Jan 25-Apr 23, 2021
Credit: 3 graduate
Instructor(s): Patti Steinmuller

Course Description

Registration begins on October 26th - please register for CRN 35484.

Nutrition is a key element in managing body weight and fueling physical fitness and athletic performance. Food provides fluids, energy, nutrients, fiber, and phytochemicals. But what nutritional strategies are optimal? Which dietary supplements work? Using nutrition to meet the demands of physical activity is a dynamic process that integrates scientific research, nutrition guidelines, and the practical aspects of fueling active people in specific situations.

This nutrition science course examines the latest developments that link nutrition with physical fitness, sport performance, and health promotion. Resources include a text, course supplement, nutrition analysis software, peer-reviewed scientific literature, current news, and Internet resources. Participants contribute to asynchronous online discussions throughout each week. Expect to relate each week's topic to your areas of interest and expertise. A diverse group of participants (practicing teachers in various specialties, coaches, athletic trainers, nutrition educators, and other health professionals) ensures that discussions are interesting, lively, and challenging. Topics include energy, fluid, and nutrient needs for physical activity; nutrition around exercise (before, during, recovery); free radicals and antioxidants; dietary supplements; body composition; weight management; disordered eating; and the female athlete triad. Sport-specific nutrition strategies for endurance, team sports, strength training, and muscle mass gain are addressed. Controversial issues such as popular diets, nutrient timing, and sports supplements are addressed. Internet resources are used extensively.

Assignments challenge participants to apply evidence-based nutrition strategies to practical situations. Participants demonstrate competency in the following areas: locating credible nutrition resources on the Internet; accessing, analyzing, and evaluating nutrition information; and using nutrition analysis software to plan meals, snacks, and a personalized fitness menu. The course project is a written evaluation of a dietary supplement, a popular diet, or a dietary regimen. Reference material is obtained from medical, health, and scientific sources such as published, peer-reviewed scientific literature accessed via the National Library of Medicine databases. Participants demonstrate competency in a written project that involves assessment, analysis, comparison, evaluation, and synthesis of information.

Note: This course was formerly HDFN 526: Nutrition for Fitness and Performance

Meeting Place and Times

Teachers login to the course at a time of day that best fits their schedule. While the course is in session, it is necessary to connect at least 4 - 6 times per week spending 9 - 12 hours each week either online or offline, working on course related assignments, to stay current and successfully complete this 3 credit graduate course.


Patti Steinmuller, M.S., R.D., L.N..
Steinmuller is a nutrition instructor at Montana State University-Bozeman. Her M.S. degree in Kinesiology is from the University of Michigan. She is a Registered Dietitian (R.D.) and a Licensed Nutritionist (L.N.) in Montana. She is Past Director of Sports Dietetics-USA, a subunit of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ dietetic practice group, Sports, Cardiovascular, and Wellness Nutrition (SCAN). She teaches sports nutrition and provides nutrition guidance to physically active people of all ages.


A Bachelor's degree; one semester of college biology, human physiology, or exercise physiology, or equivalent; one semester of college chemistry or biochemistry, or equivalent; for teachers, education methods courses in health and/or health enhancement, or equivalent; a college course in nutrition is desirable; for teachers, a professional teaching certificate, and one year of teaching experience.

Target Audience

Teachers (science, mathematics, health enhancement, physical education, family and consumer science, and teachers with athletic coaching responsibilities) who are interested in integrating nutrition and exercise science, computer technology, and Internet resources into their teaching situations. In addition, this course attracts health and fitness professionals, such as registered dietitians, nutrition educators, exercise and fitness consultants, athletic trainers, food and nutrition extension specialists, and wellness professionals.

Time Commitment:

9-12 hours per week. If you are unfamiliar with this field of study and/or method of delivery, you may require more time.

Tuition and Fees

If you are accepted into a qualified online program, see the appropriate MSU Online Only Tuition and Fee table below:

  • Go to the Student Accounts page.
  • On the left navigation bar, click "Tuition & Fee Charts--Current & Historical."
  • Then click "Online Programs Only."
  • Click the link appropriate to your semester and status as a student.

If you are also taking a face-to-face course, please refer to the MSU Fee Schedules.

Montana State University will provide you with a course supplement digitally, once the course is underway.

Please log into the course beginning January 20th, five days before the course begins, to purchase the Dunford text and the Diet and Wellness Plus software (accessed via MindTap). See your options listed below under the Required Books/Materials section.

Required Books/Materials

  • Dunford M. and Doyle JA. Nutrition for Sport and Exercise, 4th edition, Thomson Wadsworth, 2019.
  • Diet and Wellness Plus, 1st edition, 2014.
  • Course Supplement, which will be provided digitally by your instructor, includes a study guide, resource list, and course readings.

The course begins on January 25th, but you will have course access beginning January 20th, so please log into the course as soon as possible beginning January 20th and purchase the below listed materials. You will find a link to purchase the materials within the course in our learning management system, Brightspace/D2L. Please purchase one of the below listed options for the text and software. Both options include access to the text, MindTap and the Diet and Wellness Plus. If you are on Financial Aid, you might have to contact the MSU Bookstore to obtain a code before making your purchase.

Here are the options that will be available to you beginning January 20th (five days before the course begins):

• Cengage Unlimited – Access to ALL Cengage e-texts including Nutrition for Sport and Exercise, and the MindTap online homework systems used at MSU for $119.99 (includes a $7.99 textbook rental option) for ONE Term (4 months). ISBN: 9781337556804. For this option, choose the Cengage Unlimited FULL version for $119.99 and not the e-text only version.


• Digital Platform - MindTap code ONLY for Nutrition for Sport and Exercise text – this code is good for JUST NUTR 526 for 6 months – includes e-text, MindTap, and Diet and Wellness software for $113.00. ISBN: 9781337556804

Computer Requirements:

  • Internet access
  • A device and browser that pass the system check for Brightspace LE, MSU's learning management system.

This course uses a learning management system. You will learn more closer to the course start date.

For More Information

Contact Patti Steinmuller at with questions regarding course content. Contact Holly Thompson at with questions about registration policies.

How to Register

You must be accepted as a student to Montana State University to take this course.

Learn how to apply.

After your application has been accepted, you will register via MSU's online registration system, MyInfo.

Registration requires a PIN number. Learn how to find your PIN.

Once you have your PIN, learn how to register through MyInfo.