Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

In high performance sport, athletes and coaches recognise that optimal nutrition is critical to sporting success. Sports nutrition links food with physical performance, providing the fuel for exercise and recovery, and the essential elements for tissue growth, maintenance and repair. This unit will address contemporary scientific and applied aspects of nutrition for sports performance. The composition, amount and timing of food intake for different sports and activities are explored, given the influence that these and others factors have on athletic performance. The aim of the unit is to provide specialist knowledge, understanding and skills for critically evaluating dietary practices for sports performance, and for communicating and delivering general nutritional advice to athletes, coaches and other support staff, within appropriate scope of practice and referral pathways. These outcomes are consistent with the professional standards of several accreditation bodies.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - communicate the role of the sports dietitian in providing sound nutritional advice to athletes (GA2, GA5). 

LO2 - assess the nutritional demands of athletic performance in a variety of sports (GA4). 

LO3 - critique contemporary issues in sports nutrition (GA6). 

LO4 - appraise the role of nutritional factors and environmental factors affecting physical performance (GA5). 

Graduate attributes

GA2 - recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society 

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account


Topics will include: 

  • The evolution of sports nutrition  
  • Carbohydrate, protein and fat requirements for fuelling, recovery & physique 
  • Fluid and electrolyte needs during exercise 
  • Supplements and sports food  
  • Body composition and physique 
  • Nutrition challenges for weight making sports 
  • Adolescent sports nutrition 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Learning and teaching strategies include active learning, case-based learning, web-based learning, and reflective/critical thinking activities, delivered over 12 weeks. This range of strategies will provide students with appropriate access to required knowledge and understanding of unit content, and opportunities for their application in high performance sport contexts. These strategies will allow students to meet the aim, learning outcomes and graduate attributes of the unit. Learning and teaching strategies will reflect respect for the individual as an independent learner. Students will be expected to take responsibility for their learning and to participate actively in online activities.  

Assessment strategy and rationale

In order to best enable students to achieve unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes, standards-based assessment is utilised, consistent with University assessment requirements, with a range of assessment strategies used. The first assessment task is a written critique to assess the critical thinking skills associated with the acquisition and communication of evidenced-based theory and practice relevant to performance nutrition. Given this is the first task of the unit, designed to develop critical thinking skills, a weighting of 40% is attached. 

A case study task is then delivered to assess the application of the knowledge and understanding of unit content and skills developed in the first assessment task. Given the breadth of this final assessment task, a weighting of 60% is attached. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes



Enables students to critique 

scientific literature to determine its 

strengths, weaknesses and overall 

applicability to practical sports 



LO3, LO4 

GA4, GA5, GA6 

Case study:  

Enables students to undertake a case study review of an athlete undertaking a sporting event and compare their nutrition plans with current sports nutrition guidelines. 


LO1, LO2, LO4 

GA2, GA4, GA5 

Representative texts and references

Belski, R., Forsyth, A., & Mantzioris, E. (2019). Nutirtion for Sport, Exercise and Performance, 1st Edition. Sydney: Allen & Unwin. 

Burke, L., & Deakin, V. (2015). Clinical Sports Nutrition, 5th Edition. Sydney: McGraw-Hill. 


Jeukendrup, A., & Gleeson, M. (2018). Sport Nutrition, 3rd Edition. Champaign IL: Human Kinetics. 



Course Identifier   Master of High Performance Sport; Graduate Diploma in High Performance Sport; Graduate Certificate in High Performance Sport. 


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