To grow and divide, cells must extract resources from dynamic and unpredictable environments. Many organisms use different metabolic strategies for distinct contexts. Budding yeast can produce ATP from carbon sources by mechanisms that prioritize either speed (fermentation) or yield (respiration). Withdrawing glucose from exponentially growing cells reveals variability in their ability to switch from fermentation to respiration. We observe two subpopulations of glucose-starved cells: recoverers, which rapidly adapt and resume growth, and arresters, which enter a shock state characterized by deformation of many cellular structures, including mitochondria. These states are heritable, and on high glucose, arresters grow and divide faster than recoverers. Recoverers have a fitness advantage during a carbon source shift but are less fit in a constant, high-glucose environment, and we observe natural variation in the frequency of the two states across wild yeast strains. These experiments suggest that bet hedging has evolved in budding yeast.