Using NADH fluorometry to monitor myocardial metabolism, the mechanism of reperfusion injury was investigated after the delivery of an experimental reperfusate. Using an isolated working heart preparation, rat hearts underwent 15 min of global ischemia at 37°C. Following the ischemic insult, an oxygenated enriched reperfusion solution was given for 5 min. The hearts were then returned to a working state and aortic flow recorded to evaluate recovery. NADH levels were monitored throughout the experiment with a fluorometer and glycogen, AMP, ADP, and ATP were measured biochemically pre- and postischemia, after reperfusion and after recovery. In this study, reperfusion injury was best abated by an enriched reperfusate. Our results indicate the mechanism for this amelioration is not high-energy phosphate replenishment. Rather, as indicated by NADH fluorescence, the hearts attain an intermediate level of metabolism that permits glycogen to be restored and functional recovery to be improved.