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Certified Sports Nutrition Coach

As a Certified Sports Nutrition Coach, you’ll learn the evidence-based science of performance nutrition. Help your athletes and clients gain a competitive edge and reach their peak performance by fueling their bodies with the right nutrition for their needs and goals.

  • Arm your clients with the insights they need to make decision choices that will maximize their performance

  • Transform your clients’ ability to recover from tough workouts so they can give their best during every game, match, and practice

  • Learn the advanced science of periodization and nutrient timing to ensure optimal performance and recovery

  • Understand the energy and metabolism needs of each athlete to ensure they receive the optimal calorie and macronutrient intake

  • Self-paced online program makes it easy and convenient to launch your new career from home in as little as 2 weeks

  • CEU Value: 1.9 NASM


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Athletes of every sport, and at every level of competition, can gain a huge competitive advantage through a dialed-in approach to the nutritional intake designed to meet the increased performance demands of their sport. And as a NASM Certified Sports Nutrition Coach, you’ll learn how to design a personalized nutrition plan to help each and every athlete you work with to fuel their body for maximum recovery and peak performance. This program includes modules on energy and metabolism, performance nutrition strategies, nutrients and hydration, and more.

When you choose NASM to become a Certified Sports Nutrition Coach, you’ll get access to:

  • • World-class fitness & nutrition experts

  • • Peer-reviewed content from industry leaders

  • • State-of-the-art digital learning platform designed to meet multiple learning styles

  • • A curriculum that is consistently and continuously reviewed and updated with the most up-to-date material available

See the full Certified Sports Nutrition Coach curriculum here.

NASM’s online program makes becoming a Certified Sports Nutrition Coach as easy and convenient as can be. By completing the self-guided study materials at your own pace, you can become a Certified Sports Nutrition Coach and begin working with clients in as little as 2 weeks.

To become an NASM Certified Sports Nutrition Coach, you simply have to:

  1. 1) Register in the NASM CSNC program.

  2. 2) Complete the self-guided online study materials in your own time from the comfort of home.

  3. 3) Pass the certification exam.

After completing the study materials, you’ll take an online exam to become a Certified Sports Nutrition Coach. This exam features:

  • • 100 multiple-choice questions

  • • 90 minutes to complete

  • • Open-book format

  • • 70% required to pass

  • • 3 test attempts included

NASM has over 35 years of experience training the world’s top fitness professionals, and we do it better than anyone else. NASM credentials stand out to employers and distinguish you as a highly trained fitness professional.

Since our formation, we’ve trained over 1.5 million fitness professionals in 100+ countries. In that time we’ve developed extensive partnerships with over 12,000 gyms and health clubs. That means we have the connections necessary to help you get in the door and gain employment from the fitness company of your dreams.


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Being a personal trainer changed my life in so many ways. I get to do what I love. I get to change people’s lives. I get to help create awareness, inspire, motivate and I get to be that person for them.

Annie M.| NASM Master Instructor


When you are training, you spend every day on your schedule, having as much fun as you want, working as hard as you want, to me that’s freedom. To me, that’s me running my own business, and doing it the way I want to do it.

Jordan T. | NASM CPT


Becoming a certified personal trainer with NASM has given me a lot of additional tools and knowledge to elevate my training and make sure that I'm staying safe and strong along the way.

Kristen L. | NASM CPT, Professional Dancer


The thing that makes NASM different is they really break down scientific details.

Desiree H. | NASM CPT and WLS


I've been certified with NASM since January of 2021. I work as a personal trainer for the Navy. It's a wonderful second career for me because I get to continue staying fit myself as well as keeping fit the youth and veterans that have served the United States.

Fred H. | NASM CPT


Why NASM? Because I believe is the easiest, most effective, most robust way to learn the material you’re going to need to better another individual’s life.

Jake Olson | Former USC football player, NASM CES, NASM GFS, motivational speaker

Questions? Get guidance from our Program Experts

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A fitness credential is recommended but is not required for the Sports Nutrition Certification. We always recommend getting your feet wet with one of NASM's many nutrition courses.

Chapter 1: Introduction to Performance Nutrition

Learn to differentiate performance nutrition from general nutrition strategies, and understand the profession of a Sports Nutrition Coach, the skills needed, and the populations they work with.

Chapter 2: Scope of Practice

Understand a Sports Nutrition Coach's scope of practice and professional expectations, and be able to determine when to refer athletes to another professional.

Chapter 3: Evidence-Informed Practice

Differentiate evidence-informed practice from evidence-based practice and determine high-quality sources of information.

Chapter 4: Understanding the Spectrum of Athletes and Performance

Learn to identify where athletes exist within the spectrum of athlete types, and understand needs based on physiological, sociological, cultural, and ethical factors.

  • • 13 Infographics

  • • 4 Videos

  • • 17 Knowledge Checks

Chapter 5: Essentials of Metabolism

Explain aerobic and anaerobic metabolism, and be able to describe energy balance and related concepts.

Chapter 6: Energetics of Performance

Understand the difference between energy balance and energy availability, and determine fueling requirements for optimal performance.

  • • 3 Infographics

  • • 8 Videos

  • • 7 Knowledge Checks

Chapter 7: Protein

Learn about the function of protein and establish protein requirements in a dietary program.

Chapter 8: Carbohydrates

Explain the role of carbohydrates for athletes and describe methods for establishing requirements in a dietary program.

Chapter 9: Fat

Understand the role of fats in sports nutrition and how different sports may rely on fats to a greater extent than others.

Chapter 10: Micronutrients

Describe recommendations for incorporating micronutrients into an athlete's diet and identify common food sources for essential vitamins and minerals.

Chapter 11: Hydration

Communicate appropriate hydration strategies for during and between training bouts to athletes.

  • • 7 Infographics

  • • 5 Videos

  • • 29 Knowledge Checks

Chapter 12: Periodization and Nutrient Timing

Describe appropriate periodization and nutrient-timing strategies to optimize adaptations to training, enhance recovery, and to ensure optimal performance.

Chapter 13: Body Composition

Explain the relationship between body composition, athlete type, and performance, and describe methods for assessing body composition.

Chapter 14: Recovery

Identify the three R’s of recovery and their relevance to performance nutrition, and explain the importance of recuperation for athletes.

Chapter 15: Supporting the Ill/Injured Athlete

Explain the various levels of appropriate support for illness and injury based on severity and determine when client referral is necessary.

Chapter 16: Supplementation

Assess the athlete’s need for supplementation using a thorough decision-making process.

  • • 7 Infographics

  • • 5 Videos

  • • 23 Knowledge Checks

Chapter 17: Performance Nutrition Assessment and Evaluation

Identify pre-appointment data gathering methods to determine athlete’s baseline status and select appropriate nutritional assessment methods specific to an athlete based on pre-appointment data.

Chapter 18: Fueling for the Work Required

Determine appropriate dietary and supplement strategies to optimize fuel supply, fuel stores, and fuel utilization.

Chapter 19: Coaching Process/Approach

Identify barriers to behavior change, specialist diets, and their influence on adaptations to training, recovery, and athletic performance, and apply appropriate levels of coaching.

Chapter 20: Programming

Evaluate all findings from an athlete's needs analysis and design a nutrition intervention which addresses optimal health and performance goals.

  • • 5 Infographics

  • • 3 Videos

  • • 16 Knowledge Checks

  • • 6 Printable Handouts

After the completion of the course, you will take an online final exam from the comfort of your own home, or wherever you prefer to take tests. The test is 100, multiple-choice questions. You are allowed to go back and reference the course while taking the exam. The exam is timed and cannot exceed 90 minutes. To pass, you need a score of 70% or higher and you have up to 3 attempts to pass.

Certified Sports Nutrition Coach FAQs

As one of the most trusted sources of fitness training certifications in the world, NASM is a distinguished name that will stand out to fitness employers. When you choose NASM for your Sports Nutrition Coach certification, you’ll get access to world-class fitness experts, your top choice of gyms to work for, and much more:

• Peer-Reviewed Content from Industry Leaders
• State-of-the-Art Digital Learning Platform
• Programs Designed to Meet Multiple Learning Styles
• 35+ Years Of Experience Training Fitness Professionals
• 1.5M+ Fitness Professionals Trained
• 100+ Countries with NASM Fitness and Coach Professionals
• 12K+ Gym & Health Club Partnerships

Fitness professionals who should consider becoming an NASM CSNC include:

Nutrition coaches who want to help their clients eat for better health and fitness
• Sports coaches who want to help their athletes fuel their bodies to power their best performance
Strength and conditioning coaches who want to gain a systematic approach to deliver superior results to their clients
• Weekend warriors and gym enthusiasts who want to unlock their peak performance through smarter nutrition
Personal trainers who want to help their clients perform better and achieve their goals faster

A fitness credential is recommended, but not required, for the Certified Sports Nutrition Coach program. NASM offers a wide variety of nutrition programs that can help to augment and prepare you for this program.

You can complete your Sports Nutrition Coach Certification in as few as 2 weeks. In addition to its interactive multimedia-rich content, learning tools, resources, and comprehensive study-planning guide, you can also receive assistance from NASM experts when questions arise.

Absolutely! You can complete the Sports Nutrition Coach Certification program while also working full-time. The study material is 100% online and self-paced, and can be accessed on a computer, or a mobile device such as a phone or tablet.

The Certified Sports Nutrition Coach final exam is taken online inside your student portal. You'll have 365 days from the date of purchase, to study and complete the exam. This exam features:

• 100 multiple-choice questions
• 90 minutes to complete
• Open-book format
• 70% required to pass
• 3 test attempts included

Don’t worry! You’ll have 3 attempts to pass the final exam, and you can purchase additional retests by calling Member Services at 1-800-460-6276.

To maintain your certification, you must submit 1.9 CEUs (continuing education units), a renewal application, and fees every two years.