Hammer gels are great to use. These are much better than the other gel shots that I've tried, so I'd stick with those. Gatorade is good for your fuel belt, but I also use Accelerade. Its this new energy drink that has protein in it, and the claim is that it increases your endurance by 29 percent because of the ratio of protein to carbohydrates. This could be a promotional gimmick, but I've really seen a difference in my long runs since I started drinking that stuff—same with my friends that are training with it.
To reduce soreness, try a recovery drink. I haven't tried one, but I heard these are phenomenal. Otherwise, try to take it easy after your runs by planning a relaxing day. And, look at the soreness as a benefit of a good run! Your building up your muscles!
As for the weight issue, I don't think these will effect your weight. I'm on a training plan that averages between 30-40 miles a week, 50 at the max, and use all of this stuff, plus eat numerous protein bars throughout the week (Luna, for women, is the best), and have seen a difference in my body. Not that I've lost weight, but I've definitely toned my muscles so my clothes are looser and I've heard some comments about how in shape I am!
Either way, make sure you find something that works for you. What works for one person, might not work for the rest! That's the reason for training, right? Good luck with your marathon!!
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