Best Nutrition Certification: Online Training by NASM, ISSA, ACE, PN1, CNS, NCSF, & NESTA

By Jordan Fabel •  Updated: February 21, 2022  •  10 min read  •  Health
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When you want to go into the field of nutrition, getting one or multiple of the best nutrition certifications will help. There are many to choose from and plenty of benefits from each. Before you make your decision, you should understand the main online training options for nutrition certification.

Whether you want to become a certified nutrition specialist, a nutrition counselor, or a health coach, there’s a certificate for you. Let’s look at some of the best nutrition certification options so you can make the right choice for you.

Nutrition Certification Training

Top 7 Nutrition Certification Options to Choose From

1. NASM Certified Nutrition Coach

A newer nutrition certification from NASM, you can become a certified nutrition coach with this option. It was added in 2021 as a replacement for the old fitness nutrition specialist certification.

Becoming a certified nutrition coach offers the ability to provide quality nutrition information for your clients. You can help them choose the right behavioral changes and the right strategies to make those changes. With the knowledge you gain, you can help clients make lifestyle changes to lose weight, become healthier, or even gain muscle.

The NASM Certified Nutrition Coach certificate will teach you:

Along with these skills, you will also get 1.9 NASM continuing education credits when you complete this nutrition certification.

Cost of This Nutrition Certification

You can become a NASM certified nutrition coach for a cost of $899. The course is often discounted to as low as $675. It may be a bit more expensive than others on the list, but you will get a very well-rounded education with this nutrition certification.

You can pay over time with payment options ranging from four to twelve months. It will take you around 12 weeks to complete this certification course. You can also take the nutrition certification and personal trainer certification combination from NASM. This program is more costly but does offer two different certifications to help your career.

The Exam

If you want to become a NASM certified nutrition coach, you will have to pass the exam. The exam with this nutrition certification includes 100 multiple-choice questions. You get 90 minutes to answer the questions. A passing score of 70% or higher is necessary. If you don’t pass, you can retake the exam up to three times.

2. ISSA Nutritionist Certification

The ISSA Nutritionist Certification is one of the most comprehensive options on the list. You will learn how to teach your clients what to eat to reach their fitness and nutrition goals. While exercise is important, you cannot exercise enough to make up for a bad diet.

Clients need nutrition advice to become successful. You can earn the ISSA Nutritionist Certification if you want to provide nutrition advice to your clients. It could complement your personal training career or become a career by itself.

The ISSA Nutritionist Course provides will teach you the following:

When you become an ISSA Nutritionist, you will be able to help clients become healthier.

The Cost of the ISSA Nutritionist Certification

As one of the best nutrition certifications, this offering from ISSA is $799. However, it’s often discounted to around $599. You can choose payment plans of six monthly payments or 12 monthly payments, along with no payments for the first month.

3. ACE Fitness Nutrition Specialist

Another one of the best nutrition certifications, the ACE Fitness Nutrition Specialist Certification is a great choice. This certification provides a more in-depth look at the business practices of a nutritionist and how personal trainers can use nutrition advice to make more money. It’s a bit different, in this way, than the other certifications on the list.

When you complete the ACE Fitness Nutrition Specialist Certification, you will be able to help clients get healthier and make better food choices. you will learn everything you need to teach nutrition.

This top nutrition certification will teach you the following:

This certification will help to ensure you can teach your existing clients how to eat better. It’s designed to fit better with personal trainers, but can also allow you to work as a nutrition coach, too.

The Cost of This Nutrition Certification

There are two options when it comes to the ACE Fitness Nutrition Specialist. You can get just the eBook for $599 or the eBook and the Hard Copy for $699. Often, this certification is discounted to $299 for the eBook and $349 for the eBook and Hard Copy.

You can choose to pay in four interest-free payments, too.

4. Precision Nutrition Certification Level 1 (PN1)

If you’re already a fitness professional, this nutrition certification is a great choice. The PN1 certification is designed for those already in the industry. You will learn all kinds of things with this certification including:

The PN1 nutrition certification isomer of the better choices on the list for health and fitness professionals.

The Cost of This Nutrition Certification

You can complete the PN1 certification for $999. However, it’s often discounted to around $799. It can also be bundled through ISSA with the personal trainer certification offering even more value.

The curriculum you will receive with this certification includes:

It’s one of the better curriculums on the list and offers a lot of tools you can use once you complete the certification.

5. Fitness Mentors Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS)

Known as one of the best options in the fitness industry, Fitness Mentors has become a great choice for professionals in the industry. The Fitness Mentors Certified Nutrition Specialist option gives you everything you need to become certified in nutrition. This course offers plenty of great information you will learn including the following chapters?

You will receive a digital textbook, a mentor to help you, audiobook lectures, quizzes at the end of every chapter, and video presentations. This certification package also includes pre-made nutrition and meal templates to make it easier to coach your clients.

You will need to pass an exam to earn this nutrition certification. The exam is 60 questions long and you will need to score a 70% or higher. You only get two attempts to pass.

The Cost of This Nutrition Certification

This is one of the more affordable options on the list at $399 for the certification. It comes in a single package option with no combination option. Of course, you can get other certification options from Fitness Mentors, if you prefer.

6. NCSF Sports Nutrition Specialist

If you want to learn proven nutritional strategies you can use to help your clients, the NCSF Sports Nutrition Specialist certification is a great option. It’s an excellent choice for those that are in the fitness industry or those looking to get into the industry.

NCSF is known as a big-time advocate for health awareness. They are on a mission to help spread better health and fitness through many different programs. The NCSF Sports Nutrition program is one of the most popular they offer.

This nutrition certification offers four units, which are:

If you choose the home study version, you will actually get a bit more with the following:

This program provides a bit more than the basic certification program offers. You can also choose the Home Study + program, which offers everything in the Home Study program with a hard copy textbook.

The Cost of This Nutrition Certification

If you just get the exam-only package, which just provides the four units, it will cost around $299. The home study package goes for $349 and offers much more than the exam-only option. You can also upgrade to the Home Study +, if you want a physical textbook for $369.

These are the commonly discounted prices. Without a discount, the Home Study program has a regular price of $699 and the Home Study + option comes in at $749. Payment plans are available with monthly options.

Passing the Exam

Just like a few of the best nutrition certifications on this list, you will need to pass an exam to become certified through the NCSF. The exam covers 150 multiple choice questions and you get three hours to complete it. You will need to score a 70% to pass and become certified.

If you don’t pass the test, you will need to wait 30 days and pay a $99 fee to retake the exam.

7. NESTA Fitness/Sports Nutrition Coach

A great choice for fitness professionals, the NESTA Fitness/Sports Nutrition Coach certification actually has two different options. You can start with the fitness nutrition coach certification, which is best if you want to help the general public with nutrition and personal training. However, if you plan to work with athletes, you will want the sports nutrition specialist certification from NESTA. This certification focuses on boosting athletic performance through nutrition.

Both certifications offer a great place to start with plenty of basic fitness/sports nutrition information. You will learn all about building your personal training business and how to use nutrition advice to increase your earnings. Anybody can take these certification courses without any prerequisites.

The curriculum will include an online textbook, many different training videos, and access to the exam. You won’t get a massive package to study for this nutrition certification, but you will get everything you need to prepare.

The Cost of this Nutrition Certification

The NESTA fitness nutrition coach certification is $297, while the sports nutrition specialist certification is $347. You can purchase both together for $449, which is a savings of $195.

The Exam

you will need to pass a 100-question exam to become certified with NESTA. It’s a multiple-choice test and you will have two hours to complete the test. A score of 70% or higher will be necessary to become certified. You get three tries to pass the exam.

There are many nutrition certifications options to choose from. However, if you want to choose the best online options, these are some of the top choices. Whether you’re already a personal trainer or you’re looking to break into the industry, these seven top nutrition certifications offer excellent options.

When you’re looking for the best nutrition certification, compare a few options before you decide. Each has a different price point and has something unique to offer. No matter which one you choose on this list, you’ll be ready to work with clients to help them reach their nutrition goals and fitness goals.

Jordan Fabel

Jordan Fabel

Covering different 'paths' that people's lives can take. Creative, foster parent, ticket dismissal, you get the idea. Exploring the requirements, certifications, exams, and obviously, approved courses along each path. I, personally, am the high school dropout son of two teacher parents. So how did I get here? That story is coming soon!