I'm the Poster Child for Gatorade so I may be biased here. It seems like you are saying that you use diluted sports drinks and Tang for your short runs but mainly gels for your long runs. And you have no cost advantage for Tang.
The experts say that your body needs a sports drink for exercises that last more than 1 hour. Personally, I'll drink 40 ounces or more at the gym!
Why not try this? On your shorter runs, use whatever you want, such as water or diluted Tang. (You can save some money by buying bulk powdered Gatorade at warehouse stores and then reconstituting it yourself.) But on your long runs and your marathons, use a combination of commercial sports drinks and packaged gels. For your long runs, you may have to run a multiple loop route so that you pass your stashed cooler every 2 or 3 miles. For marathons, run past the water tables (unless you like to take a cup to pour on your head as I do) and get the sports drinks.
Marathoners who drink exclusively water sometimes don't make it to the finish line. Hyponathemia (spelling ?), a low sodium condition, can be fatal.
Good luck! Do you know my son, Ben Warlick, UVa Class of '01 engineering?
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