Stroke is a major cause of death and disability. Neuroprotective strategies could ameliorate patient recovery. Pyruvate and lactate were found neuroprotectant in preclinical studies of stroke models. Hyperpolarized 13C MRI provides a new way for real-time molecular imaging. In this work, we hyperpolarize those neuroprotective agents to study changes of their metabolism when administered at their therapeutic dose after ischemic stroke. We found that the metabolism of hyperpolarized lactate is significantly altered after transient cerebral ischemia, whereas moderate changes were depicted with hyperpolarized pyruvate. Those imply that hyperpolarized lactate would potentially be a better theranostic biosensor for stroke.