Taking the bite out of nutrition


When Dr Fred Wadsworth began his NHS medical training at St Thomas’ Hospital in London in the early ‘90s, the subject of nutrition was a slightly “comedy” section of the syllabus. But after ten years of professional practice, Dr Wadsworth and his colleague Dr Adam Carey identified a powerful link between nutrition, exercise and a raft of critical diseases. An innate interest in human performance drew the pair to elite sport, and what worked on the pitch is now doing wonders in the board room.

The use of nutritional and lifestyle interventions to improve human performance should seem fairly obvious by today’s standards. Twenty years ago, however, the idea of organic food was whacky and obesity a reluctant part of getting old. 

“We recognised a totally different pallet of tools where you could address these critical illnesses through lifestyle,” explains Dr Wadsworth, whose ground-breaking techniques quickly piqued interest within elite sport.

“A couple of athletes who were at the end of their professional careers came to us and went from ruination back into international teams,” he says. That garnered the attention of Sir Clive Woodward, OBE, then coach of the England national rugby union team, who adopted Fred and his practises into the heart of England’s 1997 Rugby World Cup training programme. Word got around and Fred and Adam became a dominant fixture in the field of sports nutrition.

“I think you could argue that we brought the high protein message into elite sport in the UK. If you go back to the great teams of the ‘70s, they were small individuals compared to a modern international rugby team, and that’s born out of the nutritional changes happening in that space.”

Dr Carey continued working with the England and Welsh RFUs, while Dr Wadsworth was siphoned off into premiership football and England cricket. He worked with Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea football players and toured India and Pakistan with Michael Vaughan’s 2005 Ashes winning team.

“Elite sport was where the motivation for excellence came from, but the only thing that had really jumped across to mainstream was psychology. So, we began applying these methods to a lifestyle ticket.”

In 2006, the duo launched CorPerformance, an initiative that applies their elite sport findings to individuals in corporate and high net worth environments around the world. His formulae have seen him support clients, such as Olympic rower James Cracknell, complete a 70-mile non-stop run through Death Valley in the Mojave Desert or trek across the Arctic. With psychology accounting for 50 per cent of the training, the heart of any client’s journey is coached behavioural change.

“I could talk to a bunch of 30 people and tell them exactly how to get it right, and in three months’ time maybe one person will have lost a ton of weight. But for the vast majority of people they will quickly go back to what they did before.”

To counter this default, Dr Wadsworth takes clients on a complex screening process to identify individual motivating factors. “We really do tell clients the real deal about where they are, find out where they want to be, and then instil what we call a ‘new normal’.”

Recently, the offering was digitised, meaning CorPerformance now provides an enterprise wide solution. And with the advent of Covid-19, never before has the health of Britain’s aging population been so under the spotlight. “The top executives in board rooms are usually more senior in their years, who have spent decades getting everything they want, but who now must think about getting everything that they need.”


James Cracknell running 70miles in Death Valley at 120 Fahrenheit 2
Olympic rower James Cracknell completing a 70-mile non-stop run through Death Valley
Dr Fred Wadsworth MRCOG FRCS Ed NTCC 2
Dr Fred Wadsworth

Contact the team