- 1. National Academy of Sports Medicine Nutrition Coach Certification
- 2. Precision Level 1 Certification
- 3. International Sports Sciences Association Nutritionist
- 4. National Council on Strength and Fitness Sports Nutrition Specialist
- 5. American Council on Exercise Fitness Nutrition Specialist
- 6. NESTA Fitness Nutritionist Course
- 7. Wrapping It Up
As a fitness professional, your work is to help your clients achieve their health and fitness goals. And, apart from creating workout programs for them and training them, you need to offer them solid nutritional advice, that matches whichever goal they want to achieve. After all, they will only accomplish their health and fitness goals, if they combine consistent training with the right diet.
Hence, it’s important to ensure you are adequately informed and equipped, to provide proper nutritional advice to your clients. And you can equip yourself with this information by pursuing a nutrition course.
The sports nutrition industry is a large one. The competition is stiff, but it's a large market, so if you can manage to grow your business to critical mass, then you're setting yourself up to do well. In a market as large as this one, there's always going to be plenty of choices. So many, in fact, that it can lead to analysis paralysis.
With so many nutrition courses for personal trainers to choose from, figuring out the right one for your needs is not easy. And, we’ve put together this guide specifically for you. In this article, we’ve compiled a list of the top 6 best nutrition courses for fitness professionals.
1. National Academy of Sports Medicine Nutrition Coach Certification
Established in 1987, the National Academy of Sports Medicine, or NASM, is one of the oldest certification programs for fitness professionals. NASM offers a wide range of fitness and nutrition courses, including a certified nutrition coach certification.
Its fitness nutrition certification is designed to enhance your knowledge in diet and nutrition so that you can help your fitness clients accomplish their health and fitness goals. It’s currently one of the best nutrition coach certifications on the market.
The NASM nutrition certification coach will equip you with the latest nutrition information for losing fat, building muscle as well as becoming healthier. It will also teach you the psychology and science of the mental plateaus, which your clients may be dealing with when following a particular diet or trying to get healthier.
This fitness and nutrition course will also equip you with the skills needed to help modify your client’s behavior via nutritional science. Besides equipping you with the above skills, the NASM nutrition coach certification also comes with 1.9 NASM continuous education units or CEUs.
This nutrition certification course for personal trainers costs approximately $899. While this course may be costlier than most of the other options on the market, you are assured of getting a well-rounded education in fitness nutrition.
You can enroll online for this course at any time. So, if you are looking for an online course in fitness and nutrition, then you should check out this one from NASM. It will take you approximately 12 weeks to complete this personal trainers nutrition certification.
2. Precision Level 1 Certification
Launched in 2005, Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification focuses on two main aspects. And these are behavior change coaching and nutrition. This nutritionist certification course features well-organized and easy-to-follow learning materials.
In this nutrition and wellness certification, you will learn how to teach better eating habits and diet to your fitness clients. Also, it will teach you how to help clients who may be into fad diets. Furthermore, the Precision Level 1 Certification will also equip you with skills on how to help fitness clients set, achieve and maintain goals.
While this nutritionist certification course only opens for enrollment twice per year, you also have the option of purchasing it via the International Sports Science Association or ISSA. If you enroll for it via ISSA, you will have the option of starting at any time.
This nutrition and fitness certification goes for around $999. After registering for this certification, you will receive a workbook and study guide, an online study platform, more than several premium coaching tools, a three-unit textbook, 20 animated lecture videos, as well as client assessment forms and questionnaires.
The Precision Nutritional Certification is endorsed by ACE (American Council on Exercise). Also, it has several positive testimonials and reviews, meaning it’s one of the best nutrition courses for fitness coaches.
3. International Sports Sciences Association Nutritionist
ISSA has been offering personal trainer certifications since 1988. It established its fitness nutrition program around 2009. Since it was launched, its nutrition program has grown to become one of the most popular among fitness professionals. What makes it such a hit among fitness coaches, personal trainers and other fitness professionals is that it covers almost anything related to nutrition and health coaching. So, when you pass this certification successfully, you will be adequately prepared to offer proper nutritional guidance to your fitness clients.
You don’t need any academic or work experience to enroll in this online course in fitness and nutrition. However, you are required to complete it within a maximum of eight months. You will then sit an exam, which you must pass to earn this nutrition wellness certification.
Just like the NASM nutrition certification, the ISSA nutritionist certification course can also earn you continuous education units. Hence, it’s a great fit for fitness professionals who are trying to reach their yearly CEU requirement while acquiring something that can boost their expertise.
With the ISSA nutritionist certification, you will learn about micronutrients and macronutrients to help your fitness clients with their diets, set proper diet goals with clients, use supplementation properly, understand diet fads, myths and trends, as well as how to run a nutrition coaching business.
If you decide to enroll for this fitness nutrition certification, you are going to pay around $799. You can purchase it alone or as a bundle with other ISSA fitness certifications and you will get a discount. They also run exclusive offers from time to time.
4. National Council on Strength and Fitness Sports Nutrition Specialist
The National Council on Strength and Fitness (NCSF) offers accredited nutrition certifications for current and upcoming fitness professionals globally.
However, unlike other nutrition certifications out there, NCSF only specializes in sports nutrition. Hence, it will be the ideal nutritionist certification course for fitness professionals working with athletes.
As much as you can still pursue this personal trainer nutrition course if you are a beginner, it’s mainly designed for experienced fitness professionals like strength trainers, fitness instructors, and fitness coaches, who are looking to enhance their knowledge in nutrition, so that they can deliver customized, performance-based nutritional guides to their clients.
This certification costs between $420 and $480. As you can see, it’s one of the cheapest nutrition certifications on the market. You will require a high school diploma or similar qualifications to enroll in this course. The NCSF nutrition wellness certification is self-paced, meaning you are at liberty to move at your pace. But, it shouldn’t take you more than four months to complete.
5. American Council on Exercise Fitness Nutrition Specialist
The American Council on Exercise (ACE) nutrition specialist certification is another great fitness and nutrition certification for personal trainers.
The ACE fitness nutrition certification teaches two main basics. These are nutrition foundations as well as behavior change coaching. It will also teach you how to set up a nutrition coaching business, in case you decide to pursue this route later on.
Some of this certification’s modules include how to help your clients make better food choices, a better understanding of nutrition, how to help your clients choose healthier foods with more nutrients, as well as behavior change techniques to steer your clients in the right direction when it comes to their eating habits.
It’s worth mentioning that you can only enroll for ACE fitness nutrition certification if you have another professional fitness credential or certification. So, if you are not a certified fitness coach, personal trainer, or healthcare professional, then you can’t be allowed to enroll for this certification.
As for the costs, you have two options to explore. You can simply go for the e-book, which costs approximately $600 as well as a combination of a hard copy and e-book, which will set you back around $700.
6. NESTA Fitness Nutritionist Course
The NESTA fitness nutritionist certification is another great fitness and nutrition course for personal trainers and fitness professionals looking to enhance their knowledge in nutrition.
For this nutrition and wellness certification, you have two options to explore. First, you can simply go for the fitness nutrition coach certification. This course is ideal for those who will be offering their services to the general public. Second, there’s the NESTA sports nutrition specialist certification, designed for those who will be offering their services to professional athletes.
But, regardless of the course that you choose, you will learn almost everything that you need when it comes to fitness nutrition. Enrolment for these two courses is open to anyone, regardless of whether you have any experience or education in the fitness industry.
The cost of the general fitness nutrition coach certification is around $300 while the sports nutrition specialist certification costs $350. You also have the option of buying both courses together for $450, meaning you will save around $200.
Once you’ve gone through the study materials, you will be required to sit a 100-question exam. You will be given two hours to complete this multiple-choice test and you must score at least 70% and above to become a NESTA-certified nutritionist. You will be given a maximum of three tries to pass this certification exam.
7. Wrapping It Up
If you are looking to enhance your knowledge in nutrition, the six courses we’ve discussed here will provide a great start. All the courses we’ve discussed are comprehensive, accredited and widely recognized. You simply need to choose a course that best suits your budget, personal interests, and clientele. But regardless of the course, you choose, you will be more adequately prepared to help your clients reach their fitness and nutrition goals.