BEVERAGES. Beverages are those drinks to which mankind resorts in order that he may relieve the pangs of thirst or supply some other demand of the system. In the beginning man's life was marked by its simplicity. Our first parents were content to eat the fruits that they found so convenient for their needs and it is doubtful if they knew any other beverage than the pure water coursing through the streams that irrigated the ground. It was not until they began to eat the flesh of beasts and searched the soil for delicacies to gratify their newly awakened appetite for a variety in foods that they felt the craving of unnatural thirst. But the eating of strong meats required the drinlcing of stronger drinks than water and in this fact we find the origin of the history of beverages.
It would be intensely interesting.ft we could lcnow in just what way prehistoric man first satisfied his unnatural thirst for drink. It is, of course, more than probable that the second beverage discovered by man was the milk of the animals he slaughtered to gratify.his taste for meat. From a temperate and hygienic point of view it was not a long stride from the waters of the brooks to the milk of cows and asses and yet it stands out as a landmark in the develop ment of the demand for variety, the demand which may be regarded as the first tendency toward civilization. ft is also quite probable that, in the beginning, tnan dranIc his milk soon after it was drawn or while it was still fresh, but finally there came a day when some prehistoric investigator was bold enough to take a drink of the milk of mares that had been set aside, and from this fermented liquid learned the sensations of intoxication, for kumyss, still the favorite tipple of the Tartar, is unquestion ably the most ancient of all intoxicating bever ages.
To mankind, next to water, milk is still a favorite beverage, for it possesses the double advantage.of being both food and drink. To the civilized taste the milk of cows is the most, desirable but more barbaric taste calls for a stronger beverage and is best gratified by the milk of mares, asses, camels or even rein deers.
It is undoubtedly true that if we ate only wholesome foods in such quantities only as our system requires; performed our work with reg ularity; enjoyed, at proper intervals, requisite rest and recreation, and avoided all such dele terious distractions as excitement and worry, water would be the only beverage that nature would demand.
While it is the primary object of all bever ages to relieve thirst nearly all of them also possess other properties that exercise more or less effect upon the ,body. For example, those drinks which contain the largest quantities of water pass most' rapidly into the circulation, increasing the volume of blood. Diluting the food, they not only assist digestion but also aid in eliminating waste matter from the body through the ordinary channels. There are beverages that soothe and beverages that irri tate, but all have their purpose. The former find their scope of usefulness in times of fever and cold, while the latter are stimulating irri tants of great medicinal value.
Among the most useful beverages are those that best relieve the cravings of tlurst, the sour liquids prepared from the lemon, or other fruit juices, winch, while perhaps not acid in them selves, have been rendered acidulous by charges of carbon dioxide. While the carbonated and mineral waters have the greatest effect in elimi nating waste matter from the system they are not so useful in this regard as the hot drinlcs, like tea, coffee or even hot water, for they not only play their part in the elimination of waste but also. cool the body by increasing the perspiration.
Particularly soothing are such mucilaginous or gelatinous liquids as barley water, flaxseed tea and Irish moss. The mineral waters, malt liquors and light wines act with a tonic effect; the more common beverages, like tea and coffee and the milder alcoholic liquors are stimulating to the nerves, while tea and coffee, if milk and sugar are added, as well as chocolate, cocoa and the malt liquors may be classified as the nutri tious drinks.