(MEDPAGETODAY) — Teens may be chugging protein shakes and taking other muscle-enhancing supplements more often than previously thought, researchers said.

According to a self-reported survey conducted among adolescent males and females, nearly 35% said they used protein powders and shakes, while almost 6% reported using steroids, according to Maria Eisenberg, ScD, of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, and colleagues. Both both behaviors were more common among boys versus girls (P<0.001).

In comparison, recent studies with population-based samples of U.S. youth have indicated that 8% of females and 10.2% of males reported the use of protein supplements (Pediatrics 2005;116).

Use of muscle-enhancing products or behaviors to bulk up, such as different eating habits or exercising more, were significantly associated with grade level, Asian race, body mass index, and sports team participation, the current authors wrote in Pediatrics online.

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