Best Nutrition Certifications for Fitness Professionals in 2019

Nutrition is and shall always remain one of the most critical parameters in an individual’s health. So it is pretty natural that the career of a nutritionist has become a very coveted path in recent times. People are increasingly becoming aware of the significance of nutrition in their daily lives and as such, getting a nutrition certification has become a norm. And if you are high on fitness and the fast pace of life, a nutrition certificate for fitness is a mandatory inclusion.

Getting the right nutrition program for you may be a daunting task as there are many intricate details involved. Regardless of the challenges, it is totally worth the sweat to get the right nutrition certification for your benefit.

Keeping this in mind, we have crafted this article for you which delve deep into the best nutrition certifications available for fitness professionals and give you a thorough understanding about the same. So let’s help you get certified with the certification that works the best for you. Do keep in mind that the entrants in our list cater to fitness and sports nutrition certification.

6 Best Nutrition Certification Programs for Fitness Professionals:

  1. NASM CNC Certified Nutrition Coach

The National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) is a premier fitness provider and so it is of no wonder that their certification is one of the most coveted ones. In fact, we believe that it is the best nutrition certification program that you can get. It is worth noting that this certification is NASM’s latest inclusion and is all set to replace the Fitness Nutrition Specialist (FNS) certification. This supremely interactive program has been designed to help guide your clients towards the healthiest version of them. It equips you with immense knowledge and the set of skills that are necessary to deliver top grade and customized nutrition guidance to your clients. Such a high quality of interaction is bound to make your clients reach their set goals with the least amount of effort.


In this nutrition certification program, here are some of the most important considerations to be kept in mind:

  • This is a non-accredited certification.
  • In order to maintain the certification, you will need to retake the online certification exam for every 2 years.
  • It is a perfect replacement to the Fitness Nutrition Specialization (FNS).
  • There is no requirement for any prior fitness qualifications to undertake this certification.
  • You are equipped with the skills to combine nutrition science with changes in behavior in real time.
  • You learn to identify the psychology behind getting stuck in diet patterns and on how to break them.


NASM CNC is currently priced at $899.

Yes, it is a bit on the expensive side but it gives you exceptional coverage of nutrition and behavior change which work in tandem for the success, health and happiness of your client.

You can check out the details here.


The NASM CNC is an online nutrition certification and thus, all of its procedures are done online through their study portal. It comes with a highly interactive e-book which consists of 24 chapters wherein you will find videos, quizzes, downloadable templates, infographics and practice exams. The chapter quizzes consist of 15 questions per chapter and the exams comprises of 100 questions.


The exam is conducted on online mode and comprises of 100 multiple choice questions. You can attempt it thrice and can subsequently purchase a retest fee. For getting through the exam, you need to secure 70%. It should be noted that from the date you purchase the CNC, you get a full year to take the exam.

  1. ISSA Sports Nutrition Certification

Though relatively new on the scene, the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) is one of the best nutrition certifications around. Not only do you gain an enhanced understanding about nutrition in general, you also get an insight into the most widely used sports supplements. As a result of this, you become competent enough to guide your clients on muscle gain and fat loss. In addition, they put special emphasis on the nutrition requirements of female athletes. This is undoubtedly one of the best nutrition certifications that any fitness professional can aim to get. And guess what? There is also a chance to get ISSA’s nutrition certification for absolutely free! You can get this with the purchase of their personal training certification.


  • The International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting System (DEAC).
  • It offers you a choice of two nutrition certifications: ISSA Fitness Nutrition Certificate and ISSA Sports Nutrition Certificate.
  • The Fitness Nutrition Certificate is a universal one and it encompasses all the required concepts of nutrition and nutrition coaching.
  • You become an expert on muscle gain, weight loss and sports supplements.


 ISSA Sports Nutrition Certification costs $799

 This price includes all the course material and the exam. In addition, there is a requirement of a renewal fee and/or continuing education for every 2 years to maintain the authority of the certificate.

It is worth noting that accreditation from ISSA makes you eligible to receive tuition assistance via the GI Bill.

Check out the details from here.


The program is designed to last anywhere between 2-8 months depending on how much time you devote to the curriculum each day. The course material includes a hardcopy of a sports nutrition book which comes along with a study guide. You are also provided an online version of the same book. This textbook covers the science of nutrition, and the art and science of coaching. Needless to say, you also get a workbook along with quizzes and practice exams.

In addition, you get the luxury of asking your doubts to ISSA nutrition professionals during the course of your study. This online student forum lets you engage in a full-fledged interaction both with your peers and your trainers.

The icing on the cake is the fact that they go on to provide you with a free professional website! This website is equipped with content that is designed by professionals and simple to understand and edit.


You are required to take the exam from the comfort of your home through ISSA’s online testing portal. But you also have the provision of going for the offline mode.

You get a full year’s time to complete the course. If you fail to clear the exam on your first attempt, you are eligible to receive a one no-cost retest.

  1. Precision Nutrition Certification Level 1

Dr. John Berardi is a renowned professor and a vastly experienced nutrition coach. And… he is a former bodybuilding champ. So, any nutrition program coming from him is bound to impress, right? You got it.

Precision Nutrition is a symbol of the sheer dint of hard work, commitment and passion from Dr. Berardi. It is one of the most amazingly crafted sports nutrition certification programs for fitness pros. This meticulously planned program includes the following:

  • Educating your clients regarding good eating habits.
  • Guiding your clients towards the most nutritious foods.
  • Inculcation of fitness in one’s life without any hassles.
  • Set achievable goals and maintain a healthy lifestyle for your clients.


  • This certification involves a scientifically proven system that has been tested with countless clients and has been validated in 3 separate publications reviewed by peers.
  • With a meager additional fee, you get to access to an advanced nutrition software by Precision Nutrition known as the ProCoach.
  • The material is shippable anywhere in the world free of charge.


The regular non-presale deal is priced at $999.

However, you can avail a discount of 20% during presale and get it at $799.

Yes, it is definitely a bit of a costly affair but their services and perks are well worth it.

This certification is available only twice a year (may go up to thrice depending upon the demand). So you will have to wait for 6 long months to get the deal.

Check out the details from here.


The program gives you a good textbook, which is aptly complimented by a workbook and a study guide. In addition, you also get access to video lectures which are fantastic. The online study forum is another lucrative part of this offer. The hardcopy is a welcome departure from the e-book.


After completing the study materials, you have to get through 18 chapter exams which have 10 questions each. This rakes up a total of 180 questions.

To pass the exam and obtain your Precision Nutrition level 1 (pn1 certification) credentials, you need to secure a minimum of 75%.

  1. ACE Fitness Nutrition Specialist

The American Council on Exercise is one of the most widely regarded certification bodies in the realm of health and fitness. ACE is renowned for arming you with the all the fundamentals and concepts of the science of nutrition, and its relation to body weight.

ACE nutrition certification puts equal emphasis on changing the behavioral characteristics of the client. This is based on the premise that the client themselves should focus on the things taught during the times when you are not physically present with them. This methodology from ACE has proved wonders for countless clients and fitness professionals alike.


  • This certification involves a strong emphasis on the client’s behavior.
  • There are no prior requirements for pursuing this certification.
  • It focuses on the relation between nutrition and body weight.
  • It lays special emphasis on building your business chops.


The ACE Fitness Nutrition Specialist gives you 2 different options.

The first one is an e-book which will cost you $249. The second is a hardcopy plus e-book which will cost you $299

So, ACE is indeed a cheap nutrition certification.

Check out the details from here.


ACE provides you with a very versatile curriculum that includes the following:

  • A fitness nutrition manual.
  • A book and podcast on behavior change.
  • Video series on fitness nutrition divided into 4 sections.
  • Video series on the integration of fitness nutrition with clients divided into 3 sections.

The curriculum and the study material of ACE put special focus on versatility in learning and understanding. The ACE nutrition books just nails it.

Finally, a very noteworthy point is the focus on business practices. They are meant to teach you how you can make more money with the services you provide. So if you are inclined towards business, you are going to like this program even more!


You need to complete all of the modules and the related quizzes throughout the course.

  1. AFPA Nutrition and Wellness Certification

The American Fitness Professionals and Associates teach you how to effectively put your knowledge in nutrition on a practical sense. This involves weight management and the promotion of good health in your clients.

This certification program puts a lot of emphasis on effective communication between you and your clients wherein you equip them with thorough knowledge in the fundamentals of nutrition, good eating habits and the act of inculcating them into their daily lives. This very well makes the AFPA the best nutrition certification for personal trainers.

AFPA is known for its wide array of programs it offers. These programs span all the way from beginners to master’s. The certifications you can attain from this program are:

  • Holistic Nutrition.
  • Weight Management Specialist.
  • Nutrition and Wellness Consultant.
  • Sports Nutrition.
  • Youth Nutrition Specialist.

As you can see, their programs cover a very versatile host of certifications. This is one of the biggest USPs of AFPA. And trust us; they do their job very well.


  • This certification is completely online.
  • There are no prior requirements needed for taking up this certification.
  • Special emphasis is put on the communication and imparting of knowledge between the fitness professional and the client.


The AFPA Nutrition and Wellness certification are available in 2 forms.

The 100% online course will cost you $649

The online course plus the e-books and textbooks are prices at $849

Check out the details from here.


As mentioned, AFPA offers you 2 ways to pursue its program.

The 100% online course gives you access to e-books, online textbook, practice book and assignments.

The hardcopy version is surely a welcome addition to the online sources. Even the assignments are physical in this case.


You get 6 months to take the exam.

During the course of the preparation, the assignments need to be submitted online. The final exam is also online.

The exam consists of 250 multiple choice and true/false questions. You need a whopping 85% or more to pass the exam. On failure to pass the exam, the retest fee will cost you $75

  1. NESTA Fitness/Sports Nutrition Coach

The National Exercise and Sports Trainers Association (NESTA) offer you with 2 certifications. The first one is the Fitness Nutrition Coach Certification, meant for the general public and clients of personal training and the second is the Sports Nutrition Specialist, meant for athletes.

As it is pretty evident, the certification offered by NESTA focus on the very fundamentals of nutrition in health and fitness. They follow the principle of making your clients healthier and fitter.

Apart from the basics, these certifications lay emphasis on enhancing your business profile and promoting your earning potential courtesy of their expert nutrition advice. So you technically end up becoming a fitness nutrition specialist.


  • This is a completely online fitness and sports certification.
  • There are no prior requirements needed for taking up this certification.
  • The program strongly promotes the mastery of the very basics in nutrition, health and fitness.
  • It also focuses on the business aspect of the fitness professional.


The NESTA Fitness Nutrition Coach certification will cost you $297.

The NESTA Sports Nutrition Specialist certification will cost you $347.

Furthermore, they give you the option of purchasing both the certificates at a fantastic deal of $449. This way you can save $195 from the amount you would have had to spend if you purchase both separately.

Check out the details for the Fitness Nutrition Coach certification from here and the Sports Nutrition Specialist certification from here.


The curriculum is a rather simplistic one that consists of an online textbook in e-book format. In addition, you get videos that are meant to train you for the tests and your career in general. With the details of nutrition covered in the curriculum, who knows, you can even use it to become a certified nutritionist as a boost to your career!


On receiving your exam eligibility, you are to complete the 125 multiple choice questions within 90 days.


Nutrition certifications are a compulsion for any fitness and nutrition coach. With more and more people turning towards fitness goals, this role has become more of an enthralling one. The nutrition certifications described in this article not only equip you with the knowledge and skills required to be a top notch fitness professional, but they also focus on other areas such as behavior change in clients, effective communication, business aspects and the overall health. Furthermore, they take on a very holistic approach by linking nutrition with critical parameters such as body weight and supplements. You can also choose to exercise your chops and become a nutrition coach online. OR, you can even become a certified nutritionist online! As such, we strongly recommend you to get certified with any of these and give your career a boost. After all, “certified professional” sounds so cool!


These 6 are undoubtedly the best nutrition certification programs you can get as they are premier accredited nutrition certification programs. Many nutrition certification schools also value these greatly. While all of them hold their perks and cover top nutrition courses, we recognize the immense benefits you can derive from the NASM CNC Certified Nutrition Coach. However, we must say that the remaining 5 give stiff competition to the NASM CNC. With regards to that, pick the one which you feel would suit you and your prospective client(s) the most.

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