Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Science: 6 Reasons We’re Addicted To Pumpkin Spice Lattes

There’s some actual science behind the reason we lose our collective mind when it’s pumpkin spice season. And they extend way past crisp autumnal vibes that hang in the air like a cloud of whipped cream sprinkled with cinnamon.

Inc. came up with six science-backed reasons we are actually somewhat addicted to the seasonal flavor, specifically in the form of coffee.

1. Salt

Most likely, there’s salt in whatever pumpkin spice treat you’re enjoying. And when it’s layered with sugar, it’s downright addictive. Also, researchers believe it stimulates the brain much like cigarettes and hard drugs do. Make sure to hashtag #addict along with #psl and #pumpkinspiceyall next time you Insta.

2. Sugar And Fat

This combo is even more powerful than sugar and salt. Sugar and fat not only boost your mood, but it sparks your appetite. You may want to rethink the whip atop your next PSL.

3. Emotions

It’s no secret that smells can trigger emotions and memories, and when you’re consuming spices related to holidays, you’ll likely recall some heart warming stories. Each sip of a PSL is like a trip down memory lane. Bonus: nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon are considered “brain healthy” seasonings that are beneficial to our memory, mood and pain relief.

4. Caffeine

Not only is it an addictive substance, nothing beats that first sip of coffee in the morning. The Mayo Clinic recommends no more than 400 mg a day. A grande Starbucks PSL only has 150 mg, but it can take as little as 100 mg per day to feel the effects of withdrawal symptoms.

5. Conformity

Wanting to fit in is a real thing. The association between PSL and a “basic bitch” isn’t coincidence.


Pumpkin spice is exclusive to the fall. And things that are available for a limited time are automatically more appealing. There’s something called reactance theory that supports this: “According to the theory, when an individual’s freedom to engage in a specific behavior is threatened. the threatened behavior becomes more attractive.”



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