Zinc, as Zinc Gluconate, is an essential trace mineral involved in cellular metabolism and helps to maintain healthy skin and bones. It is required for the catalytic activity of approximately 100 enzymes and plays a role in immune function, protein synthesis, wound healing, DNA synthesis and cell division.[1]

In addition to boosting a metal detoxifying compound called metallothionein, Zinc has been found to enhance antioxidant activity in the liver. It is known to reduce alcohol-induced liver damage, partly by promoting the enzyme that removes alcohol.[2]

In another study, Zinc protected against alcohol related damage to the digestive track,[3] potentially supporting the body against inflammation.

Collectively, this information means it may be prudent to take Zinc before drinking alcohol in order to give your body some extra support.

One more thing, Zinc is also required for proper sense of taste and smell.

Ingredient Research
1. Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine. Zinc. Dietary reference intakes for vitamin A, vitamin K, boron,
    chromium, copper, iodine, iron, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, silicon, vanadium, and zinc. Washington, D.C.:
    National Academy Press; 2001:442-501.
2. Kang YJ, Zhou Z. Zinc prevention and treatment of alcoholic liver disease. Mol Aspects Med 2005;26:391-404.
3. http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=21325023

Additional Resources
1. http://dietary-supplements.info.nih.gov/FactSheets/Zinc.asp
2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zinc