Just read an article from mercola explaining post recovery strategies.
It's really an issue of fast recovery versus growth hormone release. Which one are you aiming for?
In order to promote HGH release, you do need to restrict sugar intake post-exercise, while carbs can benefit those more interested in fast recovery, such as professional athletes.
To explain and expound on this issue further, Phil provided the following details:
"When I train young athletes in speed â?? www.40speed.com - I explain to them that the research shows 20 to 25 grams of protein (within 30 minutes of training) with a 4 to 1 ratio of carbs to protein, starts the recovery process quicker.
This advice is given to everyone as general advice in most fitness magazines today and is mostly based on research led by Dr John Ivey on young cyclists who have to perform several days in a row, and a quick recovery during competition is extremely important. Clearly, young athletes more concerned with fast recovery than maximizing HGH release should use this strategy.
However, if you are middle-aged, or in a non-competitive phase of training, and keeping HGH circulating as long as possible is your goal, then protein intake (20 to 25 grams after training) is a great strategy, but you need to monitor the glycemic impact of carbs because of the variable impact of carbs on insulin, which in turn impacts the HGH release process.
There are a couple of variables that come into play that can change the rules for adults wanting to maximize human growth hormone from exercise.
Research shows that a spike of insulin after training increases somatostatin (the hormone that shuts down HGH).
So, here's where this issue gets complicated, because it's difficult to estimate the glycemic impact of food on different people with different muscle to body fat ratios. And what makes this issue very complicated is that the insulin producing process is variable for every adult to some degree.
It depends on where you are on the Metabolic Syndrome scale. Metabolic Syndrome just became an official medical condition in 2001, and the research shows that even a few carbs can spike insulin for some people with insulin resistance.
If you are lean and do not need to drop a lot of body fat, then you can probably eat some carbs without spiking insulin -- and maybe even some refined sugar depending on the interaction of the carbs with an intake of post-training protein, which will somewhat negate the impact of the carbs on the insulin response â?? as opposed to an intake of carbs on an empty stomach.
So, as you can see, there are many variables that come into play.
In short, carbs with the protein can be good after training as long as the glycemic response doesn't spike your insulin.
Research shows that the insulin response of an individual is lessened with youth and/or lean body weight (muscle vs. body fat), and that's another reason why it's so important to maintain muscle throughout life.
From a performance training strategy perspective for runners, I would suggest consider training with the strategy of maximizing HGH release (except on really hot days or on the one-long-run-a-week day) because this strategy should build muscle to make you faster, and reduce body fat so you have less to carry.
For competitions, and those hot, long-training days, I'd suggest using the quick recovery strategy of 1 to 4 ratio of protein to carbs, because in this instance, your body does not care what the quality of glucose is; it just needs glucose."
I'm not totally sold on this point of view, but I will say my pre training spike and post training low carb approach has worked for me.