You should begin your search for sports nutrition courses by considering your reasons for studying this area of nutrition. Other considerations include your professional goals, your budget, and your ability to attend courses and complete your coursework in a timely manner. While sports nutrition courses are available in a variety of formats, you may be restricted in your choice of classes if you are pursuing a sports nutrition degree or need to take continuing education classes in order to renew a professional certification or license.
If you plan to take sports nutrition courses as part of an undergraduate or postgraduate degree program, you should speak to your academic adviser about the courses that you take. If you are enrolled in a school that offers sports nutrition courses, you will likely have no problem applying course credits to your degree requirements. On the other hand, if you take courses at a school other than your own, you should first determine whether the credit that you earn for these classes will transfer to your degree program.
In situations where you already hold a degree, you may decide to take sports nutrition courses to enhance your current career prospects. If you plan to earn some type of certification in sports nutrition, physical fitness training, or another area of health science, you should contact the certifying body to find out about its recommended program of study. There is no point in taking sports nutrition courses offered by course providers that are not recognized by the organization that will be issuing your certification.
Sports nutrition courses may help you enhance your knowledge of nutrition issues, and in turn you may be able to expand your practice if you already hold licensing or certification in a health-related field. As many health occupation licensing boards require licensees to complete continuing education courses on a regular basis, you may decide to take sports nutrition courses in order to meet these requirements and increase your professional knowledge. As with courses that you would take in order to earn a certification, you should ensure that the licensing body recognizes any continuing education courses that you choose to take.
Some course providers offer courses in several formats, including traditional classroom courses and online classes. In addition, you may be able to earn continuing education hours by taking in-service courses taught at your place of employment by product vendors and professional associations. Another option for gaining education in the area of sports nutrition would be to attend industry conferences and conventions at which workshops and other educational events take place.