Well here's a lovely picture of some sports nutrition that I've eaten recently... I'll be honest here, I'm not over keen on the mass-produced sports drinks and food. I'd rather have a banana and an orange juice/water mix with a dash of salt. However, this also is not that palatable and not very practical either. Gatorade is very tasty though!
Getting your nutrition right is a matter of trial and error, with the banana thing I find that after running for about 30 minutes the banana starts to repeat and stays with me for the rest of my run. Nice it ain't. I like the idea of malt loaf, which I know a lot of people use. However, I have discovered that I'm not very good at chewing and running at the same time.
So, what do I use? The answer? Gels. Gels are revolting, some are as thick as jam and make you want to retch as soon as you put them in your mouth from the texture and the over-sweetness, so two tips to get round this:
1) Take them with 2 or 3 large mouthfuls of water
2) Don't try and 'eat' or 'taste' them. This isn't your dinner. Just wash it straight down.
It is possible to find some gels that have a more watery texture, and whilst these are more palatable, for my last two marathons (makes me sound dead good that does, no?) I used GU gels. They look like this:
You can buy them from: http://www.runnersneed.co.uk They come in various flavours: lime, berry, strawberry. The chocolate one above is surprisingly nice, although lime is my favourite as it tastes slightly 'fresher', and therefore stops me feeling nauseous which for me kicks in at about three hours in a marathon.
I took one of these every forty minutes - so for a 4hr marathon time that's about 6 gels. Nice.
Try it in your training and see how it goes. This is a rather important part of your race plan, so to quote a cliché, Fail to Plan=Plan to Fail. Enough said, and the very best of success to you in your sporting adventures.