Everyday Life

Supplementing With Creatine

It seems that every time I visit the gym I hear people discussing the use of pre or post workout supplements. And the one supplement most people seem to be comfortable taking is creatine or creatine monohydrate. Since this sparked my interest I decided to investigate creatine a little further. I began searching the web for some answers and came across an excellent site regarding creatine supplementation. The following are answers to some of the more common questions.

What is creatine monohydrate?

Creatine is basically an amino acid (amino acids are the building blocks of protein) which is manufactured in your body by your liver and kidneys, and comes from your diet via meat and animal products. Creatine (creatine monohydrate) is crystalline compound that is colorless and utilized in muscles for the manufacturing of phosphocreatine, a key factor in the forming of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the foundation of energy for muscle contraction and several other functions in your body.

What does creatine monohydrate commonly do in your body?

In your body, creatine is transformed into a molecule called “phosphocreatine” which acts as a storage depository for quick power. Phosphocreatine is particularly important in tissues. For instance, the voluntary muscles and the nervous system which routinely demand huge amounts of energy.

Why do athletes use creatine monohydrate?

Research has demonstrated that creatine can raise the overall performance of athletes in activities that demand rapid bursts of power, such as sprinting, and may also enable athletes to recuperate quicker after expending bursts of power. Creatine is most beneficial for the serious weight lifter. It can help maximize muscle size, instead of muscle endurance; therefore it’s not ideal for athletes taking part in endurance activities. However, the gain in muscle mass could be due to fluid retention and not a growth in muscle tissue.

Why have I been reading so much on the subject of creatine and neuromuscular problems?

A couple of scientific studies have suggested that creatine may be advantageous for neuromuscular problems. One study demonstrated that creatine had been twice as effective as the prescription medication riluzole in increasing the life of mice with the degenerative neural condition amyotrophic lateral sclerosis also commonly known as (ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease). A second study discovered that creatine could cause a modest boost in power in individuals with a number of neuromuscular problems.

I would like to begin taking creatine monohydrate, would it be safe?

Typically, athletes have not encountered adverse side-effects from consuming creatine, however, recently there were a few reports of kidney damage associated with creatine usage. No constant degree of toxicity has been documented in research of creatine supplementation. Dehydration also has been documented to be an issue while using creatine.

Athletes normally take a “loading dosage” of about 20 grams of creatine each day for 5 to 6 days, and then proceed with a “maintenance dose” of 2 to 5 grams of creatine each day thereafter.

Are there side effects of creatine monohydrate usage?

Little is known regarding long-term side effects of creatine monohydrate; however, no consistent degree of toxicity has been reported in the research of creatine supplementation. In a report on the side effects of creatine monohydrate, diarrhea has been the most frequently reported negative result of creatine supplementation, accompanied by muscle cramping. Some studies demonstrated that kidney, liver, and blood functions weren’t impacted by short-term higher quantities or long-term small amounts of creatine supplementation among healthy young adults. In an independent study of individuals consuming 5-30 grams each day, no change in kidney functionality showed up after around 5 years of supplementation. Muscle cramping after supplementation has been documented in a few studies.

According to research, it appears that creatine may be a rather safe supplement to use provided you follow the manufactures directions and only consume the recommend amount. I guess it’s a call each individual must make for themselves.

What are Tax Lien Certificates and Tax Deeds?

Tax Lien Certificates

A tax lien can best be described as a legal claim which is filed in court by a government agency (usually the county) against an individual or company owing property taxes. Tax liens typically attach to real estate to cover the delinquent taxes. A listing of tax delinquent properties on which the taxes are not paid are held at the county courthouse together with the appropriate documentation to prevent any legal issues.

Each year properties are taxed based on their value and each year a great deal of individuals neglect to pay their taxes promptly; incurring penalties on themselves due to possible financial troubles or they simply misplace the tax bill. In the event you are late paying your taxes then your local government looks for investors to purchase the tax liens to help balance their budget. Tax Liens could be filed for income taxes, unemployment taxes, property taxes, Social Security or disability tax. If the tax lien debt is settled, papers are usually filed with the courts, affirming the release of the real estate.

Savvy investors invest their money in tax liens hoping they will receive substantial profits from their investment. TV infomercials and some real estate gurus make tax lien investing sound like an easy, guaranteed money making investment. Although investing in tax lien certificates is a fairly simple process, you need to thoroughly understand the rules and risks if you want to win the game and not lose your investment.

The initial step must be creating a lucrative portfolio of tax liens certificates. Every investor needs to decide the main reason behind their tax lien investment. In order to build a profitable portfolio the smart investors needs to honestly answer a few questions such as; why do I want to invest my money in tax liens to begin with? By knowing the reason behind your desire to invest will help to determine what type of tax lien investment is going to be the best fit for you.

Over the past few years the tax lien certificate auction business has become more popular, most likely as a result of abrupt decline of the real estate market and downward spiral of the stock market. Since the stock market has remained unpredictable for quite a while its forcing investors to seek other methods through which they may receive a healthy return on their investment. Even though the profits from tax liens can be substantial it’s still an unknown investment strategy for many investors. Properly investing in tax lien certificates assures that your money will go towards an investment that has the potential to be very profitable within a set period of time. However, you must learn the essential rules which are crucial to making a good tax lien investment. Succeeding with tax lien certificates requires a basic tax lien education and familiarization with state and county rules, laws and regulations.

Tax Deeds

Tax deeds are very similar to tax liens. The main difference is that the local government issues a tax deed to investors instead of a tax lien. In this circumstance, when a property owner becomes delinquent on their property taxes the local government is granted ownership of the property.  The county will then sell these tax deeds at public auction to help cover the money owed the county. In most states the owner has a set amount of time to redeem their property from the county by paying the back taxes, interest and penalties. If the property is not redeemed by the end of the redemption period, the county sells the tax deed to the highest bidder.

Of course the process of the county acquiring a person’s deed to their property requires the county to follow a series of legal steps first. The steps required will vary between states and counties based on local laws. However, the basic steps are that the property owner must first be notified, then the county needs to apply for the tax deed, and finally a notice must be posted at the property and a public notice must also be posted.

Just like tax liens, tax deeds can be a profitable investment when done properly. A few years ago I attend one of the monthly tax deed auctions in Chatham county Georgia. Among the tax deeds up for auctions were a couple of properties on Tybee Island on the Georgia coast. Tybee is a fairly popular beach vacation paradise for visitors throughout the country, and I felt the right property could be an excellent investment. There was a beach front condo up for auction. It apparently was a vacation home and due to problems with the economy the home owner became delinquent on their taxes and lost the condo to the county. I was able to purchase the deed at about 40% of market value and have a great vacation home in this beach community.

General Points For Home Improvement

Each do-it-yourself situation differs. However, there are a few general points that apply to the majority of projects.  

A Few General Points

When all of the woodwork within a home is the same color (cream, white, and off-white work well), areas have a tendency to visually “flow smoothly” even though the walls of the areas may be different colors. Be sure you don’t break this rule.

The colors of all areas, which may be seen simultaneously, should look great together.  For example, with a standard center hall floor plan in a modern two-story home.  The living room and dining area are to the right and left of the entry.  The foyer goes straight back to the family room and the kitchen across the rear of the home.  There’s possibly a deck or patio off that area.  Some section of all those rooms is seen from each area, and the foyer walls continue upstairs to a hall from which all bedroom’s are visible.

To continue our illustration with cream woodwork, the foyer and hall may be painted a pearl gray, lighter tan, soft gold, or even deep cream.  The woodwork is most likely a gloss or semi-gloss and the walls and ceiling a flat or eggshell paint.  Since ceilings reflect light down, they’re generally best in cream or off-white.  

The living room area opening off the foyer may be a solid color (perhaps sage green or a dark tan) or it could look quite attractive with a vertically striped wall paper (possibly a cream & gray, cream & green, or cream & tan are good choices).  The dining area is likely to have a chair rail.  A dark color may look great below the chair rail (again sage green, gray, gold or tan works) with a lighter tint of exactly the same color above.  If a solid color were selected for the living room, the dining area could handle a deeper red below the chair rail and a cream wallpaper with a narrow crimson stripe above it.  Plenty of crystal and mirrors might look excellent in an area like that.

I’m sure you get the concept.  With the open floor plans in today’s homes, it is important that areas work together.

A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it is not open.

Frank Zappa