Saucony Triumph 18 Shoe Review

Shoe Review: Saucony Triumph 18

Saucony Triumph 18

Category- Neutral Daily Trainer-Premium Cushioning

Weight-9.7 oz(W), 11.1(M)

Heal to Toe Drop: 8 mm

Stack Height (Heel/toe): 32.5 mm (Heel), 24.5 mm (Forefoot)

Preferred Surfaces: Track and Road

Cost: $150


My quick Opinion:

Most of the serious runners I work with have made the triumph their go to shoe to eat up miles.  Its TPU foam offers it asuper bouncy and soft feel that makes your long run effortless.   Around the foot it fits true to size and has a lot of plushness around the heel.  For none runners, I think this is one of the most comfortable shoes on the market, without having a the ultra cushion look of the Hokas.


Pros for Saucony Triumph 18:


Cons for Saucony Triumph 18:

  • Heavier shoe and not optional for speed days
  • Expensive

Comparable shoes to Saucony Triumph 18:

  1. Mizuno Wave Sky 4:
    • In many ways this the same shoe. The Mizuno run slightly more narrow.  However, the underfoot foam is very similar.
  2. New Balance 1080:
    • The 1080 is another premium cushioned shoe that serves as a workhorse for your training.  The Fresh foam in the 1080 does not hold up as well as the TPU foam in the triumph.
  3. Hoka Bondi
    • For people who are standing on their feet both the triumph and bondi are good options.  Triumph has a more sleek look compared to the bondi

Is Creatine Bad For Your Health? MythBuster Monday

For all of you that don’t want to read, The answer is if you are a healthy individual with properly functioning Kidneys and Livers, Creatine is extremely safe and effective.

History of Creatine

Creatine was first discovered in 1832, as a natural compound that plays an important role in cellular energy homeostasis. Creatine stores are used to provide energy in short explosive movements. Creatine along with our ATP serve as our instant fuel. Since this time it has become common place to use creatine to improve physical performance. In fact over $400 million worth of creatine is sold each and every year.

Over the last 30 years, creatine has been studied extensively and shown incredible results in both improving overall health and sports performance.


Creatine Improving Sports Performance

The International Society of Sports Nutrition put out a position stand that to into account an extensive accumulation of all the research on creatine and found these results.

“Creatine monohydrate is the most effective ergogenic nutritional supplement currently available to athletes with the intent of increasing high-intensity exercise capacity and lean body mass during training.” Here were some of the key take home points of this position stand.

  • Increase single and repetitive sprint performance
  • Increase work performed during sets of maximal effort muscle contractions
  • Increase muscle mass & strength adaptations during training
  • Enhance glycogen synthesis
  • Increase anaerobic threshold
  • Provide possible enhancement of aerobic capacity via greater shuttling of ATP from mitochondria
  • Increase in work capacity
  • Enhance recovery
  • Antioxidant effects
  • Increased Bone Mineral Density

Creatine’s Use in Disease States

I am not a medical doctor and am not offering any medical advice. I am only offering what research has discussed. Creatine has some interesting research that is going on regarding its effects in Neurodegenerative diseases. Neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by a progressive loss of function, and often death, of neurons. Below is the proposed mechanisms.

The theory that started the research in the usage of creatine as a treatment option is based around mitochondrial dysfunction and excess production of free radicals being two primary mechanisms driving the development of neurodegenerative diseases. Creatine supplementation increases the PCr pool which may facilitate improved mitochondrial functioning and more efficient ETC transfer.

In Animal studies creatine has shown positive results. However, these results have not carried over to human studies. This can be explained by decreased mitochondrial function being an important factor in several neurodegenerative diseases, but it is typically not the main factor. Creatine may not be used as the main treatment for any of these neurodegenerative diseases, however, it may still be a valuable part of treatment plans do to its many benefits including maintaining muscle mass and bone health, while also serving as an antioxidant.


Controversy around Creatine being Bad For You?

For years, creatine got a bad name. Thinking back on what I heard growing up, included “creatine is a steroid” “Creatine Only makes your muscle bigger because they fill them with water” and that you HAD to cycle creatine because it was bad for your “liver and Kidneys”.

As we talked about above creatine is not a steroid but instead a natural compound that plays an important role in cellular energy homeostasis. It affects energy production and distribution by being reverse phosphorylated to phosphocreatine. This ability gives us more work capacity while working out which allows us to achieve more #gains.

The second false narrative comes from the fact that creatine does cause your muscles to retain more water. Which is not a bad thing, we are made up mostly of water.

Finally, we get to creatine damaging our liver and kidneys. Since our liver naturally produces creatine, many worried too much would harm it. However, research has consistantly shown for HEALTHY individuals creatine is safe even for long term usage. For individuals with a history of liver issues they should be cautious and talk to their physician prior to taking creatine. For the kidneys, many thought it was bad because a common sign of kidney disease is elevated levels of creatinine, a byproduct of creatine, in the blood. This caused many people who were taking creatine to have false positives for kidney disease. However, the reason they were testing positive wasnt because their kidney was damaged but instead because they were taking more creatine thus having more creatinine by product. This is the same as if you eat alot of protein you would expect to have more amino acids in your blood.

Why I take creatine?

Creatine offers a tremendous amount of benefits for a very low price. On the physical side it increases work capacity, muscle mass, glycogen synthesis, sprint performance and enhances recovery. For my general health, it offer antioxidants to help fight off free radicals that come with my high stress highly active life style. Finally, there is research that shows while in sleep deprivation, creatine has shown to improve cognitive function. As a doctoral student, who loves to overextend himself with research, part time jobs, dog duty and running compass performance, sleep is usually the first thing i give up. So hopefully I get a little boost from my creatine.

I use Bulk Supplements for all of my supplements due to the high quality and insanely low prices. With Bulk supplements you arents paying for advertisements or labeling but instead just high quality products. You can get 200 servings of Creatine for ~$20 @bulksupplements when you use coupon code “COMPASS5OFF”.


Butts J, Jacobs B, Silvis M. Creatine Use in Sports. Sports Health. 2018;10(1):31-34. doi:10.1177/1941738117737248

Kreider, R.B., Kalman, D.S., Antonio, J. et al. International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: safety and efficacy of creatine supplementation in exercise, sport, and medicine. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 14, 18 (2017).

 Braissant O, et al. Creatine deficiency syndromes and the importance of creatine synthesis in the brain. Amino Acids. 2011;40(5):1315–24. 14. review

Wyss M, et al. Creatine and creatine kinase in health and disease–a bright future ahead? Subcell Biochem. 2007;46:309–34.   review

Beard E, Braissant O. Synthesis and transport of creatine in the CNS: importance for cerebral functions. J Neurochem. 2010;115(2):297–313 review 

Bender A, Klopstock T. Creatine for neuroprotection in neurodegenerative disease: end of story? Amino Acids. 2016;48(8):1929–40.

Shoe Review: Brooks Ghost 13

Shoe Review: Brooks Ghost 13

Brooks Ghost 13

Category- Neutral Daily Trainer

Weight- 8.8 oz (W), 10.1 oz (M)

Heal to Toe Drop: 12 mm

Stack Height (Heel/toe): 35 mm (Heel), 23 mm (Forefoot)

Preferred Surfaces: Track and Road

Cost: $130


My quick Opinion:

As one of the most popular and beloved running shoes on the market, the Brooks Ghost is a go to for most runners. When I talk about this shoe with customers, I call it the Goldylocks shoe. It fits the majority of feet very, with lots of of room in the shoe and offering plenty of width. It also offers plenty of cushion to complete all of your daily training in. The Ghost may not have all bells and whistles of other shoes(rocker bottoms, carbon fiber plates etc) but it does the basics extremely well.


Pros for Brooks Ghost 13:

  • Comes in a wide range of sizes and widths
    • Comes in narrow, regular, wide and extra wide widths
    • In mens sizes range from 7 all the way to 15
    • In women’s sizes range from 5 to 13
  • Comes in a wide range of colors
  • Offers great amounts of cushion without being “too much
  • Has a good tread on the bottom of shoes that helps allows for performance on wide range of terrain and environmental factors
  • Secure around the heel
  • Fit a majority of feet
  • Overall great shoe, that does alot of things great

Cons for Brooks Ghost 13:

  • Too wide for some feet
  • Lacks some of the performance technologies of other shoes for race day

Comparable shoes to Brooks Ghost 13:

  1. New Balance 880:
    • I always tell if Brooks Ghost is a Toyota Camry then the New Balance 880 is the Honda Accord. They have many of the same features and are incredibly similar. The NB 880 is a little bit narrower in the toe box but thats about it.
  2. Karhu Fusion 2021:
    • The Karhu Fusion 2021 offers a more supportive ride due to the Mid foot fulcram. The ghost offers a more cushioned ride.
  3. Nike Pegasus 37
    • The Nike Pegasus 37 is more narrow daily neutral that can withstand high Mileage

Myth Buster Monday: How Does Caffeine Give You Energy?

How Does Caffeine Give Us Energy: MythBuster Monday


Americans drinks over 400 MILLION Coffees each and everyday; with 64% of United States adults drinking coffee on a daily basis. For most of us, we do not feel alert until we have had our morning coffee. The reason coffee is so potent at increasing is due its relatively high amounts of caffeine(~100mg per 8 fl oz). A recent, International society of sports nutrition position stand deciphered through all the research on Caffeine and sports performance and found….

International society of sports nutrition position stand: caffeine and exercise performance: Main takeaways

  1. Supplementation with caffeine has been shown to acutely enhance various aspects of exercise performance in many but not all studies. Small to moderate benefits of caffeine use include, but are not limited to: muscular endurance, movement velocity and muscular strength, sprinting, jumping, and throwing performance, as well as a wide range of aerobic and anaerobic sport-specific actions.
  2. Aerobic endurance appears to be the form of exercise with the most consistent moderate-to-large benefits from caffeine use, although the magnitude of its effects differs between individuals.
  3. Caffeine has consistently been shown to improve exercise performance when consumed in doses of 3–6 mg/kg body mass. Minimal effective doses of caffeine currently remain unclear but they may be as low as 2 mg/kg body mass. Very high doses of caffeine (e.g. 9 mg/kg) are associated with a high incidence of side-effects and do not seem to be required to elicit an ergogenic effect.
  4. The most commonly used timing of caffeine supplementation is 60 min pre-exercise. Optimal timing of caffeine ingestion likely depends on the source of caffeine. For example, as compared to caffeine capsules, caffeine chewing gums may require a shorter waiting time from consumption to the start of the exercise session.
  5. Caffeine appears to improve physical performance in both trained and untrained individuals.
  6. Inter-individual differences in sport and exercise performance as well as adverse effects on sleep or feelings of anxiety following caffeine ingestion may be attributed to genetic variation associated with caffeine metabolism, and physical and psychological response. Other factors such as habitual caffeine intake also may play a role in between-individual response variation.
  7. Caffeine has been shown to be ergogenic for cognitive function, including attention and vigilance, in most individuals.
  8. Caffeine may improve cognitive and physical performance in some individuals under conditions of sleep deprivation.
  9. The use of caffeine in conjunction with endurance exercise in the heat and at altitude is well supported when dosages range from 3 to 6 mg/kg and 4–6 mg/kg, respectively.
  10. Alternative sources of caffeine such as caffeinated chewing gum, mouth rinses, energy gels and chews have been shown to improve performance, primarily in aerobic exercise.
  11. .Energy drinks and pre-workout supplements containing caffeine have been demonstrated to enhance both anaerobic and aerobic performance.

How Does Caffeine give us energy?

Like the previous Mythbuster Mondays our assumptions are wrong. Many assume it gives us energy, but energy can only come from macronutrients(proteins, carbohydrates, fats). In some senses, caffeine does “give us more energy” by increasing our metabolism and mobilizing our fat burning. This increased metabolism energy production is part of what gives us physical performance enhancement from Caffeine

woman draw a light bulb in white board
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

The mental benefits that most of us chase with our morning coffee, does not come from increased metabolic rate. Instead, caffeine interferes with the very process of becoming tired. We begin to feel “tired” when adenosine, the chemical byproduct of activity, binds with A1 receptors in your brain. The process by which caffeine makes us feel alert, is that caffeine competes against Adenosine for these binding sites. This limits how many adenosines are able to bind with A1 receptors. Thus, caffeine does not give us more energy. Instead, it just makes it so we don’t realize we are tired.

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