ISSN's Sports Nutrition Specialist Certification

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"At the Global Performance Nutrition Institute (GPNi®), we are very proud to be providing the world’s first science-backed performance nutrition online courses and ISSN® certifications.  Get the very best online tutorials, access to global experts, on-demand content, and education with the GPNi®.  Update your credentials, career, knowledge, and earnings by being internationally certified by the ISSN® on the GPNi® all-access portal today." Drew John Campbell (CISSN®), CEO & Co-Founder of GPNi®

The ISSN-SNS - Sports Nutrition Specialist Certification

The ISSN-SNS is our 'introductory' sports nutrition certification.

Although no formal post-secondary course work is required, candidates are expected to have a working knowledge of basic exercise training, general nutrition, sports supplements, and familiarity with the ISSN's current position papers. To qualify to register for the ISSN-SNS exam, you must be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or equivalent.

Summary of how to study for and then take the ISSN-SNS exam

1) Read all of the ISSN Position Stands

2) Read all of the latest articles (within the last 2 years) published in the JISSN.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does ISSN-SNS stand for?

Sports Nutrition Specialist from the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

Where can I register to take the ISSN-SNS exam online?

Go to this page.  

Who should take the ISSN-SNS exam?

Personal Trainers or Other Fitness Professionals who do not hold a 4-year University/College degree.

Do I have to be a member of the ISSN to take the ISSN-SNS Exam?

Yes.  (Unless you want to pay $999 to take the exam; totally up to you).

Why should you earn the ISSN-SNS?

It is critical for all health/fitness/medical professionals who work with athletes or active individuals to have a fundamental understanding of the adaptive response to exercise and the role that nutrition plays in the acute and chronic response to exercise. Furthermore, for those who do not attain a 4-year college degree, the SNS provides an avenue in which he or she can maintain the knowledge base needed to provide sound information on sports nutrition and supplementation.

What are the requirements to be eligible to take the ISSN-SNS examination?

Although no formal post-secondary course work is required, candidates are expected to have a working knowledge of basic exercise training, general nutrition, sports supplements, and are familiar with the ISSN's current position papers. To qualify to register for the SNS exam, you must be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or equivalent.

Does earning the ISSN-SNS mean that you have liability insurance (or any other kind of insurance) as it relates to personal training or nutrition education?


Are there any state-by-state (United States) regulations regarding Sports Nutrition?

There are no state-by-state regulations for becoming either a CISSN (Certified Sports Nutritionist) or ISSN-SNS (Sports Nutrition Specialist). Legally, personal trainers can and do provide sports nutrition information or general education to clients for the purpose of enhancing physical performance as well as body composition.

With regards to MNT or medical nutrition therapy, in addition to RDs, many non-RD professionals are indeed official MNT providers for Medicare. Also, MNT is in many state licensing statutes, where many non-RDs are licensed, and legally can and do perform MNT.  Before providing any fee for service nutrition guidance or counseling that might involve medical nutrition therapy (i.e., nutritional plans, assessment for diabetics, people with high blood pressure or heart disease, etc), please check with your particular state laws and guidelines.  For non-USA residents, please check the laws in your country.

Do you have to score 100% on the test to pass it?

If you pass the 100-question (multiple choice, true or false format) examination with a score of 70% or higher, you will be awarded the ISSN-SNS. You will have 50 minutes to complete the ISSN-SNS exam.

What book and/or study guide will help you prepare for the ISSN-SNS?

Sports Nutrition and Performance Enhancing Supplements Eds. Abbie Smith-Ryan and Jose Antonio. ISBN: 1-60797-339-1 (Publisher:  Linus - )

Note: this book is good as a general reference guide. Ultimately, you'll need to know the current scientific literature on sports supplements and nutrition.

Where can I take the ISSN-SNS examination?

You can take the exam online at any time.

Is there an online course that will prepare me for the certification exam?

For those looking for a course VS. self-study to pass the exam, you can now with our friends at the Global Performance Nutrition Institute (GPNi®). 100% online, on-demand for the Sports Nutrition Specialist (SNS®), and shortly the Certified Sports Nutritionists (CISSN)To join the courses with the GPNi® and receive discount, please email the GPNi® team the coupon code “ISSN5%”or use coupon-code “ISSN5%” on their website directly.

The  SNS® and CISSN® certifications conducted by the GPNi® are 100% backed and recognized by the ISSN®

Website here for more details: or email [email protected] 

Is there an ISSN-SNS Practice Exam?

Yes. Go to this link if you want to take a practice exam first 

Can I take the ISSN-SNS without having to go to an officially scheduled examination site?

You can take it online at ANY time.  

What is a passing score?

70% or higher. If you do pass, in order to receive the certificate, you must be a paid member of the ISSN.

Will you receive a numerical score or a pass/fail grading?

You will receive a notification of passing or failing immediately after completing the exam.

How long does the certification remain valid if I do not maintain an active membership?

1 year.

Do you offer group discounts?

Yes.  If you can take the exam with at least 6 other ISSN members, the cost will be cut by 50%.

Is there a refund if you register for the exam but end up not taking it?

If you cancel the exam within 60 days after registering it, you will receive a 10% off refund. After that there is not a refund.

How do I maintain CEUs?

ISSN will randomly select individuals with the ISSN-SNS credential and request evidence that they have met the CEU requirements. Please keep any and all proof of registration and accomplishment as it applies to Continuing Education Units. Some ways to maintain CEUs are listed below. It is mandatory that you have an active paid membership. NOTE: Certificates for CEUs are handed out at the end of the ISSN Conference each year. If you do not pick it up at the conference, you will be charged a processing fee of $49 dollars if you contact the ISSN office at a later date. It is a total fee of $49 per event. Thus, if you need proof of attendance for 2 events, the total cost is $98. 

What are CEUs?

You need to earn 6 CEU per year to maintain the ISSN-SNS or 30 CEUs every five years. It is mandatory that you are a member of the ISSN to maintain your  certification.   The EASIEST way to maintain CEUs is by attending the national conference or by completing the online quiz available at this link:

  • Present at the national or regional ISSN Conference - 6 CEU

  • Serve as President, VP, Secretary or Student Representative or ISSN Volunteer - 6 CEU

  • Publish in the JISSN - 6 CEU

  • Attend the United States National ISSN conference - 13-15 CEU

  • Attend any of the International ISSN conferences (e.g., China, UK, Ireland, etc) - 6 CEU

  • Attend a regional ISSN workshop - 3-6 CEU

  • Take one online CEU quiz per year - 6 Practice Exams ( 
  • Attend an approved non-ISSN event (e.g., NSCA) - 3 (these are on a case by case basis and must be approved by the ISSN prior to applying for these continuing education credits). If you never attend an ISSN event, it is much less likely that a non-ISSN event is approved for CEUs.

  • View ISSN Webinars - 3-6 CEUs
  • If you have further questions about the CISSN or SNS Exams, please contact Douglas Kalman, PhD, RD, FISSN at [email protected] or [email protected]