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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


4.7 rating, based on 1,071 Class Central 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
    I have a great benefit from this course, my comment is on the first part about searches was somthing boring to put it first at the start
    Thanks alot for your efforts
  • 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
    This course definitely surpassed my expectation. Both the content and the problem-answer sessions are very well designed, which makes it not only easy to follow through but also effective to reinforce what I just learned. I started the course in the hope to help my kids, who are active athletes, to receive good nutrition tips. Obviously, this course fulfills my purpose and I already attended to kids' nutrition needs. What surprised me most is the last Module dealing with issues during aging, which is perfect fit for myself! These are really eye-opening ideas, completely opposite to our conventional knowledge. They are so helpful that I immediately applied the protein intake recommendations to my every day meals. Thank you so much!
  • Anonymous
    This course is so much informative , You learn almost everything about nutrition and their topics are so good and accordingly to nutrition, by completing this course you yourself can make yourself a great balanced diet as well you will get to know different types of athletes and what are the most important nutrition factors for different types of athletes. At the end of every to topic they ask very conceptual questions which removes all your doubts and queries. This is truly a worth of buying course . Thank you wageningen university for providing this course.
  • 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
    This course was very interesting. Me as an athlete, I enjoyed gaining knowledge about the different types of sports from an academic perspective. The course begins by covering the basics of muscle contraction and the different body parts involved. This forms a good base for succesfully understanding the rest of the information in this course. The videos were a good way of delivering the information on an appealing way and kept me focussed. The exams were an accesible way to test yourself. I would recommend this course to others.
  • 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
    This course will provide you with entry level and some intermediate subjects revolving exercise and nutrition. I am now personally able to calculate hydration needs, calculating energy expenditure and know more about physiology. Every module has clips supporting the theory and quests will test your knowledge in a fun way. It has definitely improved my overall knowledge and recommend to take this course if you want to expand your knowledge in a more scientific way
  • Manuel Wills
    I really cannot put into words how amazing this course is! It's been a wonderful journey or adventure I'd say. It laid bare everything in the most simple manner the Presenters. Wow! the presentation was a discovery journey that change my Dumbass into...
  • Anonymous
    I actually learnt a lot from this course as its very helpful and explains every little details for everything you might ask for or ever wondered related to exercise and nutrition. Im very glad that i choose to join this course.
    im a dentist and my goal is to be esthetic and functional in bodybuilding area, this course taught me a lot and i took it for just knowledge.
    Thank you very much for your effort for such an amazing course :)
  • Anonymous
    Thank you very much for this course that helped me understand much better how important is to have a healthy lifestyle. With the knowledge that I got through this course I am sure that I will be able to have a healthier lifestyle than before and help the people surrounding me understand better how important is for our health to have a healthy lifestyle both with the help of nutrition and exercise.
  • 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
    Excellent course. Congratulations on the quality of the presentations and materials. It is evident that a great deal of work has gone into the course. I have downloaded the text material and have over 200 pages of content. I enjoyed the course and the range of presenters. As well as the research findings, the application in Olympic training and care of the aged were particularly interesting.
  • 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...
  • Anonymous
    I truly enjoy this study because I am already living in a fitness and wellness lifestyle. With just having a bit of background if what to consume and how the human body works on a daily basis.
    This is really helpful with self-taught and to utilize this knowledge and share with others.

    I do hope to continue with other studies such as these. Thank you!
  • Anonymous
    I liked this course as it gives you basic concepts about nutrition and exercise. If you're looking for a more specialized course on nutrition and exercise, then this is not for you. If you already have higher level nutrition education then this is not for you. If you don't have formal education in nutrition this course will help you a lot.

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