Nutritional Value Of Beverages

Beverages are fluids apart from water, consumed both as stimulants and also because they are palatable. They  also have nutritional value and benefits. They may be alcoholic or non-alcoholic e.g. milk, tea, coffee, wine, beer, fruit juices and fruit drinks. Tea, coffee, fruit juices and drinks are non-alcoholic while beer, spirits and wine are alcoholic. Beverages are drinks with strong flavours and act as thirst quenchers.



Beverages are classified on their nutritive value and presence of absence of alcohol and they include

Alcoholic beverages: They contain a percentage of alcohol e.g. beer, wines, spirits, stout, etc. They have the following characteristics:

– contained fermented sugar

– Act as a sedative when consumed excessively

– Nutritive value is very low

– have strong flavor

– weaken the body if the intake is not controlled

– Ready to serve

Non-alcoholic beverages: This type of beverage does not contain alcohol e.g. tea, coffee, cocoa, fruit juices, milk drinks, beef tea, lemon, grass drinks, etc. They also have the following characteristics:

-natural sugar content

-act as a stimulant (tea and coffee)

– Nutritive values are high in vitamins, proteins and fats

– supply energy to the body

– need some kind of local preparation before serving

Nutritive Value of Beverages

Non-alcoholic beverages

They are classified according to their nutritional values into the following groups:

Nourishing beverages: These are drink with high food value that is rich in carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Examples are cocoa drinks, egg drinks, milk drinks and cereal drinks. Milk and egg beverages are very nourishing and ideal for invalids, children and nursing mothers as they are rich in body building nutrients. Examples are milk shakes with ice-cream, orange milk shake, coffee milk shake, egg nog, milk with honey. Cocoa drink contains stimulating alkaloids but in less amount of fat, some carbohydrate, protein and small amount of minerals

Refreshing beverages: These include commercial carbonated drinks and fruit juices and drinks. These fruit juices are prepared from fresh fruits such as oranges, lemons, etc. They are either served alone in the form of juice or mixed with water and sugar and served as drinks. They can be made into concentrates of orange juice or other fruit juices and diluted to taste. They form a good source of vitamin C and sugar. Fruit drinks made from chemical powders and liquids sold commercially have no nutritive value other than dissolved sugar.

The juice of ripe citrus fruits like sweet oranges, grapefruit, tangerine pomelo, etc. contain sugar, some mineral salts, small quantities of proteins and vitamin C. Lemon juice is extracted and made into lemonade drinks which contains vitamin C, vitamin B2 and carotene . Beverages can be served as refreshing drinks or thirst quenchers. They can be used as protective drinks for sick people as well as those in good health. Intake of fruit drinks form a good addition to diet where there is deficiency of vitamin C particularly in artificial feeding of babies and infants

Stimulating beverages: These are often referred to as invalid drink because of their medicinal properties. They are curative and help to stimulate appetite e.g. lemon grass tea, beef tea and coffee. Coffee and tea contain alkanoid which stimulates the central nervous system; lessen fatigue and the desire to sleep. They contain volatile oils which give the infusion the characteristic flavor and also contain tannin, which when liberated in hot water gives it bitter taste. Tannin also causes digestive upset by thickening the protein food nutrient when taken.

Excessive intake especially of coffee may be harmful by over-stimulating the central nervous system. Tea is the mild and harmless stimulant. When sugar is added it provides quick supply of energy to the body. It contains small amount of riboflavin. Tea and coffee do not provide any nutritional food value unless milk and sugar are added. Beef tea and lemon tea stimulates the appetite and are curative. They could be referred to as sick people’s drinks.

Alcoholic beverages

The main constituent of alcoholic drinks is alcohol. It is quickly absorbed into the body without being changed in the process of digestion. When alcohol gets into the body tissues, it can be converted to fat. Some wines, and liquours e.g. beer, stout and cider etc. contain some amount of sugar and may be a source of energy for the body (not a good source). The energy value of alcohol in beer, wines and spirits is 7.0 calories or 29 KJ/gm. Alcoholic beverages generally have little food value.

Selection of beverages

The following points are to be considered in selecting the type of beverages to be prepared and served.

  1. The nutritional need of the individual.
  2. The health condition of the individual
  3. The time of the day.
  4. The weather conditions of the place (cold or hot beverage)
  5. The type of work done by the individual.
  6. The age of the individual taking it.
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Oluchi Chukwu

Oluchi is a seasoned Information blogger, content developer and the editor of Nigerian Queries. She is a tech enthusiast who loves reading, writing and research

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