Heart failure continues to have a significant morbidity and mortality rate despite several recent advances in treatment such as additional neurohumoral blockades and cardiac resynchronization therapy. There is emerging evidence that, irrespective of etiology, heart failure is associated with an energetic disorder and that this may contribute to the pathogenesis of the syndrome. Recently, a number of studies have suggested that some metabolic agents may have potential as adjunctive therapy in patients with heart failure. These agents cause a shift of myocardial-substrate utilization away from free fatty acids toward glucose. Free fatty acid utilization consumes more oxygen to generate an equivalent amount of energy compared with glucose. Some of these agents are also effective antianginals, presumably by reducing the myocardial oxygen requirement. In this review we will discuss some of the current issues and progresses relating to metabolic manipulation in heart failure.