The purpose of this investigation was to study effects of acetaminophen consumption on ratings of perceived exertion and estimated time limit responses at the lactate threshold. 98 young regional to national level athletes performed a graded exhausting exercise on an outdoor running track to estimate their maximal aerobic velocity and the velocity associated with their lactate concentration threshold. Urine (30 mL) was collected during this test and analysed for numerous substances. During urinary screening for doping substances, 9 acetaminophen consumers (9.2%) among the 98 included athletes were detected. These acetaminophen consumers have significantly lower perceived exertion at velocity corresponding to the lactate concentration threshold than nonconsumers (11.9 +/- 2.1 vs 13.6 +/- 2.1, respectively) although they were at the same relative exercise intensity. This result shows that acetaminophen consumption may have mediated the perceived exertion response at the lactate concentration threshold. This may then suggest that the pain induced by training load could be a factor in use of self-prescribed pain relievers. Such consumption must be taken into account by medical staff, trainers, or educators who have to give information on the use and adverse effects of this substance and to propose palliative methods to their athletes.