They're not just for longer runs than you're doing, they're for longer runs than your neighbor is doing. They're for people who are trying to WIN an endurance event and are trying to *avoid* burning off their fat. People who need a last blast of quick energy need it to come from sugar, not fat. If they have already burned off all their easily available blood glucose, a gel (or those blocks, etc) can give them a boost without getting into the fat stores that they'll need for their next endurance race.
For people who are trying to lose weight, the gels will do the exact opposite of what you want. You are *trying* to trigger fat burning, and the gel will block that.
(Most of these gels are flavored corn syrup, by the way. I actually have nothing against corn syrup as an ingredient, but I don't see any point in taking it straight, any more than I would just eat a tablespoon of white sugar.)
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