Cancia Leirissa (55) zwemt acht uur op Innerme

Cancia Leirissa (55) swims for eight hours on Innerme

A few years ago Cancia Leirissa got the idea to swim across the IJsselmeer. Good for a distance of 22km! To train for this challenge, the Rotterdam native joined a swimming club. Sports nutrition could also not be missed. Discovering Innerme turned out to be a revelation for her.

Chocolate sandwich or pancakes?

Cancia said she was really concerned about the nutritional choices she would have to make in the run-up to her swim. She gathered information from other swimmers who had already made the crossing.

Cancia: “I received the most diverse answers. Some had eaten sandwiches with Nutella, others gels or pancakes.” The swimmer only knew gels as "chemical and super sweet", while she feared that pancakes and sandwiches would be too heavy on her stomach. What should she eat during the effort?

In search of natural sports nutrition

“Natural food, and therefore food that is not packed with sugar, is my cup of tea,” Cancia continues. “But the products in supermarkets or sports stores invariably contain a lot of sugar. As an alternative, there were options with stevia, but I don't like that at all.”

In addition, Cancia's coach advised her to consume more protein to better recover from her strength trainings. “I eat vegetarian, which made it an extra challenge for me to get the necessary proteins,” Cancia explains.

Discovering Innerme

Cancia asked her daughter-in-law, who worked in an organic store, if she sold sports nutrition. “She made me aware of Innerme protein powders. She bought me the vanilla flavored version and I immediately liked it a lot.” From then on, Cancia drank almond milk after every workout, with which she mixed the protein powder. That had an effect: “My strength started to visibly increase in the gym,” she noted.

The swimmer was looking for additional information about Innerme. She discovered: “Innerme has a complete sports nutrition range! Even gels, but with natural ingredients.” This gave Cancia the confidence she needed: “Now I believed that I could cross the IJsselmeer on my own terms. That same day I contacted a coach who guides swimmers with the crossing to really make my plan concrete.”

Crossing the IJsselmeer

September 7, 2022, was D-day. “It rained heavily and thundered during the night,” Cancia recalls, “but in the morning we had a clear blue sky and the water was mirror-smooth: perfect for the crossing.”

The swimmer had prepared well and had all her Innerme products ready. “I took with me a box of protein bars, a box of energy bars (orange flavor), the Energy Gel ‘Endurance’ and a bag of vanilla flavored protein powder.” Every half hour Cancia held a “food and drink moment”: “My supervisor laid out all the products for me. This allowed me to choose what I needed.”

Energy to keep swimming

“About halfway, at kilometer 11, I took the Energy Gel 'Endurace',” Cancia says. “What a boost this product gives! You feel the energy flowing through your body. I could keep swimming on the energy for an hour.” While the swimmer completed the first half of the crossing on bars and one energy gel, she mainly relied on tea (against the cold) and protein chips for the second part. She covered the entire distance in 8 hours, 3 minutes and 16 seconds

“I was never hungry,” Cancia concludes. Moreover, her recovery went incredibly smoothly: “Two days after the crossing I was already back at swim training!”

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