In accordance with well-known theorist Maslow, in his hierarchy of needs, such physiological needs like satisfying thirst typically take precedence over emotional and safety needs, at least in the efficient allocation of care to a human. While the sensory mechanisms controlling thirst, and homeostatic properties of hydration, can be satisfied by introducing simple liquids, like water, into the body through a variety of routes, beverages expound on this desire in that they are specifically prepared for human enjoyment and consumption. In fact, while all beverages contain water, not all water products, in and of themselves, can be effectively classified as a beverage.

Beverages can be found in vast array in accordance to detailed cultural norms, as well as simply founded upon sheer preference for one beverage over another, or, rather, a combination of complementary beverages. The many inherent properties of beverages affords great opportunity for manipulation in constructing an enjoyable product that can be ultimately be taken to market under a stunning and elaborate marketing campaign. For instance, not only can beverage tastes and textures be manipulated, so also does cultural preference determine the manner in which they are served with regards to heat or coolness. While some cultures may prefer their beverages served cold, much like the staples vodka alcoholic beverage of Russia, South Americans may prefer a much warmer beverage preparation with regards to their own industry and economic staple: coffee.

While subconsciously addressing the basic human physiological needs that Maslow spoke of, beverages also manage to provide a degree of comfort to those who turn to its inherent properties in times of challenge and need. Where sleeping trouble, or deprivation, ensues, warm milk may be utilized in a manner by which it is not typically used. While milk has been more noticeably used in the preparation of breakfast cereal, it can also be used as a soothing, yet creamy, foundation for coffee or it can be enjoyed for its sedative like properties when used in conjunction with sleeping difficulties, like mentioned above.

Once again, types of beverages can be divided into several sub-classes dependent, of course, on the degree of manipulation of its inherent properties. With such opportunity, humans have managed to produce a variety of alcoholic beverages, non-alcoholic beverages, cold beverages, hot beverages, and soft drinks. Alcoholic beverages are traditionally served cool and global preference has typically resulted in this treatment, regardless of whether or not one is handling beer, wine or spirits.

The class of non-alcoholic beverages are beverages that traditionally include alcohol, however, for a variety of cultural or religious reasons, a consumer may prefer not to ingest a beverage that has alcohol. Most college students can attest to the depressive, and mind-altering, properties of alcohol and, for this reason, alcohol is typically shunned in some religious circles. For this population, non-alcoholic beverages provide a viable alternative, with non-alcoholic wine, and apple cider included within this class. Not only do these beverages hold cultural connotations with regards to societal preferences, but they can also meet a seasonal component. For example, apple cider may be thoroughly enjoyed in the Fall months, whereas egg nog is typically drunk exclusively during the Winter months, at least in accordance with United States' culture.

Soft drinks, by their very definition, do not contain alcohol. Many are familiar with their role in complementing value meals at world famous fast food restaurants like McDonalds, Wendys, or Burger King. Beverages like lemonade, fruit punch, and colas are typically classified under being a soft drink. Many carbonated soft drinks, like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, or Sprite, are typically available for consumption in a variety of regular, diet, or caffeine free configurations. Because of their purported health benefits, many American citizens have gravitated towards diet versions of these soft drinks and swear by them. Unfortunately, controversy has ensued regarding the use of such artificial sugar sweeteners like 'Splenda' and their potential role in facilitating early traces of cancer.

Last, but not least, hot beverages have solidified themselves as a hallmark of many cultures. Typically, cultural preference has dictated a combination of desired hot, and cold, beverages because each provides their own unique benefits to the human body. During the blistering heat of summer months, a cold drink may be turned to for its inherent properties, however, the warmth of hot chocolate or coffee may be enjoyed during the bitter cold of a December football game. While engulfed in a multi-layered blanket it does make more sense that one would prefer the warmth of hot chocolate as opposed to the coolness of other beverages, when faced with sub-zero temperatures wreaking havoc on the body.

In general hot beverages can be sub-divided into several types of hot beverages, which can be further divided. For instance, coffee-based products may include cappacino, coffee, espresso, cafe au laite, frappe, flavored coffees, and latte. From Dunkin' Donuts to Starbucks, these companies, in particular, have realized this wide array of cultural preferences and have constructed and manipulated their menus accordingly. By noticing an ever-present money-making niches, many companies have taken advantage of the capitalization potential that drives consumers to partake, sometimes in excess, in these particular beverages.

Some substances do fall outside the realm of what would be traditionally considered a beverage. Dependent on consistency, and preparation, however, these particular items or products may actually be eaten with a spoon or drunken. Dairy products such as yogurt have such a consistency that, dependent on the actual brand of yogurt, it may actually be thin enough to be drunk, rather than eaten. Some companies have actually deliberately prepared their products in this way, and have met great success accordingly. Soups also have these properties, in that they can typically be both eaten and drunken. While soups do have pieces of vegetable or meat products, the broth can be drunk and, accordingly, would fall in line with the standard fundamental definition of what a beverage would be expected to be.