Sports Nutrition BRE303

Sports Nutrition - study online, improve your knowledge of nutrition and performance in sports

  • Learn how a better diet can affect sporting performance.
  • Learn about different diets for training, and for competition.
  • Learn about body composition, fluids, energy, weight management, the use of sports supplements, and more.
  • Study to improve your job and career prospects in the field of sports - suitable for trainers, coaches, life coaches, fitness instructors, amateur and professional sports people, and more.

Course Structure and Lesson Content

There are 9 lessons in the Sports Nutrition course, as follows:

Lesson 1 Introduction to Human and Sports Nutrition

This lesson gives the student a basic grounding in human nutrition as it relates to sport.

  • Topics include: dietary nutrients; recommended daily intake; the balanced diet; carbohydrates (including the glycaemic index), fats and proteins.

Lesson 2 Energy

This lesson explains the concept of chemical energy and how it is produced in the human body.

  • Topics include: Calories and Kilojoules; energy systems and adenosine triphosphate; and aerobic v. anaerobic respiration.

Lesson 3 Energy in the athlete’s body

This lesson examines how energy is utilised in the human body.

  • Topics include: aerobic capacity; respiratory quotient; metabolism; stages of exercise; energy sources during exercise; and protein as an energy source.

Lesson 4 The Training Diet

Looks at the principles of a training diet and how to design an effective training diet.

  • Topics include carbohydrates; proteins and the protein needs of athletes; fats; other nutrients (such as antioxidants); and meal timing.

Lesson 5 The Competition Diet

In this lesson, the student will learn about the principles behind and how to design a diet for an athlete for the days leading up to, during and after a competition.

  • Topics include: carbohydrate loading and the carbohydrate needs of athletes; guidelines for pre competition eating; eating during competition; competition, fatigue and nutrition; and competition recovery requirements.

Lesson 6 Fluids

Explains the importance of fluids in an athlete’s diet.

  • Topics include: the function of water in the human body; fluid needs in humans; water and solute regulation in the body; electrolytes; water and body temperature regulation; fluid intake before, during and after exercise; and intravenous fluid replacement.

Lesson 7 The Athlete’s Body Composition

Teaches students about the body composition of an athlete, and methods of measuring body composition.

  • Topics include: components of the human body; body composition assessment techniques; the importance of body composition to performance; and the body mass index.

Lesson 8 Weight Management

This lesson examines effective methods for weight reduction and body fat control where they are deemed necessary.

  • Topics include: the mechanics of weight loss; why athletes may want to lose weight; “making weight” and “cutting up”; weight loss and physical performance; overweight people; weight change and low energy diets; tips for losing body fat; key characteristics of a safe weight reduction diet; and eating disorders.

Lesson 9 Training for Size and the use of Sports Supplements

Examines methods of increasing muscle mass and assesses the use of sports supplements.

  • Topics include: how to gain weight; gaining muscle mass; evaluating the use of sports supplements; types of sports supplements; and supplements and drug testing.

Course Duration: 100 hours.

Summary of Competencies Developed

On successful completion of the course you should be able to do the following:

  • To have a basic grounding in human nutrition as it relates to sport.

  • Understand energy and how energy is produced in the body.

  • Explain how energy is utilised in the human body.

  • Understand the characteristics of, and to be able to design an effective training diet.

  • Design a diet for an athlete.

  • Understand the principles of and be able to design an athletic diet for the days leading up to, during and after a competition.

  • Explain the importance of fluids in an athletic diet.

  • Define the body composition of an athlete, and to become aware of the methods of measuring body composition.

  • To examine effective methods for weight reduction and body fat control where they are deemed necessary.

  • Examine methods of increasing muscle mass and to assess the use of sports supplements.

What the Course Covers

You will study a wide range of topics, through a combination of reading, interacting with tutors, undertaking research and practical tasks, and watching videos.Topics and subject areas you will cover include:

  • Essential nutrients.

  • The difference between fats and oils.

  • The importance of carbohydrates, proteins and fats in the human diet.

  • Define energy.

  • Understand how ATP is converted to energy in the human body.

  • Determine the difference between aerobic and anaerobic respiration.

  • Understand how actively contracting muscles get more ATP.

  • Know main sources of ATP for muscles that are performing intense activity.

  • Understand which substances provide the most efficient supply of energy to the human body.

  • Know which energy sources are used throughout the exercise session?

  • Be able to define the following terms:

    • Gluconeogenesis

    • RQ

    • VO2 max

    • TDEE

  • Be able to name three things commonly measured during fitness tests.

  • Outline the primary differences between the nutritional needs of an athlete and the nutritional needs of members of the general population.

  • Design a diet for an athlete.

  • Understand the need for athletes to eat plenty of carbohydrates.

  • An athlete has just finished running a half marathon (21km). What advice would you give them to help speed their recovery?

  • Why do athletes need more fluid in their diet than the general population?

  • What are the signs of dehydration in an athlete?

  • Be able to define the following terms:

    • Electrolyte

    • Body water balance

    • Dehydration

    • Hypohydration

    • Euhydration

    • Hyponatremia

  • Research three common ways of determining the % of body fat present.

  • Be able to discuss the importance of body composition to sporting performance for a sport.

  • Understand the difference between subcutaneous and visceral fat.

  • Research one of the eating disorders -

    • anorexia nervosa

    • bulimia nervosa

    • anorexia athletica

  • Know why an athlete want to lose weight.

  • Learn about the health risks of being overweight.

  • Be able to determine what the possible benefits are of lowered body fat in a sport.

  • Determine the difference between a dietary supplement and a nutritional ergogenic aid.

  • Come up with three suggested meals for an athlete.

  • Research the effects of one of the nutritional ergogenic aids.

State of Health

A person’s state of health is affected strongly by two things:

1. Hereditary –the genetic make a person has inherited from their parents

2. Lifestyle behaviour–what a person does, and in particular what the person eats and the physical activity they do or don’t undertake

Poor eating habits are a lifestyle behaviour problem with all ages of people.

Good diet and proper exercise are different things. However, in order to achieve optimum health, attention must be given to both.

Sporting performance is mostly dependent upon genetics and proper training. Nutrition is an integral part of a proper training program. At an elite level, nutrition can be the difference between just a great performance and a medal winning one.

Many athletes have the desire to eat properly, but lack adequate knowledge and they may be influenced by inaccurate information. There is a whole industry involved in producing and marketing dietary supplements to athletes. Often supplements such as this are not what they claim.

Though there may be many guidelines to help distinguish reputable from disreputable products, the best way of eating correctly must always be to have a better understanding of nutrition.

Dietary Nutrients

The food an athlete eats provides him/her with essential and non essential nutrients, plus other substances that affect the body. A good diet will provide the body with the right nutrients to utilise energy; to build and repair tissues and to regulate body processes. On the other hand, a poor diet may lead to health problems and less than optimum performance.

  • Essential nutrients are those that must be eaten because the body cannot produce adequate supplies on its own. Essential nutrients include Vitamin B1, Vitamin C, Calcium, Zinc, linoleic fatty acid, and many more. Non essential nutrients can be taken in via food, but the body can also manufacture them. For example, glucose can be eaten directly, or the body can break down other substances to produce it. A balanced diet must supply the body with the essential nutrients in the correct quantities.

  • Nutrients are required in different quantities, and can be classed as macronutrients if they are required in large amounts. Micronutrients are only required in small quantities. It is important to remember that certain nutrients can be toxic if they are supplied in higher quantities than the body needs.

The Recommended Daily Intake (RDI)

In Australia, the RDI is a standard term which describes the intake of a nutrient necessary to be sufficient, or more than sufficient to meet the nutritional needs of the majority of healthy people in a population on a daily basis. RDIs vary with the individual, nationality and other factors. In other countries, similar indexes may have a different name – such as the RDA or Recommended Daily Allowance used in the USA. In Australia, RDIs have been set for 18 vitamins and minerals as well as energy and protein. There is no RDI for vitamin D as it is recommended that it be obtained by solar irradiation rather than dietary sources. RDIs for energy are based on estimates of energy requirements, depending on height, weight, age and sex. There are no RDIs for fat, carbohydrate and fibre, although national targets for consumption are generally used for reference.

The Balanced Diet

A balanced diet will contain a wide variety of foods and thus provide a wide variety of nutrients. Obviously, what is a balanced diet for an endurance athlete in training will not be a balanced diet for an elderly, sedentary person. Different foods provide different nutrients and these nutrients are used for different functions:

Materials for

Chemical Nature

Obtained from

(a) Growth

Proteins mainly, but also calcium, phosphorus, iron.

(i) Milk, eggs, cheese, fish and meat, soya beans.

(ii) Cereal grains (bread and flour), nuts, pulses.

(b) Control and regulation of the various processes.

Mineral elements and vitamins.

Milk, butter, cream, cheese, eggs, vitaminised margarine, fat fish, offal, whole cereals and all fruit and vegetables.

(c) Energy production

Carbohydrates and fats; to lesser extent, protein.

Fruits, honey, sugar, root vegetables, cereals, dried fruits, nuts, pulses, fats and oils and foods containing these.

Enrol Today

If -

  • you are an amateur coach or sports person and would like to improve your knowledge of good nutrition;


  • you are a professional sports person or coach who wants to know more to maintain a good healthy body for athletes,

then this is the course for you.

Study for professional development or personal interest.

If you have any questions or need to know more, please contact us by -

Phone (International) +61 7 5562 1088, or (in Australia) 07 5562 1088, or

Email us at, or use our



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Fee Information (S2)
Prices in Australian Dollars

PlanAust. PriceOverseas Price
A 1 x $822.80  1 x $748.00
B 2 x $438.90  2 x $399.00

Note: Australian prices include GST. 
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