Beverages are non-alcoholic beverages made from sugar, water, fruit, herbs or spices and sometimes other sources such as honey or sugar substitutes. A beverage is usually a very flavorful, thick liquid meant for consumption. In addition to their primary function of satisfying thirst, beverages play other important roles in modern society. Many common varieties of beverages are hot tea, cold beverages such as coffee, cold milk, energy drinks and soft drinks.
Beverages can be separated into 3 groups: fruit based, milk based and water based. Milk-based beverages are considered the most popular, followed by fruit juice, water and vegetable-based drinks. It is believed that the invention of juices, which include fresh juices from various types of fruits, contributed to the rise in obesity in Western countries.
Alcoholic beverages are beverages that contain alcohol, such as beer, hard liquor, wine, spirits, and coffee. Almost all of the alcoholic beverages cause intoxication and increase blood pressure levels more quickly than non-alcoholic beverages. Almost all of the alcoholic beverages cause ulcers and damage the digestive system. One beverage, however, that is well known to cause no ill effect is water. Water acts like a natural diuretic and helps to balance the amount of fluids that the body needs.
Many foods have caffeine as a component. Caffeine acts as a mild stimulant and can increase alertness and improve performance. However, in combination with alcohol it can lead to an increased heart rate, which in turn can cause an increased stroke risk. Some of the more popular hot drinks on the market include iced tea, ginger ale, chocolate flavored drinks, energy drinks and orange juice. Most of these beverages contain either caffeine or another stimulant to help increase their popularity among consumers.
The different varieties of alcoholic beverages also contain different amounts of calories. Many of the alcoholic beverages contain little or no calories. These low calorie beverages are usually mixed with sugar or other sweetening agents to make them more appealing to consumers. Common varieties of alcoholic beverages include beer, distilled spirits, straight whiskey, liqueur, white wine and pinot noir. Other varieties of alcoholic beverages that contain calories include fruit juices, sherbet, and frozen drinks.
Over the years there has been an increase in the number of people consuming alcoholic beverages. A large majority of these people still choose to consume wine, beer and coffee. Wine is the most popular and most widely consumed alcoholic drink. It is followed by beer, which contains about twice the amount of calories that wine does.