The ability of individual bovine blastocysts to survive freezing and thawing procedures was assessed by measuring glucose and pyruvate uptake and lactate production immediately before and after cryopreservation. Using glucose and pyruvate uptake and lactate production it was not possible to determine, prior to freezing, which blastocysts would be viable after thawing. However, in the 5 hr immediately after thawing, those blastocysts which expanded their blastocoel had significantly greater glucose and pyruvate uptake and lactate production (P < 0.01) than those embryos which failed to develop after a 14 hr overnight incubation. Interestingly, after thawing, two distinct populations of blastocysts existed with respect to glucose uptake and lactate production, indicating that it is possible to identify those blastocysts immediately after thawing which will reexpand. In contrast, there was a considerable degree of overlap in pyruvate uptakes between the viable and nonviable groups of embryos, indicating that this parameter could not be used to select viable embryos after thawing. There was an increase in the calculated oxidation of carbohydrates after thawing, consistent with a partial uncoupling of the inner mitochondrial membrane. In conclusion, glucose uptake and lactate production can be used to select prospectively viable blastocysts immediately after thawing, indicating that glycolysis is a major energy-generating pathway for the embryo at this time.