Metabolism reveals pathways by which neuronal and glial cells use nutrients to fuel their function and (re)growth. Thus metabolic imaging is important for interpreting functional imaging contrast because normal brain function requires high-energy yielded from glucose oxidation, but also for molecular imaging of disease, e.g., in cancer where aerobic glycolysis supports cell growth and proliferation. I will focus on advanced magnetic resonance methods used in brain metabolic studies by measuring physiological and chemical activities of the neuropil. Specifically, I will discuss recent developments in measuring the transmembrane gradients for hydrogen and sodium ions. Overall, these magnetic resonance methods demonstrate translational potential to understand brain disorders for improved diagnosis and treatment, but they also represent the rejuvenating aptitude of magnetic resonance applications in biomedical sciences.