A beverage is a clear liquid meant for human consumption intended to quench one’s thirst. Although other liquids may also serve the same purpose as a beverage, they are generally less common and less well-known than a beverage intended to quench one’s thirst. Additionally, other beverages play secondary or even primary roles in modern society. Common examples of beverages with secondary functions include soft drinks, flavored milk and other dairy products, and tea.
The typical beverage contains sugar or another sugar substitute and either water or a product containing caffeine, both of which contain calories. Soft drinks, in general, have zero calories, while fruit juices have moderate to low calories. Tea is probably the best known beverage and is available in all varieties, including herbal teas with medicinal benefits and antioxidants, as well as black and green teas, which are decaffeinated and contain little caffeine. Juice is another beverage with two main functions; it is either a puree of fresh fruit or vegetables or it is mixed with water to create a drink that is considered to be more healthful than plain water.
Milk is one of the most popular beverages because of its wide variety of uses. Regular milk contains protein, calcium, fats, and carbs, which provide several nutrients that aid the body in its digestion and absorption of other nutrients, as well as additional calories. Other milk products, such as low-fat and non-fat milk, contain fewer calories and are considered to be healthier than whole milk. However, non-fat and skim milk has significantly lower antioxidant content than regular milk. Green and black teas are another option, because they have similar nutrient profiles but have very little if any calories, which are also beneficial for the body.