Drinking A Pumpkin Spice Latte Does This To Your Brain

Once the leaves on the trees start to turn yellow, orange, and red, many of us bring back our autumn habits. For some people, this might be wearing flannels or boots and visiting a cider mill. For others, fall means breaking out the candles and the blankets and watching scary movies. And for others, cooler weather signals the return of the famous pumpkin spice latte.

Even though the Starbucks latte includes real pumpkin, we all know this healthy addition does nothing to balance out the sugar and saturated fat. To be fair, an indulgence here and there is perfectly fine (and sometimes you just really need to eat an entire pint of ice cream after a long day at work).

However, like many of the delicious things in life, it's important to enjoy pumpkin spice lattes in moderation. While the ingredients are safe and found in plenty of other food items, the latte as a whole is doing things to your body that you might not realize. 

Pumpkin spice can cause a latte harm

The pumpkin spice latte seems tamer than a chocolate-drizzled Frappuccino, but its ingredients can actually cause a reaction in your brain similar to that of some addictive drugs, per Delish. The drink's caffeine of course can be habit-forming, causing you to crave and eventually depend on caffeine, but that isn't the worst part.

A combination of saturated fat, sodium, and sugar enters your body in such concentrated amounts that it can't be fully absorbed by the blood. When your fall beverage hits your brain, it triggers a massive dopamine rush, according to Wired. That yummy drink can quickly become an addiction as you seek the accompanying sugar high.

So what can you do to avoid dependency on the pumpkin spice latte (or any caffeinated beverage, for that matter)? Save that trip to Starbucks or Dunkin' for a special occasion. If you find yourself needing caffeine to function, perhaps take a look at your diet, activity, and sleep schedule. Broccoli might not be as appealing or festive as pumpkin spice, but it's a lot better for your health.