Jan 23-Apr 21, 2017
Credit: 3 graduate
Instructor(s): Patti Steinmuller

Course Description

CRN 34684

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., C.S.S.D, L.N.
Steinmuller is an NTEN 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 Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics (C.S.S.D) with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (A.N.D.), and a Certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist (CEP) with the American College of Sports Medicine. She is Past Director of Sports Dietetics-USA, a subunit of Academy’s dietetic practice group, Sports, Cardiovascular, and Wellness Nutrition (SCAN). She teaches sports nutrition, conducts sports nutrition workshops and presentations for teachers, coaches, and athletes, 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:

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

Montana State University will send you a course supplement shortly before the course begins.

You are on your own to purchase the Dunford text and the Diet Analysis Plus 2-Semester 10th edition (Instant Access). You may go to to purchase. The bundled version (first item listed) is available: Nutrition for Sport and Exercise & Diet Analysis Plus 2-Semester 10th edition (Instant Access) bundled. They may also be available from other sources.

Required Books/Materials

  • Dunford M. and Doyle JA. Nutrition for Sport and Exercise, 3rd edition, Thomson Wadsworth, 2015.
    ISBN-13: 978-1-285-75249-5
    ISBN-10: 1-285-75249-X
    Approximately $193 New

  • Diet Analysis Plus (Windows/Macintosh 2-Semester Instant Access, 10th edition
    ISBN-13: 978-0-538-49509-7
    ISBN-10: 0-538-49509-X

    Extra value: Purchase the required text and software bundled together.
    Bundle: Nutrition for Sport and Exercise (Dunford/Doyle), 3rd edition + Diet Analysis Plus 2-Semester Instant Access, 10th Edition
    Use this hotlink to purchase the bundled version (first item listed): Nutrition for Sport and Exercise & Diet Analysis Plus 2-Semester 10th edition (Instant Access) bundled.
    Approximately $249
    ISBN 978-1-305-43333-5

  • Course Supplement, which includes a study guide, resource list, and course readings. (NTEN at Montana State University will mail you the course supplement).

Go to to purchase the required text with software. They may also be available from other sources.

Computer Requirements:

  • Internet access
  • A device and browser that pass the system check for Brightspace LE, MSU's learning management system.
  • PC System Requirements for nutrition analysis software: Microsoft Windows 2000, XP Home, XP Pro (SP2), or Vista; 256 MB RAM; 350 MB of hard disk space; supports Internet Explorer 6.0.X through 7.0, and Firefox 1.0 through 2.0
  • MAC Requirements for nutrition analysis software: Macintosh OSX 10.3.3 or higher; 256 MB RAM; 350 MB of hard disk space; supports Firefox 1.0 through 2.0, and Camino 1.0.1
  • Plugins and installation notes for the nutrition analysis software

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 Kelly Boyce 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.