It’s true: most people eat way too much of all three. But you’re not most people. “The things that can kill us when we’re sitting on our ass all day can be highly ergogenic while we’re active” says Lim. Salt, sugar, and fat—the unholy trinity—are vital to performance. Neglect sugar from your pre-race diet and your legs will fall flat. And ditching salt will only cause dehydration down the road.
The Fix: There’s a time and place for everything, Lim says. When you’re training, you need to eat salt, sugar, and fat. Make sure your energy drink is loaded with sodium and you’re eating enough simple sugars to stay fueled (try these six surprising and effective fuels).