How Much Exercise Does It Take To Burn Off A Pumpkin Spice Latte?

Summer has officially ended which means we’re heading into pumpkin season. With the fall comes all sorts or pumpkin flavored desserts and drinks, pumpkin spiced lattes being one of the most popular cold weather indulgences.

We compared popular pumpkin spice coffee drinks from Starbucks, Dunkin’ and McDonald’s by calories, fat and sugar per 16-ounce serving. We also calculated how many flights of stairs or miles of jogging it would take to expend those calories.


If you love your fall season pumpkin spice lattes, you’re not going to like the news I’m about to share.

𝗦𝘁𝗮𝗿𝗯𝘂𝗰𝗸𝘀 𝗣𝘂𝗺𝗽𝗸𝗶𝗻 𝗦𝗽𝗶𝗰𝗲 𝗟𝗮𝘁𝘁𝗲

You can’t go wrong with a classic. Starbucks’ standard PSL is made with pumpkin spice sauce, espresso, steamed 2% milk and whipped cream with pumpkin spice toppings. A grande Starbucks PSL also comes with plenty of calories, fat and sugar.

• Calories: 380
• Fat: 14 grams
• Sugar: 50 grams

On average, you would need to climb 42 flights of stairs or jog for 3.9 miles to burn off a grande PSL. For comparison, a small nonfat PSL without whipped cream only has 200 calories and would require climbing 22 flights of stairs or jogging 2 miles jog to burn off.

𝗦𝘁𝗮𝗿𝗯𝘂𝗰𝗸𝘀 𝗣𝘂𝗺𝗽𝗸𝗶𝗻 𝗖𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗺 𝗖𝗼𝗹𝗱 𝗕𝗿𝗲𝘄

The newest addition to Starbucks’ pumpkin spice family is made with the company’s signature pumpkin spice sauce (made with sugar, condensed skim milk, pumpkin puree, less than 2% fruit and vegetable juice for color, natural flavors, annatto, salt and potassium sorbate), ice, brewed coffee, pumpkin cream cold foam and pumpkin spice topping.

• Calories: 250
• Fat: 12 grams
• Sugar: 31 grams

To burn off a standard grande Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew, you would have to climb 28 flights of stairs or jog 2.6 miles. You can reduce the calories to 140 by ordering the tall (12 ounces), which would require climbing 15 flights of stairs or jogging for 1.4 miles.

𝗠𝗰𝗗𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹𝗱’𝘀 𝗠𝗰𝗖𝗮𝗳𝗲 𝗣𝘂𝗺𝗽𝗸𝗶𝗻 𝗦𝗽𝗶𝗰𝗲 𝗟𝗮𝘁𝘁𝗲

McDonald’s McCafe has around the same amount of calories and sugar as the Starbucks version, but it’s made with fewer quality ingredients and costs half the price. McCafe PSL ingredients include fructose, water, natural and artificial flavors, nonfat milk, annatto extract, caramel color, potassium sorbate, xanthan gum, salt and sucralose. There’s no real pumpkin in it, but there are plenty of calories, sugar and fat.

• Calories: 340
• Fat: 10 grams
• Sugar: 48 grams

To burn off a medium McCafe Pumpkin Spice Latte, you’d have to climb 38 flights of stairs or jog 3.5 miles.

𝗗𝘂𝗻𝗸𝗶𝗻’ 𝗣𝘂𝗺𝗽𝗸𝗶𝗻 𝗦𝘄𝗶𝗿𝗹 𝗛𝗼𝘁 𝗟𝗮𝘁𝘁𝗲

Dunkin’ Pumpkin Swirl Latte is comparable to Starbucks and McCafe PSLs in calories, and some people prefer the taste. The Pumpkin Swirl Latte is a blend of milk, espresso and pumpkin spice-flavored swirl syrup (made with sweetened condensed milk, high fructose corn syrup, water, natural and artificial flavors, brown sugar and preservatives).

• Calories: 340
• Fat: 9 grams
• Sugar: 52 grams

To burn off a regular medium Dunkin’ PSL, you would need to jog 3.5 miles or climb 38 flights of stairs. Opting for a small Pumpkin Swirl Latte with skim milk reduces the drink to 180 calories, which can be burned off with a much shorter 1.6-mile jog.

𝗗𝘂𝗻𝗸𝗶𝗻’ 𝗣𝘂𝗺𝗽𝗸𝗶𝗻 𝗦𝘄𝗶𝗿𝗹 𝗙𝗿𝗼𝘇𝗲𝗻 𝗖𝗼𝗳𝗳𝗲𝗲

Dunkin’ Pumpkin Swirl Frozen Coffee is basically a pumpkin spice milkshake. It’s a blend of cream, liquid cane sugar, coffee swirl syrup, pumpkin spice-flavored swirl syrup, caramel-flavored syrup and whipped cream.

• Calories: 890
• Fat: 30 grams
• Sugar: 140 grams

To expend all the calories in a medium Dunkin’ Pumpkin Swirl Frozen Coffee, you would have to climb 99 flights of stairs, the equivalent of taking the stairs to the top floor of the Transamerica Pyramid building in San Francisco. Or you could jog 9.2 miles.

Source:, by Kathryn Parkman
ConsumerAffairs Research Team, Sept 13, 2019

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