An optimized reverse micelle surfactant system has been developed for solution nuclear magnetic resonance studies of encapsulated proteins and nucleic acids dissolved in low viscosity fluids. Comprising the nonionic 1-decanoyl-rac-glycerol and the zwitterionic lauryldimethylamine-N-oxide (10MAG/LDAO), this mixture is shown to efficiently encapsulate a diverse set of proteins and nucleic acids. Chemical shift analyses of these systems show that high structural fidelity is achieved upon encapsulation. The 10MAG/LDAO surfactant system reduces the molecular reorientation time for encapsulated macromolecules larger than ∼20 kDa leading to improved overall NMR performance. The 10MAG/LDAO system can also be used for solution NMR studies of lipid-modified proteins. New and efficient strategies for optimization of encapsulation conditions are described. 10MAG/LDAO performs well in both the low viscosity pentane and ultralow viscosity liquid ethane and therefore will serve as a general surfactant system for initiating solution NMR studies of proteins and nucleic acids.