MUIH’s Sports Performance and Integrative Nutrition Post-Baccalaureate (PBC) program offers graduate-level education that prepares individuals to blend foundational knowledge in holistic nutrition with a broader perspective on the role of nutrition in sports and athletic performance. MUIH’s program is unique – With an emphasis on whole foods, students will examine diets that maximize nutrients and will learn how to plan and prepare meals to support both physical and mental athletic performance. Additionally, this certificate offers the high standard of academic credit and a credential valued in the professional workplace. This online 13 credit program can be completed in one year (three trimesters).
The Sports Performance and Integrative Nutrition PBC is designed for sports performance professionals, nutritionists, and registered dieticians who work with individuals and/or groups, as well as for personal trainers, strength and conditioning coaches, athletic and sports trainers and coaches, exercise specialists, and fitness professionals. The certificate increases the depth and breadth of knowledge and skills in this specialty area, and provides additional and complementary areas of expertise to these and other positions. This in turn equips these individuals with a unique set of knowledge and skills to increase their career advancement opportunities and marketability. Individuals well prepared to enter this program are those with Bachelor’s degrees in nutrition, dietetics, exercise science, kinesiology, athletic training, fitness, or health, or who hold an unrelated Bachelor’s degree plus a formal health and wellness coaching training certificate.
This program prepares students with the knowledge and skills to enhance sports performance through the application of scientific and holistic nutritional principles and practices. Using an evidence-based approach, students will explore the fundamental role of nutrition in sports performance and explore how supplements, caffeine and hydration exert their effects. It equips students with the skills to plan diets and prepare meals that maximize nutrients and support athletic performance. In keeping with the philosophy and mission of MUIH, the program stresses the concept of self-care – that health and education should be applied to oneself before it can be applied to others – at the same time as it supports organizational structures and benefits that encourage such self-care.
Students who complete the PBC in Sports Performance and Integrative Nutrition will be able to:
- Demonstrate knowledge of the effect of various nutrients, supplements, antioxidants, hydration and caffeine on athletic performance.
- Debunk myths and apply evidence-based knowledge into professional life within scope of practice.
- Develop meals that enhance athletic performance through a whole foods diet.
The program is delivered online and consists of 13 credits of the following required courses:
- NUTR613 Human Nutrition: Macronutrients and Micronutrients (3 credits)
- ISCI671 Physical Activity and Health (3 credits)
- NUTR616 Nutrient Optimization for Physical Performance in Athletes (3 credits)
- NUTR615 Nutrient Optimization for Mental Performance in Athletes (3 credits)
- NUTR689 Whole Foods Cooking to Support High Performance (1 credit)
Increasing and significant interest and demand in both nutrition and sports have led to a need for well-educated professionals in both fields, especially those with expertise at their intersection. The role of nutrition in sports performance has been demonstrated through evidence-based research, and the American College of Nutrition identifies nutrition education as the ninth hottest area of nutrition research for 2020. Nutrition participates in the overall growth of health care which the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics see as leading job growth, projecting this sector to “grow 18% from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations, adding about 2.3 million new jobs … more jobs than any other group of occupations.” Occupations specifically related to the intersection of sports and nutrition are projected to have strong growth in the U.S. during the same time period. This includes a much faster than average growth rate for dietitians and nutritionists (15%) and athletic trainers (23%), and a faster than average growth rate for fitness trainers and instructors (10%), exercise physiologists (13%), and athletic coaches (13%). In addition, the Education Advisory Board indicates that graduates of scientifically based programs in specialty sports fields are experiencing strong employer demand. As a result of this expanding job market, sports nutritionists find employment positions in a variety of settings that allow for the combination of physical training and sports with nutritional concepts, including private practices, colleges and universities, sports organizations, athletic clubs, food corporations, and rehabilitation centers.