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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 1,180 Class Central reviews

4.4 rating at edX based on 15 ratings

Start your review of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports

  • Anonymous
    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.
  • Excellent presentation of the information. Well designed and properly paced. Although the vegetarian and vegan athlete was acknowledged, I was surprised, and a little disappointed, that not more time and attention was allotted to vegan and vegetarian diet alternatives. Still 5 stars overall!
  • 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,…
  • Anonymous
    The sports exercises and nutrition course provided a comprehensive understanding of the symbiotic relationship between physical activity and proper nutrition. The curriculum effectively combined theoretical knowledge with practical applications, off…
  • Anonymous
    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…
  • Anonymous
    This course integrates traditional sports education with sports nutrition, emphasizing the importance of nutrition in athletic performance and recovery. It comprehensively explains how diet impacts an athlete's health and exercise outcomes. The curr…
  • Anonymous
    Personally found it very enlightening. The information was presented in chunks in an easy to understand format. The presenters did an excellent job in the way the information was provided. The content was excellent and covered all aspects in a very…
    The course is very well-organized and presented, with relevant information effectively shared. As a newcomer to the field, I gained more knowledge than I initially expected, making me quite satisfied with the overall experience. I thoroughly enjoyed the learning process. However, I believe certain aspects of the course could be further developed to provide additional practical, real examples, especially in terms of ideal compositions for hydration drinks, or protein shakes, meals and snacks tailored to the specific needs of the four types of athletes.
  • Anonymous
    My main complaint about this course is the exams! SO many questions are formatted for failure. I have taken a notebook full of notes, I have screenshots of all the diagrams and graphs, but when it’s exam time, half of the questions are worded in confusing or complicated ways. The questions often seem intentionally built to only have wrong answers. 0 out of 10 with exams!! The course is about a 3 out of 10, in my opinion. I would rate it higher if the information aligned better with the exams.
  • Annetta Kurvink
    I liked this MOOC very much because I learned very interesting things, like in detail how muscles work and the required input of carbohydrates before, during and after a sports exercise. I also learned about the latest insights on protein intake, especially with aging. The nice thing about the nutrition part is that you can apply this knowledge to your own advantage.
    I also liked the variation in presentation of the information: texts, videos and questions, with good feedback on the right answers.
  • Anonymous
    If you think this course only covers the usual sports nutrition topics, prepare yourself for much more. The topics are presented in videos (usually around 3 to 7 minutes) and different speakers provide variety in both the style of presentation and the topics covered. Additional texts and tables give further details. And there's more: the transfer of findings from sports nutrition to improving the nutritional situation of senior citizens in chapter 6 is a real gem and offers great insights.
  • Anonymous
    Good morning

    I sincerely recommend this course to everyone because it is rich and provides incredible knowledge regarding Nutrition, Exercise and sport.

    Honestly, I am extremely happy to have chosen her, she enriched me with knowledge. and now thanks to this training I am well able to provide new knowledge to my students.
    And help them stay healthy by knowing how and what to take to improve their physique and their way of eating even with small financial means.
  • 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 “profess…
  • Anonymous
    Was very happy with the very useful information in this course. I will definitely use the information on elderly people, exercise and protein supplementation in my daily life as a carer.

    I thought some of the exam questions were trick questions for example where a person doing medium intensity exercise could belong to either of 2 categories not just one.
  • Anonymous
    Was very happy with the very useful information in this course. I will definitely use the information on elderly people, exercise and protein supplementation in my daily life as a carer.

    I thought some of the exam questions were trick questions for example where a person doing medium intensity exercise could belong to either of 2 categories not just one.
  • Anonymous
    I like this course in the sense that I'm actually interested in the topic. I want to be a good orthopedic when I get a job, and things like this class will help me help my patients. Not to mention that having the certificate for this class will help me in the long run, whether it be gettin an internship, a job, or just credibility.
  • Anonymous
    This is an amazing course, it taught me so much more than I expected and was very easy to understand and follow along. The follow-up questions are a great bonus too in this course because they challenge you to recall information about the videos and sub-modules. Overall it was an amazing course and I would 100% recommend it.
  • Anonymous
    Good Course. Useful information. For practising people good inputs and examples.
    Thank you.
    You can add more MCQ in the modules and more pictorial teaching material.
    More question to be included to solve at the end of each Video.

    Video quality can be better.
    More downloads should be there.
    Overall a good Course
  • Profile image for Martina Cesta
    Martina Cesta
    I think it is a great course. I learned a lot of think I didn't know and I will remember a lot of them. The use of the slides during the video helped to stay focused. Also the short time of the video helped it. The trascrition on the right helped to understand better wath it was said.
    Thank you for this course!

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