Running a marathon can be a fortifying experience—mentally and emotionally, at least. For the body, it's pretty depleting. Once it has used up all the carbs in your system, your bod starts breaking down fat—an inadequate source of fuel for 26.2-mile feats of craziness endurance. To replace depleted carbohydrate stores, especially late in the race, some runners rely on energy gels—those sickeningly sweet little packets of glucose, fructose, suctrose, a complex carb (often maltodextrin) and sometimes caffeine—that come in dubious flavors such as Chocolate Outrage and Montana Huckleberry. There are a lot of varieties to choose from, if you must choose, so we plopped our sedentary selves down on the office couch and sampled a bunch for you. Conclusion: This stuff isn't easy to eat. (GU or do not GU; there is no try.)
RECOMMENDED: Complete coverage of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Photos, the route, costumes, shoes and more.