You pose some fantastic questions and I apologize for my tardy response. Many of these questions I will only touch on at this time as we are addressing them in-depth in the next Performance Menu. Regarding references, the few that Prof. DeVany has provided are some of the best. Below is another good one:
Brain Behav Immun. 2006 Apr 26; [Epub ahead of print]
Related Articles, Links
Cerebrospinal fluid IL-6, HSP72, and TNF-alpha in exercising humans.
The main point of this article is exercise increases heat shock proteins and tumor necrosis factor, both in cerebrospinal fluid and in plasma. This effect is greatly enhanced when exercise is performed in a fasted state. This is the same phenomena as that seen in Caloric Restriction with Adequate Nutrition (CRAN), but obviously without the downside of loosing 40% of ones body mass!
So the gist of your questions appears to be: How should one handle pre-post WO nutrition and when should one end a fast? The short answer is: it depends. If fat loss is the primary goal extending the fast to an hour AFTER exercise is a great idea. If gaining muscle mass is of paramount importance I’d take in 20g of protein about 30-40 minutes before training and then eat immediately after. Should that post workout meal be a bunch of high GI carbs? If recovery is the primary importance then perhaps. If leanness and overall health is the main objective then moderate carbs and higher fat might be a better plan.
Now the bodybuilding orthodoxy recommends this post workout carb spike and 6-8 meals per day, which is great for selling products and shackling you to your kitchen stove but we are finding that people can certainly gain muscle on fewer meals per day and with no dramatic post workout carb spike. People do need to consume some serious calories but the enhanced insulin sensitivity due to the brief fast seems to aid nutrient partitioning such that muscle is gained without fat gain.
Let me know if this answered your questions and we will be looking at all of this extensively in upcoming Performance Menus.