Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Men's Health

Font Size

Most Steroid Users Are Not Athletes

Survey Shows Typical User Isn't Motivated by Sports Performance
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Oct. 12, 2007 -- Contrary to popular belief, the typical anabolic steroid user is more like an "Average Joe" than a professional athlete or competitive teenager.

A new survey suggests that the typical anabolic-androgenic steroid (AAS) user is a well-educated 30-year-old male who wants to build muscles and strength and increase his physical attractiveness. Researchers say the results show the notion of the typical steroid user as a "cheating" athlete is inaccurate.

"These findings question commonly held views of typical AAS users and their underlying motivations," Rick Collins of Collins, McDonald & Gann, PC, in Carle Place, N.Y., says in a news release.

"The vast majority of AAS users are not athletes and hence, are not likely to view themselves as cheaters. The targeting of athletes through drug testing and other adolescent or sports-based interventions has no bearing on non-competitive adult users."

Typical Anabolic Steroid User Is Atypical

In the study, published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, researchers surveyed nearly 2,000 men about anabolic steroid use via the Internet. Researchers say they used the Internet in order to encourage men to participate by allowing them to remain anonymous.

The results showed that the average male anabolic steroid user is:

  • About 30 years old
  • Well-educated
  • Earns an above-average income in a white-collar job

In addition, the survey shows that most did not start using steroids in adolescence, nor are they motivated by athletic competition or sports performance.

Instead, the typical anabolic steroid user wants to increase muscle mass, strength, and physical attractiveness. Other motivating factors for taking anabolic steroids were increasing confidence, decreasing body fat, improving mood, and attracting a sexual partner.

Researchers found that men in this survey followed carefully planned drug regimens along with a healthy diet and exercise practices designed to maximize benefits and minimize harm.

"The users we surveyed consider that they are using directed drug technology as one part of a strategy for physical self-improvement within a health-centered lifestyle," says Collins. "Effective public policy should begin by accurately identifying who's using steroids and why."

Today on WebMD

man coughing
Men shouldn’t ignore.
man swinging in hammock
And how to get out it.
shaving tools
On your shaving skills.
muscular man flexing
Four facts that matter.
Food Men 10 Foods Boost Male Health
Thoughtful man sitting on bed
Man taking blood pressure
doctor holding syringe
Condom Quiz
man running
older couple in bed