85030 - Human Nutrition

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Moduli: Marco Malaguti (Modulo 1) Marco Malaguti (Modulo 2)
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures (Modulo 1) Traditional lectures (Modulo 2)
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: First cycle degree programme (L) in Exercise and Sport Sciences (cod. 8512)

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student knows the energy requirements of the human body, the macro and micronutrients contained in food and their metabolic fate. It is able to carry out correct nutritional information aimed at sedentary people and those who perform physical activity, also according to the type of activity (aerobic or anaerobic), and the degree of intensity (endurance sport etc.).

Course contents

Basic Nutrition

Nutrients and their functions. Macronutrients and micronutrients. Essential nutrients. Caloric value of nutrients. Nutrient and energy needs. Nutrition status: determinants and indicators. Body mass index and correlations. Body composition and its modifications. Energy balance and its components. Food groups and nutritional characteristics of each group.

Digestion and absorption
Gastrointestinal tract, oral cavity and esophagus, Stomach, Small Intestine, Large Intestine
Enzymes and zymogens, pancreatic secretion, hormones, bile acids and biliary secretion
Digestion of proteins, digestion of carbohydrates, enzymes used for digestion of carbohydrates
Digestion of lipids, absorption in the small intestine; Amino Acids, Monosaccharides; Fats; Absorption of water-soluble vitamins, fat soluble vitamin absorption, absorption of water and electrolytes; absorption of minerals and trace elements; absorption of different substances, resistance to digestion of nutrients.

Chemical characterization of carbohydrates: monosaccharides and their derivatives, Disaccharides, Polysaccharides, Carbohydrates in food, RDAs for carbohydrate, glycemic index, carbohydrates Importance of physical exercise, not-available carbohydrates; Definition of dietary fiber, fiber components, functional classification of dietary fiber; role on health; nutrition recommendations.

Fatty acids, cholesterol, presence of lipids in food; oxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids (lipid peroxidation), absorption and transport; apolipoprotein and function of lipoproteins, metabolism of fatty acids, dietary fatty acids, essential fatty acids and synthesis of prostaglandins, saturated fatty acids, trans fatty acids, monounsaturated fatty acids. Conjugated linoleic acid.

The proteins and their turnover, amino acids, dietary sources of amino acids, dietary proteins, branched chain amino acids, protein digestibility, protein quality and methods of measurement; chemical score, biological value, efficiency score, amino acid score corrected for digestibility, protein requirements; Protein turnover and nitrogen balance; Recommended dietary intake, Protein required for physical activity; Protein sources; Problems associated with excessive consumption of protein; Needs of amino acids; Physical activities and eating disorders; Physical activity needs of individual amino acids.


Water-soluble vitamins: B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 or PP (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6, H (biotin), folic acid, B12 (cobalamin), Vitamin C. Fat-soluble vitamins A (retinol), D, E and K.

The water and the water balance
The water, the water molecule, water and food, mineral water, water and body water balance; hypohydration and dehydration, overhydration and hyponatremia.

Macroelements: calcium (Ca), chlorine (Cl), phosphorus (P), magnesium (Mg), potassium (K), sodium (Na), Sulfur (S).
Micronutrients and trace elements: iron (Fe), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), fluorine (F), selenium (Se), chromium (Cr), other minerals.

Alcohol and beverages with nerve stimulant properties


Methods for evaluating metabolic expenditure.

The food pyramid and the Mediterranean diet

Nutrition in Sport

The production of ATP to support physical activities: Notes of bioenergetics in exercise: the ways of energy production - The methods of replenishing ATP; Theoretical coverage of the various bioenergy routes - Type of muscle fibers and preferential use of the various pathways - energy systems and metabolic pathways during muscle contraction - metabolic fate of lactate - Use of different substrates and respiratory quotient: the skeletal muscle.

Nutrition for athletes: General principles - Critical points in sport nutrition - Energy consumption and body weight - Planning of diet - The diet before exercise - The diet during sports - The diet after sports

The vegetarian sportsman: The different forms of vegetarianism - The energy balance - The macronutrient distribution - The distribution of micronutrients - Other nutrients - Creatine - Antioxidants: Oxidative stress and exercise; antioxidant status of vegetarians and omnivores; Effect of integration with antioxidants – Nutrition before, during and after exercise - Vegetarianism and athletic performance - Vegetarianism and the female athlete triad - Young vegetarian athletes - Famous vegetarians.

Oxidative stress and antioxidant activity - The oxygen paradox and the formation of ROS - Production of radicals within the cell - The development of antioxidant defenses - Specific antioxidant mechanisms: prevention, neutralization, dismutation, scavenging and quenching - antioxidant enzymes: superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPX) - non-enzymatic antioxidants: Glutathione - physical activity and oxidative stress - oxidative stress, athletic performance and muscle fatigue - Antioxidants food and supplements.

Supplements for Sport

Sport drink - Factors affecting the absorption of sport drinks: Volume of beverage, calorie content of the drink; osmolality of the solution ingested; pH of the drink consumed; intensity physical exercise; Factors affecting the intestinal absorption; - Function of the different minerals and ions: Sodium and Potassium, Magnesium and Chlorine - Other molecules used in rehydration: glycerol - energy supplements containing lipids - Triacylglycerides medium-chain (MCT) - Acid conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) - Protein supplements and protein requirements for athletes - Metabolism of amino acids in skeletal muscle in response to exercise - protein catabolism during exercise - Regulation of protein synthesis and degradation during exercise - Regulation of muscle branched chain amino acids metabolism - branched chain amino acids and the hypothesis of the "central fatigue" - Other molecules derived from amino acid used as supplements - Creatine: Creatine supplementation and muscle levels of ATP and phosphocreatine - Oral supplementation with creatine and sports performance; Recent indications of the effects of creatine, - L-Carnitine - Carnosine and N-β-alanyl-L-histidine, - supplements of antioxidant molecules

The high-level athlete

How to promote protein synthesis - Reduction of fat mass and efficiency - Nutrition for the sprinter - Nutrition for the long distance runners - Nutrition for sports of strength and power - Team games and Individual sports - Winter Sports



*Principi di Nutrizione. A cura di: Biagi, Di Giulio, Fiorilli e Lorenzini. 2010, Casa Editrice Ambrosiana. Volume 1 della collana: Nutrizione per lo Sport.

*Alimentazione per lo sport e la salute. A cura di Biagi, Di Giulio, Fiorilli e Lorenzini. 2010, Casa Editrice Ambrosiana. Volume 2 della collana: Nutrizione per lo Sport.

Advanced Sport Nutrition 2021 (3rd Edition)- Dan Bernardot - Ed Human Kinetics.

Additional materials will be provided by the teacher

* Books available at UNIBO libraries

Teaching methods

Frontal lessons-

Peer teaching, student presentation on specific topics assigned by the teacher

Assessment methods

Learning will be evaluated by summing the results obtained by the student in the tasks assigned during the course (max 2/30) and in the final written test.

Final written test (up to 33 points): written exam consisting of a test of 25 multiple choice questions plus 20 True/False questions to be completed in 30 minutes, extra time is guaranteed DSA certified students and "Erasmus Student".

The test vote is calculated by attributing:

+1.0 points for each correct multiple choice answer
-0.1 points for each wrong multiple choice answer

+0.4 points for each True/False qnswer
   0 points for each not given or wrong answer

"Cum Laude" is awarded if the overall score (sum of task's score + final test score) is equal or higher than 33/30

Where necessary the vote of the HUMAN NUTRITION course will be rounded to the nearest whole number (example 1: score 24.6: grade 25. Example 2: score 27.4: grade 27. Example 3: score 25.5: grade 26 ).

Since the HUMAN NUTRITION course is a component of the integrated BIOCHEMISTRY AND HUMAN NUTRITION course C. I. the final grade of the C.I. will be given by the average of the marks obtained in BIOCHEMISTRY and in HUMAN NUTRITION

Teaching tools



Teams Microsoft

ppt slides

Office hours

See the website of Marco Malaguti


Zero hunger Good health and well-being Clean water and sanitation Responsible consumption and production

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.