While serious mixed martial artists spend hours each day in the gym working on everything from Jiu-Jitsu to boxing to strength training, exercise is not the only important factor in becoming a great athlete. The better you treat your body, the stronger and more mentally focused you will become.

One tip that should always be remembered is that you should never skip breakfast. Providing your body with a healthy mix of foods will give you a huge burst of energy in the mornings. Consider a protein-rich egg white omelet combined with a bowl of oatmeal or a smoothie that contains a mix of fresh fruits, hemp protein and almond milk. Add a scoop of natural, organic peanut butter or nut butter for extra protein and taste.

Because MMA fighters expend so much energy, it is imperative that they fill their diet with plenty of healthy carbohydrates. These are known as complex carbohydrates and these foods are converted into glycogen by the body. This glycogen can help your if you need a quick burst of energy, and the leftover glycogen is stored in your muscles for later energy output. Poor carbohydrates, also known as simple carbs, provide a quick sugar spike but not energy is stored for later usage.

There are many options for adding healthy, complex carbs to your diet. Whole grains such as oats, wild rice, brown rice and buckwheat are high in complex carbs. If you love pasta, opt for the whole grain or whole wheat pastas and you will be making better carb choices. Apricots, plums, pears and oranges are among several fruits with complex carbohydrates. When it comes to vegetables, most of them are full of complex carbs so feel free to eat a wide variety of vegetables.

Vegetables are other solid sources of complex carbohydrates, and in general, you can pretty much eat all the vegetables you want. Most are low in calories and low in sugar, but high in vitamins and minerals. Fruits lean more toward simple carbs, but these are much healthier than processed simple carbs. Eating oranges, plums, grapefruit and other more complex fruits is always a good idea.

How many calories you consume depends on many factors, including your current weight and the weight goal you are seeking, as well as the amount of calories you burn per day on average. Of course, your calorie needs will change when you are close to a fighter, as well as immediately after. It is a good idea to meet with a nutritionist to create a diet plan that meets all of your needs.

Of course, it is only natural to want to cheat now and then, but keep those cheeseburgers and cookies few and far between. They will add nothing to your body, and the more frequently you eat healthy foods, the easier it will become to avoid the junk.

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