Simply defined, a beverage is a drink intended for human consumption. The primary role of a beverage is to satisfy thirst. However, beverages also play other significant roles in our culture. Drinks may be placed in two broad groups: non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages. Some of the commonest non-alcoholic beverages include water, milk, tea, coffee, soda, juices and chocolate. Beer, wine and liquor are among alcoholic drinks that are most widely consumed in many parts of the world.
A non-alcoholic drink is one that contains little or no alcohol. Some of the most widely used non-alcoholic drinks include:
Water is the world’s most consumed beverage. It is also the most important liquid in the body, accounting for about 75% of the total body mass. Only 3% of the water on earth is drinkable an fresh. Most people in western cultures drink water cold, while in Chinese culture, water is usually drunk hot.
After water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage. It is produced by adding the ground leaves of camellia sinensis in boiling water. Milk and sugar may be added during the preparation of tea.
Another widely consumed drink, milk serves as the primary source of nutrition for babies. Beyond infancy, humans use the dairy milk of animals such as cattle, goats, sheep and camels. Milk is one of the healthiest drinks in the world.
Coffee is brewed from the roasted seeds of several species of Coffea. The brew contains caffeine and can have a stimulating effect on humans.
Alcoholic drinks contain ethanol. Some of the most popular drinks include:
Beer is the most consumed alcoholic drink in the world. It is also thought to be the world’s oldest fermented drink. In many parts of the world, beer is imbibed in pubs and restaurants.
Wine is made from fermented grapes or other fruits. Fermentation occurs when yeast consumes the sugars in grapes and converts them into alcohol and carbon dioxide. Depending on the varieties of grapes, different kinds of wine are made.
Spirits are distilled drinks that do not contain added sugars. Spirits contain at least 20% alcohol by volume. Brandy, gin,rum and whisky are among the most common spirits.
Uses of beverages
Satisfaction of thirst
The basic function of beverages is to satisfy thirst. Thirst is a sensation experienced by the body in response to dehydration. The sensation, which is regulated by the hypothalamus, causes a craving to drink. Our bodies are 75% water, and the complete elimination of water from the body will result in a very quick death, hence the saying that water is life.
Beverages have been used as part of medication. Not only is water consumed to quench thirst, it is also beneficial in the treatment of certain illnesses such as colds, arthritis, constipation and many others. Numerous drugs are also manufactured in the form of liquids.When it was first used, tea would be taken as a medicinal drink in China.
Throughout human history, drinks have been part of human culture. Drinking has been a large part of socializing throughout the centuries. Beverages have been used in many social events such as celebrations and worship events. They have been an important part in the process of socialization.