Hibernating mammals, like the arctic ground squirrel (AGS), exhibit robust resistance to myocardial ischemia/reperfusion (IR) injury. Regulated preference for lipid over glucose to fuel metabolism may play an important role. We tested whether providing lipid in an emulsion protects hearts from summer-active AGS better than hearts from Brown Norway (BN) rats against normothermic IR injury. Langendorff-prepared AGS and BN rat hearts were perfused with Krebs solution containing 7.5 mM glucose with or without 1% Intralipid™. After stabilization and cardioplegia, hearts underwent 45-min global ischemia and 60-min reperfusion. Coronary flow, isovolumetric left ventricular pressure, and mitochondrial redox state were measured continuously; infarct size was measured at the end of the experiment. Glucose-only AGS hearts functioned significantly better on reperfusion than BN rat hearts. Intralipid™ administration resulted in additional functional improvement in AGS compared to glucose-only and BN rat hearts. Infarct size was not different among groups. Even under non-hibernating conditions, AGS hearts performed better after IR than the best-protected rat strain. This, however, appears to strongly depend on metabolic fuel: Intralipid™ led to a significant improvement in return of function in AGS, but not in BN rat hearts, suggesting that year-round endogenous mechanisms are involved in myocardial lipid utilization that contributes to improved cardiac performance, independent of the metabolic rate decrease during hibernation. Comparative lipid analysis revealed four candidates as possible cardioprotective lipid groups. The improved function in Intralipid™-perfused AGS hearts also challenges the current paradigm that increased glucose and decreased lipid metabolism are favorable during myocardial IR.