Exercise frequently alters the metabolic processes of oxidative metabolism in athletes, including exposure to extreme reactive oxygen species impairing exercise performance. Therefore, both researchers and athletes have been consistently investigating the possible strategies to improve metabolic adaptations to exercise-induced oxidative stress. N-acetylcysteine (NAC) has been applied as a therapeutic agent in treating many diseases in humans due to its precursory role in the production of hepatic glutathione, a natural antioxidant. Several studies have investigated NAC's possible therapeutic role in oxidative metabolism and adaptive response to exercise in the athletic population. However, still conflicting questions regarding NAC supplementation need to be clarified. This narrative review aims to re-evaluate the metabolic effects of NAC on exercise-induced oxidative stress and adaptive response developed by athletes against the exercise, especially mitohormetic and sarcohormetic response.