Nutrition Coach Certifications – Top 8 You Should Consider

by Jerald Dyson
nutrition coach certification

If you are one of those people who love nutrition but don’t have enough time to join a university-level program, a nutrition coach certification program is probably the best choice for you. 

Even though you can start a career as a nutrition coach without certification, there are several benefits of enrolling in a certification program. These courses can help you learn all about nutrition and the coaching techniques that you need to thrive as a professional nutrition coach.

What Is A Nutrition Coach?

nutrition coach certification

A nutrition coach is a professional who empowers the general population to take full control of their lives and work with them to adopt the inclusion of healthy eating behaviors. These professionals are leaders and mentors who guide other people toward a brighter and healthier future.

Top 8 Nutrition Coach CertificationsA nutrition coach certification is the validation of your selected coaching program. There are two types of certification programs available out there: accredited and non-accredited. An accredited nutrition coach certification sets a standard for your coaching programs. Compared to non-accredited, many professional and experienced life coaches prefer an accredited nutrition coach certification.

There are three main institutes available that provide accreditation to life coach certification programs, including:

  • The International Coaching Federation – ICF
  • The European Mentoring and Coaching Center – EMCC
  • The Association of Coaching – ACRegardless of accreditation, there are thousands of nutrition coach certification programs available out there. Some are more comprehensive and cover the whole nutrition coach curriculum, while others are basic and teach fundamentals of coaching.

To help you out in selecting a coaching program that will suit you best, below we have compiled a list of our top 8 picks when it comes to an ideal nutrition coach certification:

International Sports Sciences Association – Issa Nutritionist Certification

The ISSA nutritionist certification is considered one of the best nutrition coach certification programs out there. This is because you can take this course as a standalone nutrition certification or combine it with your personal training certification. This whole course is focused on the psychology of the perfect time for eating a perfect diet.

The ISSA certification provides a comprehensive curriculum to cover all the nutritional and coaching principles. Along with basic nutrition coaching knowledge, this course teaches you how to start and grow your nutrition coach business.


The average cost of ISSA nutritionist certification is $800. However, this cost can drop to as low as $700 when on sale. 

The institute also offers several other payment methods. Our favorite one is the elite trainer program. In this program, the ISSA offers three different certificates much inexpensive than each program alone.

American Fitness Professional Association – Afpa Nutrition Certification

The AFPA teaches you about how to gather nutrition information for overall health enhancement, fitness performance, and weight management of your ideal clients. In addition, through this course, you’ll learn how to motivate and change your clients’ habits to achieve a healthier lifestyle. 

This involves teaching your client the importance of healthy habit building and effective communication.

 Once you enroll in this life coach certification program, you’ll have 6 months to complete it by taking the test. 

The AFPA certification does not require any prerequisites and is completely virtual, providing you the flexibility. 

nutrition coach certification


The AFPA nutrition certification comes with a “mid-range” price tag. The average price of this certification is about $600.

National Exercise And Sports Trainers Association – Nesta Nutrition Coach

NESTA offers two nutrition certifications for fitness pros: a fitness nutrition coach certification and a sports nutrition specialist certification.

The fitness certification is for the general public, while the sports nutritional specialist certification is offered to athletes or individuals who want to boost their athletic accomplishments. 

These certification programs are quite basic and allow you to learn about the essentials for making your clients fitter and healthier. 

You will have one year to take the NESTA test once you sign up for this program. This program does not have any essential prerequisites and offers business training about increasing your potential earning as a nutrition coach.


The average cost of NESTA fitness coach certification is $300, while the sports specialist course can cost about $350. However, if you enroll in both of these certifications, the average cost my reduced to $450.

Ace Fitness Nutrition Specialist – Fns

ACE is one of the incredibly well-recognized agencies in the fitness and health coaching industry.

 In this nutrition coach certification, you’ll learn all about nutritional science in detail. Plus, this course comprehensively explains the relation between body weight and nutrition and how to grow your client’s perspective with attaining behavior tactics.

Once you signup for this certification, you can complete it in the next 6 months and then take the test to get your nutrition coach certification. There are no additional requirements or prerequisites in this certification program.


The ACE offers two payments methods for this fitness nutrition specialist certification. The first one is to buy an e-book and hard copy for $300, while the other option is to purchase only an e-book that can cost up to $250.

Ncsf Sport Nutrition Specialist – Sns

The NCSF provides the skill and knowledge needed to thrive in the health and fitness industry. 

Through this certification program, you’ll learn different nutritional strategies to improve your client’s health life. 

This course is perfect for both the general public and high-performance athletes alike.

Unlike other nutrition coach certifications, this program is centered on behavioral alteration and mental growth. 

This course is not about exercise or a workout; it provides the required mental shift to achieve effective results.


The cost of this nutrition certification depends upon your selected study content. However, on average, this program can cost anywhere between $300 to $800.

Fitness Mentors Certified Nutrition Specialist – Cns

nutrition coach certification

The Fitness Mentors have grown rapidly as the most authoritative institute for nutrition coaches seeking to maximize or start their coaching career.

 This institute provides quality content; they have created and compiled their in-house certification programs aimed at training instructors, coaches, and trainers.

The Fitness Mentors use cutting-edge coaching techniques of evidence-based, result-driven knowledge to train their students.

 In addition, they provide affordable, accessible, and comprehensive programs for those who want to grow their repertoire.


The FM certified nutrition specialist certification can cost about $400. Unlike other nutrition certification programs, the FM-CNS program only comes in a single package option.

Precision Nutrition Certification – Pn Level-1

The PN1 certification program is a sports and exercise nutrition coach certification designed for professionals to use with other individuals. 

This course teaches you about diet and tools to achieve your desired health goals. 

This course also allows you to learn how to attain and maintain long-term habits.

If you purchase the PN1 certification program, you’ll get more than forty coaching tools, questionnaires, and assessment forms, a study guide, workbook, video lectures, textbook, and more. 

The information provided in this certification program is definitely top-notch and can help you grow your nutrition coach business. 


The precision nutrition level 1 certification costs anywhere between $700 to $1000, making it one of the most expensive nutrition coach certification programs available out there.

Nasm Certified Nutrition Coach – Cnc

The NASM-CNC is one of the newest nutrition coaching certifications introduced in 2021. 

This certification is the replacement of NASM-FNS Certification and offers several new features. 

This program will teach how to deliver behavior change strategies and high-quality nutrition information to your clients.

In addition, the NASM-CNC program allows you to use coaching knowledge and tools to increase the chances of lifestyle alteration of your ideal clients so that they can achieve their fitness and health goal, gain muscle or lose weight.


At this point, the cost of the NASM certified nutrition coach certification is about $900. However, the institute also offers this program on sale that can drop its cost to as low as $700. In addition, to increase convenience, the NASM institute also offers different payment methods.

Benefits Of A Nutrition Coach Certification

If There Are No Legal Requirements In A Nutrition Coach Career, Why Do You Need A Certification? 

Well, there are hundreds of benefits of taking a nutrition coach certification program, such as:

  • you’ll grow personally, as you are investing in yourself
  • you’ll grow professionally, as these certifications will teach you all about nutrition
  • you’ll earn your client’s trust and respect
  • you’ll get a chance to connect with other coaches and learn from their experience
  • you can target more clients if you are a certified nutrition coach 


nutrition coach certification

When it comes to nutrition coach certifications, a variety of programs are available out there with different specifications and features. Due to this selecting a single program among all these options is not a piece of cake. As these courses are not that inexpensive, you must do your homework and select a program that will suit you best.

In our opinion, the ISSA certification program is one of the best nutrition coach certification programs available out there. However, this program is quite expensive. If you have a limited budget, we recommend enrolling in NESTA or NCSF certification program.

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