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Best Online Degrees in: Sports Nutrition

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Explore a Bachelor's Degree in Sports Nutrition

If you are interested in learning about nutrition and how it can be used by athletes to improve their health and performance, you may want to consider earning a bachelor's degree in sports nutrition. Many institutions are offering these programs online. A bachelor's degree typically takes around four years to earn, though this depends on several factors, such as the program's requirements, the rate at which you're able to progress through the program, and whether you attend school full-time or part-time.

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Class Curriculum

Sports nutrition majors will learn about using nutrition to prevent diseases, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and improve an athlete's power, strength, endurance, and overall performance. Each program differs, but the following are a few of the most common classes you can expect to take while earning your degree in sports nutrition:

  • Nutrition and Fitness. This class will focus on safe and effective methods to gain, lose, and maintain body weight through dieting and exercise. Students will learn what foods and exercise plans are used to get desired results.
  • Exercise Physiology and Sports Nutrition. This class will focus on the body's adaptation to physical exercise and sports, as well as how nutrients can be used to fuel the body. This class may also cover performance enhancing supplements, weight loss supplements, the effects that aging has on the body and metabolism, and gender-specific issues.
  • Nutrition Assessment. This class will teach students how to assess an individual's nutritional status. This information can then be used to develop the appropriate nutrition and exercise plan to achieve the desired goals.

Assignments for sports nutrition majors may vary by program. Most will require you to complete exams and write papers demonstrating your competence of the topic being covered, such as exercise techniques, how nutrition can increase performance, vitamins, or the effect aging has on the body. You may also be required to assess a person's nutritional and physical status, as well as their goals, and develop an exercise and diet plan to achieve their goals.

Building a Career

Sports nutrition majors know how to work with an athlete and develop a diet and exercise plan that will help them increase their overall performance, or improve specific areas, such as endurance or strength. Many organizations are seeking individuals with this skill set, such as commercial and university sports teams, and wellness and fitness centers. Some sports nutrition majors start a private practice helping individual clients or entire teams reach their peak health and performance levels.

Keep in mind that earning a bachelor's degree in sports nutrition doesn't guarantee employment, but may increase your chances of finding working in the field. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is expecting to see a 20% increase in employment for nutritionists and dietitians through the year 2020, which is higher than average for other occupations.

The BLS also shows the average income for nutritionists and dieticians to be $53,250 a year. Even so, your starting salary may not match the national average because income is based on several factors, such as the city and state you work in, your employer, your industry, and your level of experience.