Stirring Up the Sports World with Innovative Nutrition Strategies That Empower Athletes and Break Barriers

Written by Jessica R.

Emily Lepping & Sean Smith

Emily Lepping’s transformation from a university nutritionist to a pioneering entrepreneur in the sports nutrition industry encapsulates a journey of passion, innovation, and relentless dedication to athlete wellness and performance. Initially uncertain about her path while studying nutrition at Western Kentucky University, Emily found her passion ignited unexpectedly when she was given the opportunity to lead a sports nutrition initiative by the campus dietitian. This role involved ‘plate coaching’—a hands-on approach where Emily would walk through the campus dining hall with athletes, assisting them in assembling meals that catered precisely to their nutritional needs for peak performance and recovery.

After college, Emily’s expertise grew as she navigated roles that had her working closely with a variety of sports teams at the University of Louisville. Her responsibilities covered a broad spectrum, from providing individual consultations to managing nutrition programs for entire teams. This included working with high-profile teams such as the football team during the 2020 season, where she implemented comprehensive nutritional strategies that complemented their rigorous training schedules.

The inception of her own business with Sean Smith, Ambit Health and Performance, marked a significant milestone in Emily’s career. This venture allowed her to broaden her impact, reaching out to individual athletes and teams across various sports disciplines. Ambit not only provided tailored nutrition plans but also engaged in public speaking and research consultancy thereby influencing the broader field of sports nutrition.



Emily’s passion for volleyball and her personal experience as a player has inspired her next significant project, Volley Suite. Aimed at offering high-level performance support, Volley Suite integrates training, nutrition, and mental health resources into a comprehensive service package for volleyball athletes and teams. This initiative reflects Emily’s understanding of the specific demands of the sport and her commitment to supporting athletes holistically.

Beyond her technical skills, Emily is a staunch advocate for women in the predominantly male field of sports. She actively mentors young women aspiring to careers in sports nutrition, emphasizing the importance of setting boundaries, prioritizing self-care, and confidently tackling challenges. Her efforts extend to dismantling stereotypes and expanding opportunities for women in sports, ensuring they receive the recognition and respect they deserve.

One of Emily’s key contributions to the field is her practical approach to debunking myths about the high costs associated with maintaining a nutrition plan for high-performance athletes. She educates athletes on how to maximize their nutrition budgets by choosing whole foods over expensive supplements and processed products, offering real-world examples and straightforward advice that athletes can easily apply.

Emily’s extensive experience with a diverse range of athletes has solidified her approach to nutrition, which is adaptive and foundationally strong yet personalized to meet individual needs. Her strategy involves starting with the basics and progressively building sophisticated plans that are tailored to the specific demands of different sports and athlete preferences.

Emily Lepping’s journey is a compelling narrative of how dedicated professionals can influence an entire industry. Her holistic approach not only enhances athletic performance but also advocates for a more inclusive and supportive sports environment, making her a true leader in the field of sports nutrition.