The article created a backlash that set Coca-Cola in full retreat, and chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent wrote a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece that stated the company would be more transparent about its funding of research. Kent’s piece created an additional wave of criticism.
In a November 2014 Australian Broadcast Corporation interview, Noakes talked about his role in the overconsumption of sugar.
“I spent 33 years of my life telling athletes that they must carbohydrate load ... . And I was the first in the world to produce these GUs that people lived their races on. ... I apologize because that was completely wrong,” he said.
“GUs” are small packages of semi-solid energy paste, some with caffeine, that an endurance athlete can consume for an approximately 100-calorie infusion of carbohydrate. Noakes was referring specifically to Leppin FRN Squeezies, which he helped develop in the early 1980s. “FRN” was an initialism representing the inventors: F for Bruce Fordyce and R for Bernard Rose.