Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is one of the most physically demanding martial arts exercises in the world. Being able to keep up with your opponent and compete at a high intensity level requires paying careful attention to the foods you eat. BJJ nutrition encompasses several different aspects of health and can be quite complex. You can follow eight simple rules to make your food choices easier.

1. Start by eating breakfast. The food you put in at the beginning of the day will keep your metabolism running. Skipping breakfast makes you sluggish and unable to concentrate. Early on you want enough protein and vitamins, so chow down on eggs, yogurt, low-fat cheese, and fruit.

2. Have half a dozen small meals rather than a few large meals. This keeps your energy up and you will feel full throughout the day. You never binge on a big meal when you have eaten just a few hours prior. If you eat at a regular time (such as 9AM, 12PM, 3PM, 6PM, 9PM, etc.) you will begin to be hungry only at those times.

3. Get more than enough protein. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Nutrition needs to provide the fuel for muscle mass to expand. You want to eat as many grams of protein in a day as you weigh in pounds. Lean protein like chicken breasts, tuna, eggs, nuts, and nonfat dairy is ideal.

4. Stock up on fruits and vegetables for the vitamins and minerals you need. Eat one of each with every small meal. Since vegetables have fewer calories than any other food source, you can get plenty without any worry about excess fat.

5. Get carbohydrates after you work out. The carbohydrates will be used as energy for your muscle cells to regrow. Most people eat more carbs than they need, but getting them in after lifting is key.

6. Cut down on artificial fats. Oils and simple sugars have no nutrition and will only slow you down on the mat.

7. Get hydrated. The most important element of any BJJ Nutrition plan is one gallon of water per day. Spread this out during the day, getting two cups with each meal.

8. Minimize processed food. Any food you buy in a cardboard box or a plastic sleeve has been refined and processed, and preservatives have been substituted for nutrition. Get food that is as natural as it comes, and as close to it is when it is pulled out of the ground as possible.