How to Take Racetams: Solubility and Efficacy

The racetam family dominates in the world of nootropics. However, they are not all created equal. If you do not properly dose your racetams as well as take them how they are intended (with food, with water, etc) you will not achieve the results you are hoping for.

Often times, individuals new to nootropics will believe themselves to be non-responders to the racetams, while in actuality there may just be a few simple user errors stopping them from unlocking the full racetam experience. When it comes to how to take the racetams, the biggest distinction is if they are fat soluble or water soluble. 

Fat Soluble vs. Water Soluble

Protip, if it doesn’t dissolve in water, it’s NOT water soluble

The racetams are divided into fat soluble and water soluble. Water soluble racetam will dissolve easily in water, whereas fat soluble racetams only dissolve in lipids (fats). If you try to mix a fat-soluble racetam in water it will clump.

This often makes taking fat soluble racetams more of a pain than water soluble ones as you cannot mix it into a beverage. As such, many individuals opt to buy empty capsules and fill them themselves. They can also help you avoid the bitter racetam taste.

So how does this affect supplementing with racetams? Individuals should take water soluble racetams on an empty stomach, while fat soluble racetams work best with meals or a fat source such as fish oil.

Your body also processes the racetams differently depending on their solubility. Water soluble racetams are processed by the kidneys and eventually excreted through your urine; fat soluble racetams are processed by your intestines and eventually excreted through your feces.

This explains why water soluble racetams have a much shorter half life than fat soluble racetams; the kidneys run through their processes much more quickly than the intestines. Due to the half life factor, most users choose to take their racetams in multiple doses spread over the course of a day.

Racetam Solubility

Of course, simply knowing that solubility affects the efficacy of racetams is tremendously helpful. However, if you do not know which category your racetam falls into, you are not much better off. Below is some information on the more popular racetams and what category of solubility they fall into.


Racetam Solubility Cheat Sheet
Water SolubleFat Soluble

This is the granddaddy of the racetam family. Originally discovered in the 1960’s, piracetam is not only the oldest but also the weakest of the racetams when measuring strength in terms of dosage. Piracetam powder requires approximately 2.4g (doses range from1.6g-3.2g) in order for individuals to experience its nootropic effects. This is often divided into three 800mg doses. Piracetam powder is water soluble and is thus best taken with water on an empty stomach.


Aniracetam is much more potent than piracetam, requiring 750mg two times a day. This racetam is noted for its anxiolytic benefits, so many individuals who suffer from nerves or anxiety prefer this racetam. Aniracetam powder is fat soluble and is thus better taken with meals or fats like fish oil.


Oxiracetam powder is approximately 2-4x stronger than piracetam, requiring only 800mg to experience the sought after nootropic effects. Many individuals choose to take this in one dose. Oxiracetam is also noted as having slight stimulant properties. Oxiracetam powder is water soluble and is thus better taken with water on an empty stomach; some individuals also choose to take it sublingually (under the tongue).


Take fat soluble racetams with meals or a fat source such as fish oil.

One of the more potent racetams, pramiracetam powder clocks in with a dosage of 250mg three times per day. It is suggested that individuals work up to pramiracetam rather than starting out with it for their first foray into the racetams. This is merely to gauge how your body reacts to racetams, as everyone’s brain chemistry is different. Pramiracetam is often noted for its ability to intensely improve focus. Pramiracetam powder is fat soluble and is thus best taken with meals or a fat source. Anecdotally, some users report a burning sensation if they take pramiracetam sublingually.


This racetam is significantly more potent than the other racetams, requiring only 100-200mg two to three times over the course of a day. Phenylpiracetam does not need to be taken daily and works best when taken before a major test, interview, etc. Phenylpiracetam is water soluble and is thus better taken with water on an empty stomach.


There is some debate as to whether or not Noopept is a racetam. However, it is included in this list as many users who opt to use the racetams will often come across Noopept powder as well. This nootropic is a peptide derived from piracetam; however, it is 1000x more potent. With doses ranging from 10-30mg. Noopept is touted for its neuroprotective abilities as well as its powerful cognitive boosting benefits. Noopept powder is water soluble and is thus bet taken with water on an empty stomach. Some users choose to take it sublingually.

Bottom Line

If you are still lacking in benefits at the end of days or weeks of using racetams, it may simply be how you were supplementing them. An example of why solubility matters is if you take fat soluble racetams without a fat source, your body will not absorb it. This means you will not experience its benefits and are wasting your money. Proper supplementation is the key to success with any racetam.