MR imaging using hyperpolarized 13C substrates has become a promising tool to study real-time cardiac-metabolism in vivo. For such fast imaging of nonrecoverable prepolarized magnetization it is important to optimize the RF-coils to obtain the best signal-to-noise ratio possible, given the required coverage. In this work, three different receiver-coil configurations were computed in pig and human models. The sensitivity maps were demonstrated in phantoms and in vivo experiments performed in pigs. Signal-to-noise ratio in the posterior heart was increased up to 80% with the best multichannel coil as expected. These new coil configurations will allow imaging of the different metabolite signals even in the posterior regions of the myocardium, which is not possible with a single-channel surface-coil. Magn Reson Med, 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.