We propose two hypotheses to explain the inexistence of adequate prepared diet for Octopus maya at this date: Hypothesis 1 is related to changes in protein structure during protein cooking, which affects the digestibility. Hypothesis 2 is related to changes on nutritional characteristics during ingredient process, which affects the nutritional composition of diet. To test hypothesis 1, experiments one and two were directed to determine if protein cooking reduces digestibility and growth of animals when compared to fresh or lyophilized protein sources. For hypothesis 2, three experiments were conducted, testing seven different dietary protein sources offered in isolation or combined in artificial diets fed to O. maya. Results demonstrated that the diets that promoted growth were the ones based on fresh crab paste, and both lyophilized crab and squid tentacles paste. In consequence hypothesis 1 was accepted. The cooking process also changed nutritional characteristics of protein sources, affecting the growth of O. maya. Results obtained when squid and crab were mixed suggest that nutritional requirements of octopuses were covered with that diet in similar forms compared to when using fresh or lyophilized crab, also confirming hypothesis 2. Based on growth rates obtained, we can conclude that nutritional requirements of O. maya must be between 80% and 86% Protein (P), 5.1–5.6% Lipids and a protein: energy ratio between (P/E) 38.9 and 42.2 g MJ−1.