Professor Clyde Williams


  • Emeritus Professor of Sports Science

Clyde Williams graduated in Chemistry from the University of Wales and in Physiology from the University of Aberdeen. His interest in metabolism and exercise developed during his postgraduate studies in the USA and Scandinavia where he contributed to the early evidence showing the link between fatigue and glycogen depletion in human skeletal muscle. In 1978, after eight years of teaching human physiology at the University of Aberdeen, he moved to Loughborough to establish a Sports Science Research Group. In 1986, he was promoted to the first Chair in Sports Science in the UK. After eight years as Head of the Department of PE, Sports Science and Recreation Management, he went on to serve as Pro-Vice Chancellor (Research) for the University.

Professor Williams was the founding chairman of the British Association of Sports Sciences (now British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences, BASES) for which he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship, and became a Founding Fellow of the European College of Sports Science. Professor Williams completed 3 years as Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors of the former National Institute of Sports Medicine (UK). He established and became the founding chair of the Board for the Sport and Exercise Nutrition Register (SENr). A member of the 2001 RAE sub-panel for sports studies, he was elected as chair of the sub-panel for the 2008 RAE. Professor Williams serves on the editorial boards of several international journals and acts as a consultant on sport and exercise nutrition to UK and European government agencies.

Professor Williams was presented with the David Munrow Award for contributions to sports science in Higher Education (1996) by the British Universities and Colleges Physical Education Association.

In 2002 Professor Williams was awarded the title of Honorary Professor in Sports Medicine by the University of Nottingham Medical School and in 2009 he was appointed OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for services to sports science.

In 2011, he received an Honorary Fellowship of the Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons (Ed) and Royal College of Physicians (London). He was also awarded the international chair in exercise science at the Vrije University of Brussels for the academic year 2011-2012. Loughborough University and Victoria University awarded Professor Williams a DSc (2015) and honorary doctorate (2016) respectively.

Professor Williams’s research focussed on the links between nutrition and sports performance that include both laboratory and field studies. Within the broad topic of nutrition and performance, Professor Williams and his research group investigated the role of carbohydrate in general and muscle glycogen in delaying the onset of fatigue during exercise, as well as their contribution to recovery from exercise.

  • Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow and Adjunct Professor at Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia.
  • Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board for the Manchester Institute of Health and Human Performance (MIHP).
  • Visiting professor at the University of Suffolk.
  • Member of the Advisory Panel for Sport & Exercise Science at Sheffield Hallam University. 

Featured publications

  • Williams C, Rollo I. (2015) Carbohydrate Nutrition and Sports Team Performance. Sports Med, 45, (suppl.1),S13-S22.
  • Rollo I, Homewood G, Williams, C, Carter J, Goosey-Tolfrey V (2015). The influence of carbohydrate mouth-rinse on self-selected intermittent running performance. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 25,550-558.
  • Williams, C and Rollo, I (2015) Carbohydrate nutrition and sports team performance. Sports Science Exchange, 28 (140), 1-7.
  • Afman G, Garside R, Dinan N, Gant N, Betts J, Williams C. (2014). Effect of Carbohydrate or Sodium Bicarbonate Ingestion on Performance During A Validated Basketball Simulation Test. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab, 24, 632 -64
  • Betts J, Stokes KA, Toone RJ, Williams, C (2013). Growth hormone responses to consecutive exercise bouts with ingesting carbohydrate plus protein. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab, 23 (3) 257-270.
  • Ali A and Williams C (2013). Isokinetic & isometric muscle function in soccer: Effect of exercise & dehydration. J Sports Sci31(8): 907-916.
  • Rollo I, James L, Croft L, Williams C. (2012) The effect of a carbohydrate-electrolyte beverage drinking strategy on 10 mile running performance. In J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab, 22 (5) 338-346.
  • Rollo, IM, Williams, C, Nevill, ME (2011) Influence of Ingesting versus Mouth Rinsing a Carbohydrate Solution during a 1-h Run, Med Sci Sport Exerc, 43(3), pp.468-475,
  • Backhouse, SH, Bishop, NC, Biddle, SJH, Williams, C (2011) Caffeine ingestion, affect and perceived exertion during prolonged cycling, Appetite, 57; 247-252.
  • Rollo I, Williams C.(2011). Effect of mouth-rinsing carbohydrate solutions on endurance performance. Sports Med; 41(6):449-61
  • Betts J, Williams C (2010) Short-Term Recovery from Prolonged Exercise: Exploring the Potential for Protein Ingestion to Accentuate the Benefits of Carbohydrate Supplements. Sports Med;40:941-59.
  • Rollo I, Cole M, Miller R, Williams C. (2010). Influence of mouth-rinsing a carbohydrate solution on 1 hour running performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2010;42:798-804.
  • Rollo I, Williams C. (2010) Influence of ingesting a carbohydrate-electrolyte solution on 1 hour running performance in fed runners. J Sports Sci. 28(6),593-602
  • Erith S, Williams C, Stevenson E, Chamberlain S, Crews P, and Rushby, I. The effect of high carbohydrate meals with different glycaemic indices on 22 h recovery from prolonged high intensity shuttle running. In J Sport Nutr and Exerc Metab 16: 393-404, 2006.
  • Stevenson E, Williams C, and Biscoe H. The metabolic responses to high carbohydrate meals with different glycemic indices during recovery from prolonged strenuous exercise. Int J Sport Nutr and Exerc Metab 15: 291-307, 2005.
  • Stevenson E, Williams C, Marsh L, Phillips B, and Nute M. Influence of high carbohydrate mixed meals with different glycemic indexes on substrate utilization during subsequent exercise in women. Am J Clin Nutr 84: 354-360, 2006.
  • Stevenson E, Williams C, McComb G, and Oram C. Improved recovery from prolonged exercise following the consumption of Low Glycemic Index Carbohydrate Meals. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab 15: 333-349, 2005.
  • Wee S, Williams C, Tsintzas K, and Boobis L. Ingestion of a high-glycemic index meal increases muscle glycogen storage at rest but aguments its utilization during subsequent exercise. J Appl Physiol 99: 707-714, 2005.
  • Wu C-L and Williams C. A low glycemic index meal before exercise improves running capacity in man. In J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab 16: 510-527, 2006.