Nutrition, Exercise and Sports (edX)

Nutrition, Exercise, and Sports is a free online MOOC Course, Offered by Wageningen University via edX.

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Learn about Nutrition, Exercise, and Sports and understand how nutrition can support exercise and sports performance.

  • Are you involved in sports 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, physiotherapist, or a health/sports 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 and sports and want to make your own informed decisions about your daily food intake?

Then this online course is for you!

Nutrition is crucial to living an active and healthy life, supporting training, and optimizing performance. In this 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 sports 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 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 course also touches upon how the lessons learned from nutrition and sports research can be applied during aging. 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 advice and claims.

What you’ll learn?

  • The key concepts of exercise physiology and sports nutrition science
  • Important nutritional aspects of exercise including energy, carbohydrates & fats, protein metabolism, and fluid balance
  • Why certain nutritional strategies can enhance exercise and sports performance
  • The role of micronutrients and supplements in exercise and sports
  • The relationship between Exercise, Nutrition and Health, also during ageing
  • Develop a critical mind-set in the field of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports

For whom?

This course 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? This course contains several interesting and inspiring interviews with nutrition and sports professionals. It will provide a basic understanding of Nutrition, Exercise, and Sports, and contains challenging assignments that will give you insight into nutritional needs and performance benefits for (your) athletes, your clients, or yourself.


Week 1 | Introduction to Sports Nutrition (Science)

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

Week 2 | Skeletal Muscle, Exercise, and Sports

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

Week 3 | Energy and Fluid balance

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

Week 4 | Macronutrients

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

Week 5 | Micronutrients and ergogenic supplements

The function of micronutrients and recommendations: Iron, Magnesium, Calcium and Vitamins D and B. Ergogenic supplements and sports performance

Week 6 | Exercise and Nutrition during aging

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


  • Dr. Marco Mensink
  • Rieneke Terink MSc
  • Pol Grootswagers MSc

Additional information

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8 Hours

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Course Length

6 Weeks

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