Is Cris Cyborg On Steroids? (Revealed)

Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Published by Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: May 10, 2024
FACT CHECKED by James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
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Cris Cyborg tested positive for banned substances for the second time in 2017, which raised suspicions that she is still on steroids.

As a fitness trainer, I've worked with female clients who were given diuretics to help them lose weight quickly. So, assuming Cris is a clean athlete, I spent two months scouring her recent photos and videos for any physical signs of steroid use.

In this article, I will reveal my findings, so keep reading until the end to find out if Cris is still using illegal substances.

Let's begin.

Quick Summary

  • According to physical indicators like unusual vascularity or rapid muscle development, Cris Cyborg isn't currently using steroids.
  • Cris Cyborg was previously found guilty of taking steroids because of indicators such as low body fat percentage, fast bulking, and extreme vascularity.
  • According to a study by the Journal of Sports Science & Medicine, indicators like low body fat percentage and rapid bulking are critical in identifying potential steroid use in athletes.
  • From my experience as a fitness trainer, Cyborg's physique seems attainable through dedicated training and diet, suggesting that her current form might not necessarily be a result of steroid use.

Is Cris Cyborg Taking Steroids?

Cris may probably be taking steroids today because her tests yielded positive results in 2011 and 2017 [1].

Although we can't say anything for sure, since Cris joined Bellator in 2019, there have never been any reports of the Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter being subjected to doping analysis.

Furthermore, former bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey has been very upfront with the media about Cris' failed drug test, resulting in some fighters refusing to compete against Cyborg.

Why Do People Believe Cris Took Illegal Substances?

Cris' physique exhibits very lean muscle mass that can be attributed to taking illegal substances. However, there are other reliable signs of drug use, which I looked into in her pictures and videos while doing my research.

Extreme Vascularity

According to a study in the Journal of Applied Physiology, muscle contractions enhance blood flow, causing veins to seem more prominent [2]. But if you notice veins protruding when they're resting, they're probably on a banned substance.

Reflecting on my own training journey, I remember being alarmed when I first noticed more visible veins during my peak training periods, but I soon realized it was a normal response to my intense workouts.

Comparing this to Cris' photos and fight videos, I didn't see any abnormal vein protrusion that would suggest steroid use.

Fast Bulking Process

Many athletes can gain massive muscle mass when combining anabolic steroids with strength training [3].

Observing Cris' progress through her videos, it's clear that her muscle development aligns more with natural progression than the dramatic changes often associated with steroid use.

Low Body Fat Percentage

According to a study published in the National Library of Medicine, in some cases, lean muscles and a low body fat percentage may indicate drug use [4].

Despite having a low body fat of 3 to 4 percent throughout Cris' battles, Cris was assumed to have around 15 percent body fat [5].

As a fitness trainer, I've seen how a combination of rigorous training and strict dieting can lead to a significantly low body fat percentage, often misconstrued as a sign of steroid use.

Analyzing Cris' physique, her body fat levels seem consistent with what can be achieved through dedicated training and diet, rather than indicating steroid use.

Cyborg's Current Stats

  • Age: 38 years old (July 9, 1985)
  • Height: 5 feet 8 inches (173 cm)
  • Weight: 154 lbs (70 kg)
  • Body Fat Percentage: approx. 15 percent

Can Cyborg's Fighting Abilities Be Acquired Solely Through Diet And Exercise?

A woman measuring her waist and a woman working out in the gym

Cyborg's viscous MMA fighting abilities, which display power, strength, and agility, may have been assisted by the use of prescribed substances, a proper diet, and intense training.

"I am glad the UFC has created the 145 (pound) division and look forward to fighting for the belt once my body is recovered and ready to compete.”

- C. Cyborg

Anyone can gain muscle strength and power by consuming 500 to 700 calories at breakfast, primarily carbs, followed by a high-protein diet with a small amount of fat at lunch and dinner.

Furthermore, dedicating an hour or two to intense workouts five to six days a week can increase your muscle strength and power output.

However, if you want to hasten your progress while still being clean, you can use legal steroids and bulking stacks made from herbs, vitamins, and minerals that are designed to raise the body's testosterone levels.

Nutritional and Training Alternatives to Steroids

These are the nutritional strategies athletes such as Cyborg can use to enhance performance:

  • Protein-rich diet: Athletes should focus on lean proteins like chicken, fish, eggs, and plant-based sources like beans and lentils. Protein supplements such as whey or plant-based powders can also be beneficial, especially post-workout.
  • Balanced macronutrients: Carbohydrates provide the necessary energy for intense training sessions, while fats are vital for hormone production, including testosterone, which plays a key role in muscle growth.
  • Micronutrient optimization: For instance, Vitamin D and magnesium are crucial for bone health and muscle function, while iron is essential for oxygen transport in the blood.
  • Hydration and electrolytes: Adequate hydration and maintaining electrolyte balance are critical, especially for athletes who undergo rigorous training routines.
  • Natural supplements: Certain legal supplements can aid performance. Creatine, for instance, is well-researched and known to improve strength and power output.

These are the training alternatives to steroids:

  • High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): HIIT involves short bursts of intense exercise followed by rest periods. This type of training is effective for improving endurance, strength, and metabolic rate, leading to increased muscle growth and fat loss.
  • Progressive overload: Gradually increasing the weight, frequency, or number of repetitions in your training routine forces your muscles to adapt and grow stronger. This principle is fundamental for continuous improvement in strength and muscle mass.
  • Plyometric exercises: These exercises involve explosive movements like jumping, which improve muscular power, speed, and endurance. They are particularly beneficial for athletes in sports requiring quick, powerful movements.
  • Flexibility and mobility work: Incorporating yoga or stretching routines improves flexibility and reduces the risk of injury. Mobility exercises are also crucial for maintaining joint health and range of motion.
  • Adequate rest and recovery: Overtraining can be as detrimental as not training enough. Rest days are essential for muscle recovery and growth. Quality sleep and relaxation techniques should be integral parts of an athlete’s regimen.

Was Cris Tested Positive For Steroids?

Cris tested positive for Stanozolol in 2011, resulting in a one-year suspension, a $2500 fine, and the California State Athletic Commission declaring her last fight, a first-round knockout win over Hiroko Yamanaka, a "no decision" [6].

Moreover, she was caught using a steroid masking agent in 2017 and was barred from competing for a year and stripped of promotions and other opportunities [7].


Did Cyborg Admit To Taking A Banned Substance?

The Brazilian MMA Bellator has admitted on several occasions that she only used Stanozolol in 2011 and Spironolactone in 2017 to aid her in cutting weight, not for added strength or muscle mass.

Has Cyborg Ever Been Banned For Using Steroids?

Cris has been banned for a year after testing positive for a banned substance in 2011. She also received a year-long suspension due to a positive drug test in 2017. However, after two months of investigations, she was found not guilty and was given a retroactive TUE [8].


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About The Author

Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC is an ex-National Soccer player turned MMA and Kickboxing champion, with ACE CPT and PN1-NC certifications. His advice is rooted in education and experience, ensuring that readers receive scientific and battle-tested insights. His mission is to empower his clients and readers to realize their potential and become the best versions of themselves.
Learn more about our editorial policy
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Sport & Exercise Science from University of Hertfordshire. He's a Health & Performance Coach from London that brings a unique blend of academic knowledge of health supplements and practical exercise experience to the table for his readers.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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