Is Batista On Steroids Or Natural? (Dave Bautista Revealed)

Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Published by Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: November 22, 2023
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Dave Bautista is an extremely successful professional wrestler who combines the ripped physique of a bodybuilder with an ability to move like an MMA fighter.

Even after retiring from the sport, Dave has continued to claim he has remained natural and generally addresses claims of steroid usage directly in interviews.

It seems like his use of medical steroids for recovery from numerous injuries has been at the center of these claims, but I wanted to see if I could find some real evidence. To do this, I spent a few weeks researching his career, injuries, and hundreds of photos from different stages of his life.

Here’s what I found.

Does Batista Take Anabolic Steroids?

Dave Bautista has talked about medical reasons why he was taking steroids.


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These steroid allegations are mainly because triceps injuries are not common unless you have a significant imbalance in muscle tendons. And that can happen to steroid users who go through fast bulking, as per studies published by the National Library of Medicine [1].

Why Do People Believe Batista Took Anabolic Drugs?

man flexing arms

Dave Bautista has faced steroid allegations in the past, but there is no concrete evidence to support claims of steroid abuse. His impressive muscle mass could be attributed to his dedicated training and not necessarily performance-enhancing drugs.

While Dave has admitted to taking anabolic drugs for medical reasons, I wanted to see if there was evidence of performance enhancers before or after his injuries.

1. Extreme Vascularity

If you ever see a bodybuilder relaxing and still showing off veins popping through the skin, according to reports published by Microscopy Research and Technique, there’s a good chance this is due to drugs [2]. Dave most definitely was very vascular in the ring and during training, but I didn’t see that extreme vascularity in photos where he wasn’t fully pumped.

Related Article: Supplements for Vascularity

2. Large Breast Tissue

This is another common way to identify an anabolic drug user. According to John Hopkins Medicine, Long-term use of anabolic drugs can lead to soft breast tissue that looks very different to rock hard pecs [3].

I spent many hours looking through hundreds of photos from different stages of Dave’s career, and I couldn't find any evidence of soft and fatty tissue around his chest.

Learn More: Breast Lifting Exercises: Lift, Firm and Perk Them Up

3. Fast Bulking Process

This is the main reason athletes resort to drugs. Building muscle mass in a matter of months or just a few years is very tempting when you consider that it could otherwise take five or more years.

Like most other professional wrestlers, Batista started bulking up as a teenager and then gradually progressed into a pro wrestling career. That’s why I’d say there isn’t evidence of suspiciously fast bulking.

“I never excelled at one sport or had a very strong passion for anything other than wrestling and bodybuilding.”

- Dave Bautista

Batista’s Stats And Accomplishments

  • Born: January 18, 1969
  • Height: 6’4”
  • Weight: 290lbs

Dave Bautista won the World Tag Team Championship three times and the World Heavyweight Championship four times, all while going up against legends like John Cena, Randy Orton, and Stone Cold Steve Austin.

He also tried to start an MMA career, but it seemed like the fighting styles didn't suit him, so he went back to WWE. He eventually retired in 2019 after Triple H beat him on the way to the Championship.

What Would It Take To Bulk Up Like Batista?

man using dumbbells and a stack of supplements

Drawing from my own journey transitioning from soccer to MMA and kickboxing, I understand the dedication needed to achieve a physique like Dave Bautista's.

It's not just about hitting the gym; it's a holistic approach. Balancing rigorous training with precise nutrition was key for me, just as it is for any athlete aiming for that world champion physique.

Diet & Supplements

Proper nutrition and the right supplements have been crucial in my own transformation and in helping my clients achieve their goals. Researchers at the University of Minnesota Duluth add that you have to eat significantly more carbs and protein to build muscle [5].

You’ll need the carbs for more workout energy and the proteins to help your muscle recovery and build-up. It also means planning for lots of whey protein shakes and trying to get as much of a boost from supplements as possible.

These can boost your testosterone, stamina, and recovery times enough to get you to your goals significantly sooner. You can read our article about the best testosterone boosters on the market.

Tough Training

Training intensity is non-negotiable. Spending 90 minutes a day, five days a week in the gym is something I've done and continue to preach.

And if you want to join the serious bodybuilders, you’ll need to keep this going for at least five years to achieve that level of bulking.

Was Batista Tested For Drug Use?

man with a syringe

Yes, Dave Bautista would have been regularly tested for steroid usage during his professional WWE championship career.

Although Dave Bautista has been in the main event of wrestling matches and is subject to the wellness policy, there is no concrete evidence to suggest that he has used steroids. While he is a big guy, his physique can be attributed to natural means and rigorous training.

It’s also important to point out that Batista's medical steroid use for an injury recovery was only short-term. His doctors would have likely timed this to ensure that it didn’t trigger a positive test result.


Was Batista Ever Banned for Using Steroids?

No, Batista has never been banned for using steroids. He was prescribed medical anabolic drugs to help with injury recovery, but he was taken off that medication before returning to the ring.

Does Batista Have Health Issues Due to Steroids?

No, Batista doesn’t have health issues due to steroid usage. Health problems can include anything from severe acne to liver and kidney failure, which would significantly impact his appearance and strength.


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