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Wageningen University

Nutrition, Exercise and Sports

Wageningen University via edX


Are you involved in sports or regular exercise and do you want to have a better understanding of the role of nutrition on performance and health? Do you want to learn whether certain nutritional strategies could be relevant for your own athletic performance and/or muscle growth? Are you a dietitian, personal trainer, physiotherapist or a health/sport coach and do you want to be able to provide proper nutritional advice for your clients? Or, are you none of the above but interested in nutrition, exercise and sports and do you want to make your own informed decisions about your daily food intake?

Then this online course Nutrition, Exercise and Sports is for you! Nutrition is crucial to live an active and healthy life, to support training, and to optimize performance. In this online course, researchers and teachers from Wageningen University & Research will familiarize you with the nutritional aspects of exercise and sports. What are the basic concepts in exercise physiology and sport nutrition science? How is exercise being fueled for the different types of sports like; power sports, sprinting and endurance exercise? And how does protein support skeletal muscle mass and performance? In this online course you will learn to estimate energy needs and understand thermoregulation and fluid balance. You will learn about the role of micronutrients and supplements in exercise performance. Moreover, you will be introduced to some health issues related to doing exercise.

This online course also touches upon how the lessons learned from nutrition and sports research can be applied during ageing. For example, what are the benefits of extra protein in vulnerable age groups?

Be aware that this course will not tell you exactly what to eat. Instead, you will learn and understand the nutritional aspects of exercise and sport, so you can make your own informed decisions and critically evaluate nutritional advices and claims.

For whom?

The online course Nutrition, Exercise and Sports is especially useful for:

  • Sport- and health coaches, Physiotherapists and Dietitians
  • People working in the (sport) food industry
  • Athletes and professional sporters
  • Everyone with a healthy appetite for knowledge about nutrition, exercise and sports

Ready to join the MOOC Nutrition, Exercise and Sports? This online course contains several interesting and inspiring interviews with nutrition and sport professionals. It will provide basic understanding of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, and contains challenging assignments that will give you insight in nutritional needs and performance benefits for (your) athletes, your clients or yourself.


Week 1 | Introduction to Sport Nutrition (Science)

Key topics:

An introduction into Sports, Exercise and Nutrition, including types of Sports, Sport Nutrition Pyramid. An introduction into Sport Nutrition Science - including empirical cycle, study designs, critical issues and performance measurements.

Week 2 | Skeletal Muscle, Exercise and Sports

Key topics:

An introduction into Skeletal muscle anatomy & physiology, including contraction and energy transfer. Exercise capacity: Power & Endurance. Cardiopulmonal system during Exercise

Week 3 | Energy and Fluid balance

Key topics:

Energy requirement, energy availability. Thermoregulation, Fluid balance, (de)hydration & rehydration strategies

Week 4 | Macronutrients

Key topics:

Carbohydrates & fats as energy source, nutritional strategies. Skeletal muscle protein metabolism and dietary protein intake.

Week 5 | Micronutrients and ergogenic supplements

Key topics:

Function of micronutrients and recommendations: Iron, Magnesium, calcium and Vitamins D and B. Ergogenic supplements and sports performance

Week 6 | Exercise and Nutrition during ageing

Key topics:

Skeletal muscle and ageing, Protein & Exercise in older adults, Intervention strategies

Taught by

Dr. Marco Mensink, Rieneke Terink MSc and Pol Grootswagers MSc

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4.7 rating, based on 982 reviews

Start your review of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    I am a retired male (age 60) who loss a lot of weight 8 years ago. I am not an athlete and have never participated in any sports. However, for the past 8 years, I've engage in regular intense exercise sessions at my local gym, about 7 hours per week,...
  • Great insight into athletic performance improvement through nutritional strategies. It will be very valuable to my personal journey in developing better nutritional habits and mountain biking performance.
  • Pat Buckley
    I find the course made me sit down and review my own intakes. I'm enjoying the part on aging, too, as I am 65+ though still working and getting fitter right now. I believe I lost some fitness due to a injury a couple years ago. Through this course, I'm...
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    This course is really fantastic.I came to know in details the importance of exercise and having healthy food enriched with vitamins,minerals and proteins. I never knew in details as to why it is important to ingest a correct quantity and the time to consume...
  • Anonymous
    Thanks a lot, I'm a 21 year old nutrition student and really eager to know about sport nutrition, my university classes can help me but this course made me soooo informative and super conscious about critical rew

    quirements, dangerous of overloads, crucial effect of exercise and maro and micro nutrients and....

    So now, I'm more professional in nutrition and exercise field which results in this fact that I can help my future clients and the people surrouding me . What is better than it?

    Big thank you for all this science-based information you gave us, more courses are useful too without any doubt.

    I wish all you love ,laugh and success.
  • Anonymous
    Excellent course even if you are not active in the field. I learned a lot that I can apply to exercise and nutrition in general. Great chapter on ageing, also very useful for a medical doctor. One small suggestion: a course in English pronunciation for Mr Mensink. Listen to Sander Kersten and you'll know what I mean.
  • Anonymous
    The structure of the course meets the expectations I had at the beginning. Moreover, the structure even surpassed more topics that I was not aware of. For example, although I have read about the difference between “recreational athlete” and “professional...
  • Anonymous
    Impressive amount of information which was provided in a friendly and accessible way. Great job!

    Thank you for the knowledge and the inspiration.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    The course was great. I liked the practical quests very much but I would have liked to see more measurements / experiments which can be done by a non-gym goer. I mean, I can't measure my max strength on 1 repetition of lifting if I don't have weights...
  • Anonymous
    I learn more things on this course that my actual college course, I can't balme my teacher, my college course is just less interesting and full of ramdom subject including history of hereos (btw my course was about Food technology). Anyway this course...
  • Harbans Singh
    Nutrition, exercise & performances are interrelated with each other. The performance of an athlete depends upon the level of exercises in particular sport / event and the proper nutrition provides energy requirement , the performance will be satisfactory....
  • Anonymous
    I enjoyed this course as it is very relatable and not too time consuming. The quests are a fun way to experiment gained knowledge on oneself and I have seen improvements in my own bodily functions and muscle strength. This course also enables me to better...
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    Excellent course and I learned many things that can be practically applied to my own endeavors to stay healthy as I age . The course seems to focus mainly on improving the performance of elite athletes although there was a good section on healthy aging...
  • Profile image for Merwin Martis
    Merwin Martis
    Its an excellent course giving the apt information with great examples and evidences.

    I took the course as a young adult of 35 years who experienced a lot of weight gain over the last 3 years due to reduced activity and poor diet and spent the last 1 year trying to lose the weight through different modes of dieting , exercise and most recently strength training with inconsistent results. I wanted to learn the impact of nutrition on the inner workings of the body to adapt to the right strategy for healthy weight loss. This course does wonders in providing this information and i am sure i can put this knowledge to great use. The last module on effects of aging and strategies is a most insightful and interesting topic
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    This course isn't a doddle. It is comprehensive and you need to commit to it. But the benefits you receive will be substantial in acquisition of useful/ applicable knowledge for yourself or others you might train or train with is HUGE.
    The feedback is fantastic and some of the instructors communicate with you to clarify certain aspect of your answers, so you receive correct information before proceeding onto the next topic.
    You are encouraged to explore your own exercise, diet and ? supplementation regime, analysing their appropriateness as well as investigating on the web re other topics.
    I have gained substantial knowledge that I can use both for myself and for instructing others.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    The information is presented in precise, easy to understand manner, is scientific and well balanced. The range is comprehensive and practical advice is given. For a person wanting to make a professional career in this field also, the course gives enough...
  • Anonymous
    I found this course very interesting and very informative. I applied for this course because I am a 67 year old female that has sat at a desk for the last 40 years and I needed to know how fitness and nutrition would help me keep/improve my muscle mass, muscle strength and physical functions. I have taken up bike riding, speed walking and strength training. The knowledge I have gained will keep me going for the next 30 years.
    The video's were clear and easy to follow. The print outs / handouts were great for studying and confirming what you have been taught.
    Your online course access was very user friendly. I will use edX for future classes.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    I really enjoyed taking every module of this mooc. I think it was well designed and the content was up to date. Concepts were presented in a clear way and explanations were didactical. I think the recap questions and quests were excellent to put in practice...
  • Anonymous
    This course has been really helpful for me. As a personal trainer it has helped in a way so I can understand and relate to my clients on a more personal and knowledgeable level. A lot of people I know including my clients have started 'fad' diets and I wanted to give them professional advice as to whether or not it is actually beneficial for them. Before the course I was against 'fad' diets but didn't know the scientific reasoning to explain it, therefore this course has given me a basic yet thorough understanding to nutrition, exercise and sports where I can now break it down by explaining it easily and correctly.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    I enjoyed this course a lot. The format of having relatively short videos (ranging from 2-10 minutes) and practice quizzes with detailed answers really suited my style of learning. I could take frequent breaks, save the videos and work in my own time. I paid to get a verified certificate as i found the information really beneficial for my own personal lifestyle but also my work as a personal trainer. Having proof of where i obtained my knowledge (sources) can sometimes be important.
    I highly recommend this course, even if you choose the free option (same as the paid, just without the exams and certificate).
    Never stop learning! Free education is amazing!

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