Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is associated with acute cerebral metabolic crisis (ACMC). ACMC-related atrophy appears to be prominent in frontal and temporal lobes following moderate-to-severe TBI. This atrophy is correlated with poorer cognitive outcomes in TBI. The current study investigated ability of acute glucose and lactate metabolism to predict long-term recovery of frontal-temporal cognitive function in participants with moderate-to-severe TBI. Cerebral metabolic rate of glucose and lactate were measured by the Kety-Schmidt method on days 0–7 post-injury. Indices of frontal-temporal cognitive processing were calculated for six months post-injury; 12 months post-injury; and recovery (the difference between the six- and 12-month scores). Glucose and lactate metabolism were included in separate regression models, as they were highly intercorrelated. Also, glucose and lactate values were centered and averaged and included in a final regression model. Models for the prediction frontal-temporal cognition at six and 12 months post-injury were not significant. However, average glucose and lactate metabolism predicted recovery of frontal-temporal cognition, accounting for 23% and 22% of the variance, respectively. Also, maximum glucose metabolism, but not maximum lactate metabolism, was an inverse predictor in the recovery of frontal-temporal cognition, accounting for 23% of the variance. Finally, the average of glucose and lactate metabolism predicted frontal-temporal cognitive recovery, accounting for 22% of the variance. These data indicate that acute glucose and lactate metabolism both support cognitive recovery from TBI. Also, our data suggest that control of endogenous fuels and/or supplementation with exogenous fuels may have therapeutic potential for cognitive recovery from TBI.