3:

So how about for athletes? It seems to me, I remember you and Dave, Scott had done some work together. Um, different recommendations for somebody that is tr Dave's not training right now because of his injury, but you know, somebody who's training three, four or five hours a day, different recommendations, or have, have you explored that path at all?

Speaker 2:

Yeah. And that day, brilliant. Cause they've read my book, the real meal revolution. And when he saw it, he realized that perhaps he's more vegetarian plant-based that was not ideal . And he converted and he said that the changes were miraculous and this is in his sixties, early sixties, early sixties. And he said, I will never prescribe a low fat diet to an athlete doing the training that I was doing. And he admitted, he said that he could have done with some of the mental benefits of this time when he was winning six on men . He said it was tough. There were days when it was tough. And he said that he believes that his tough days might've been helped. If he'd been eating a high fat diet. What it does mean was Mark Allen was eating a much higher protein and fat diet and was only eating 30% carbs when he was training. So he was, he was partially adapted to our five fat diet. And you could always do that. What always interests me about Mark. And he was so well-defined his muscles were so well, he didn't have much subcutaneous fat and I couldn't understand, he looked different than the other ads . But the best example is the one that makes me laugh is Paula Newby Fraser. Now Paula is from South Africa and she, she went over and I knew her well. And she helped us in various things because I helped the team in a race called the London to Paris triathlon. Can you believe it? This is a triathlete triathlon event where they ran from London to diver. Then they swam the English channel and then they cycled to Paris and she happened to be watching the race and following it. And by then she was the top triathlete in South Africa and she got the right to go to the iron man. And she, I think she came third in her first Ironman and she was still hardly trained . She then went to America and she started training really hard. And she find me system I'm exhausted. I said, Paula you're over-training and I go back and do less. And so on which he did. But the key was she phoned me because she greats something that Steve was one of the authors of this book. He did a study in 1994 and showed that the high fat diet wasn't bad for you. He didn't say it was better than I carved out . And she phoned me and she said, Tim, do you think I should eat, put more, add more fat in my diet. I said, Paula , in the iron Ironman , that makes sense. So here I am telling everyone else to eat a high-carbohydrate diet and I tell it to eat more fat and she interprets that she should stop eating carbs literally. And she goes on a high fat , low carb diet and wins 28 on men and eight at Kona . H I mean, she, when she retired, she came to me and she said the most important single piece of my career, I didn't really say that. I never said that. So anyway , we laugh a lot about that one that convinced me that certainly for the iron man, it makes sense to be fat adapted. And the Dave Scott, who's got more experience than him, you know, you can't do away with that experience. And , and it's funny that he and both Mark and I both realized that they needed more fat and more protein in the dots .

Speaker 3:

So still incredibly controversial. I mean, there's not a , I was going to say a day that goes by. There's not 10 seconds. That goes by why is it just that our bodies are so unique that this might be better for this person that might be better for this person that we can't as a scientific community come down on. This is the answer because for every great argument that we have on this side, we have seemingly equal over here. Can you help us figure that out? I think that's true .

Speaker 2:

What I can tell you is that evidence on the other side is nowhere as strong as the evidence on our side , that , that I can promise you, but , but it doesn't get a fair hearing. And then I'll tell you why it doesn't get a straight hearing. And the person who really presented this argument is Gary Tubbs , who just by chance I have is fantastic book, which was so influential to me, good calories, bad calories, but he's just written a book, the case for Quito. And he describes it. Absolutely. And I discussed this with him and, and it , the way he puts it in the case for Quito, it just comes through absolutely clearly. And the problem is that there are two types of humans and that I need to you're either can eat all the food you like, of whatever nature, and you don't get fat, or you eat the certain foods and you will get fat and the way that the fatten easily and I'm affecting easily. And so's Gary . And so Nina Tasha , and so is everyone who's ever written a book. And so I think, I guess Eric Westman and Steve penny, Jeff Ehrlich was always leaning , but I would guess that Eric Westman and Steve Finney were also slightly overweight. And they discovered that the only way to control our weight is to eat a low carbohydrate diet. Now, if, as Gary Taubes audits , you're a researcher and you're thin and you are researching and you will conclude that anyone can eat the diet that you eat and they should stay Ben . And only reason you stay is because you're disciplined and you're not gluttonous . And you do lots of exercise. And that's why you're fan the fact that your biology could be totally different and unique compared to the people who fit in easily, doesn't cross your mind. And so whenever you see a fat person, as I was, you see, Oh , you see gnosis problem. He's just lazy. And his Latinoness the fact that I was running a hundred miles a week or whatever, doesn't quite enter the equation. And that's the problem. You will find that 99% of the people promote the low carbohydrate diet from a scientific point of view, or as a treatment we're fat once upon a time. And we lost, right . And we realized that, and the people arguing the other way, offend people, and they've been genetically thin , and they've never had to address the problem of how do I lose weight because they've never had to lose weight. And that's the divine , the problem is industry. So it helps these people, the people who have no problem with, right. And they get all the funding and the low-carb people, we just ostracized.

Speaker 3:

There's so much I wanted to, I'm watching the clock because I really appreciate you taking the time with us here. Let's hit two more. If you were to start the journey over, if you were to look back you're, I think you turned 72 this year, right. If you were to look back and say, I'm going to recreate the journey, what would you do differently that you could have tweaked?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think I would have probably done a few other sports than just running. I think that , uh , I would've liked to have gotten to CrossFit earlier cause I'm not . But I think that, yeah , I would've liked to be a good swimmer and I would like to do more triathlons. I think that they more safe on your body perhaps than just running from a scientific point of view. I think, you know, I couldn't have done anything differently and I'm very happy in , and the reason why we perhaps was successful because it was in South Africa and I could do my own thing. Whereas I don't think I would have been able to do my own thing in other places. This is I would have been isolated perhaps and people just didn't pay. When I was doing the conventional low cost , high carb diets, everyone was happy with me. No one complained. And they gave me all these awards and all the funding I needed. And so it was going fantastically. But as soon as I found the truth, of course, then it changed. Um , no, I don't think I would have changed it. I would perhaps would have liked to change the environment. I think, you know , being a doctor is, is it, it's a great training, but it's a dreadful profession. And I think the professions falling apart because they're not addressing the real truth. They're not addressing the fact that that's so important and that , but what I get great pleasure when I speak to young doctors and they say, Dr. Nicks , you saved my career. I can not cure patients. And that really makes me happy. So I think that I would've liked to be able to influence the profession more and get them to accept that this diet is critically important for, for the health of , of large proportion of the population. But otherwise, no, I've had a lovely time. I've had a great time. And , and do you know , even the trial was bred for that . Brothers were awful, but I wouldn't change it for one thing because I learned so much from it . And I met so many good people. And , uh, and I think in the end, people will look back in 20 years time and say , that was a very important part of this. The low-carb movement. That trial was very important. Yeah.

Speaker 3:

All right . Last one. Just advice for, for those people that say, I want to go out on a limb, I want to be like professor Noakes . I want to, you know, send this message or speak this way at a conference or whatever, but I'm just getting so much pushback. What guidance would you give that person who wants to be that shining star that, that difference maker, but they're just feeling so much pressure from everyone around .

Speaker 2:

Yeah. Yeah. You know , that's a great question. Cause cause bullying what's happening is bullying and that , and that's a difficult one. And my son is actually researching the bullying that I went through, particularly on social media and looking at this issue. And unfortunately bullying is very, very prevalent in academia. And so you have to have the strength to realize that what you're saying is much more important than what's happening to you. And you have to understand that you're not the problem that these people are the problem and that doesn't help often. You just have to have the courage that in the end, the truth has to be exposed. If you honestly believe that what you're doing is exposing the truth. And, and you can provide that evidence. You must just keep going because in the end you will be, you'll be saying , I'm going to say Belafonte will be better

Speaker 5:

And you will be proven

Speaker 2:

To be correct. And in the end, the truth, the truth will be exposed. It just takes 20, 30, 40 years. And you may not be around when it comes. But you made that contribution. When you think about, about Atkins, who , who, what he was saying was absolutely true. And he was completely vilified yet . Ken , John Yadkin , who promoted the problems of sugar who exposed them in the 1970s, who was completely vilified lost all his funding today, we know it was correct. So that's , that's the price of it. You , you just have to go with it and believe in it and , and just keep doing it, but find people who support you cause you need, you need a core people to , to support you. And I've got that core of people and the low-carb group is, is remarkable in the way they support each of us. So, so, but you have to have it in the family as well. You know, my greatest friend now is the man who defended me in my trial, Dr. Rocky Ramdas from Pietermaritzburg who , this is a lovely story. And this is interesting how these things happen. He had a case in Pietermaritzburg where eight people died in a running race or running event that was organized by the department of transport because they had in South Africa, many people not applied the advertise, they needed nine 90 new policemen or something to that effect, but they had 90,000 applications. So they said, well , we're going to have to put these 90,000 people to run five kilometers. They must be able to run five kilometers. Eight people died in that five kilometer race . And so Rocky had knew that I'd written waterlogged and he approached me and said, would you help defend these people in this case? And so he saw something in me that he really liked. And then when I was charged, because I just trusted him so much, I phoned him. I said, Rocky, I'm in trouble. I need you to help you sit in everything for free. And we had, we had four amazing years doing this and we had so much fun in despite all the, the problems and the pain and the discomfort that I was suffering. We built this incredible friendship, which were lost all my life. And so those are the things that happen on , on the, on the journey. The journey has to be difficult. You know, when you run the Conrad's mouth and you finish ,

Speaker 5:

I'll never run it again. And of course, the next day you're back in training. And this is the same

Speaker 2:

In the moment in the trial in the moment. It's horrible . It's terrible. But, but when it's done, you say, gosh, I wouldn't have not gone through it. It was just so worthwhile. Professor Noakes . This was such

Speaker 1:

A privilege. Really appreciate it . Uh , Suzanne and I hope to, at some point, get down in South Africa, get a chance to sit down with you, have a cup of coffee, but thanks for taking this time today. Really appreciate it.

Speaker 2:

Well, thank you so much. Cause it's been, it's like being a one minute interview. It's going to , to your brilliant, brilliant . Thank you so much. Thank you . I've enjoyed every minute of it and I hope you will get to Cape town. We will, then I can show you , show you everything that we'll run that Hill . You talked about. If I'm still able , you'll be there. You'll be there. Fantastic. Thanks so much. Take care.

Speaker 1:

Oh, that was so good. Professor Noakes is part of the reason I selected the topic that I did for my PhD dissertation. Yes. He's had his share of controversy as you heard, but through it all, he has absolutely been a catalyst. What an honor to have him join us today. Thank you for tuning into the number one podcast for health and wellness coaching. The next episode is another legend. Catherine Switzer. If that name doesn't immediately mean a bell, Google it. And you'll say, Oh yeah, Switzer was the first woman to officially run the Boston marathon. Your Google search will reveal one of the most iconic pictures in sport. As the Boston marathon race director was so angry about a woman having the gall to run in quotes his race, that he tried to rip off her number and pull her from the course. What happened next of course, is history as always feel free to reach out to us. Any questions about your current or future coaching career [email protected], where you can tap into additional health wireless performance, coaching [email protected] Now it's time to be a catalyst making a positive impact in the lives of our clients and community without burning ourselves out in the process. This is Dr. Bradford Cooper of the catalyst coaching Institute. I'll speak soon on another episode of the catalyst, health, wellness, and performance coaching podcast, or maybe over on the YouTube coaching channel.